How To Draw Near To God

Hebrews 7:19 (NLT) For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.20120120-072421.jpg

How can you draw near to God? The Bible makes it clear that your own body is God’s temple. Your spirit needs and wants closeness to God. You want to know the living God personally, not as an idea or concept, not as a distant monarch.

You can draw near to God through prayer, worship, and Bible meditation. You need not live like a monk, but you probably need more prayer in your life, more quiet time before the Lord.

The habit of worship has become a convenience to be wedged between sports, and other recreations. Instead, make worship your top priority. Bible meditation may include verse memory, songs, and quiet personal reading.

The Bible is the Word of God for you. Use it every day and you will draw nearer to God.

 

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How To Pray Effectively

“Can you to point to some recent incident in which you know that your prayers were effective?” James 5:16b reads: “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

I don’t know about you, but that is my desire for my prayer life – to be powerful and effective!  In order to be effective in our praying I believe Scripture shares with us several things we need to do:

1. Pray Biblically.

We must pray in accordance with the “will of God” and with the “doctrines of God.”  There is one major principle we must understand about our praying, and it is this, “God will never lead you, give you, or answer any of your prayers that are contrary to His written Word.”  Therefore, our praying must be biblical.

2. Pray Specifically.

As you study the prayers of the Apostle Paul you will notice that he prayed specifically.  There were prayers for courage, loneliness, finances, purity, health, colleagues, converts, wisdom, discouragement, pressures, opportunities, love, direction, spiritual growth, and faithfulness.  The point is, he prayed specifically! Continue reading

Does God Seem Far Away?

 

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!—James 4:8

There may be times when God seems far away. You may feel as if your prayers go unheard. James said there is a simple reason for this and a solution. If you are far from God, it is because your sin has separated you from Him.

God is unchanging. His character stays absolutely holy. His faithfulness remains constant; it is we who change. We allow sin into our lives. We choose our own direction. We spend less and less time with Him in Bible study and prayer. Then one day we realize that we have gradually grown distant from God. The solution, according to James, is straightforward. We are to draw near to God. As we realize our need to be closer to the Father and we begin to return to Him, He meets us even as the father hurried to greet his prodigal son (Luke 15:20).

Drawing near to God requires you to take two actions:

  1. You must cleanse your hands (Isa. 1:15). You must cleanse your way of living. If you have been actively engaged in sin, you must renounce it. If you have done anything to offend or hurt someone, you must make it right.
  2. You are to purify your heart (Ps. 51:10). You must make certain your attitudes, thoughts, and motives are right in God’s eyes and are in harmony with God’s word. Jesus warned that you cannot serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). It is impossible to love anything else as much as you love God and still please Him.

If God seems distant, do what is necessary to cleanse your hands, purify your heart, and draw near to Him.

Practical Ways to Live a Missional Life

Fact: You are not a mistake!

Fact: The Lord has a purpose and a plan for your life (Jer. 29:11).

Fact: You are to live on mission.

You reply: Ok, but how?  What does a missional life look like?

That’s a great answer!  Allow me to share with you 10 ways you can live a missional life without adding anything to your calendar.

1. Eat with other people

We all eat 3 meals a day. That’s 21 opportunities for church and mission each week without adding anything new to your schedule. Meals are a powerful expression of welcome and community.

2. Work in public places

Hold meetings, prepare talks, read in public spaces like cafes and parks. It will naturally help you engage with the culture as work or plan. For example, whose questions do you want to address in your Bible studies – those of professional exegetes or those of the culture?

3. Be a regular

Adopt a local café, park and shops so you regularly visit and become known as a local. Imagine if everyone in your church community did this!

4. Join in with what’s going on

Churches often start their own thing like a coffee shop or homeless program. Instead, join existing initiatives – you don’t have the burden of running it and you get opportunities with co-workers.

5. Leave the house in the evenings

It’s so easy after a long day on a dark evening to slump in front of the television or surf the internet. Get out! Visit a friend. Take a cake to a neighbor. Attend a local group. Go to the movies. Hang out in a café. Go for a walk with a friend. It doesn’t matter where as long as you go with Gospel intentionality. Continue reading