Draw Near to God in His Word 11-25-13

Draw near to God in His Word- 11-25-13

We are entering in to a busy time of year for most of us; whether you celebrate Jesus or celebrate the chance to celebrate; ' tis the season' to be busy! With turkeys and pies and trays of all sizes we are filling our tables, counters and bellies while our pockets get emptied. This is either enjoyable or not but what it mostly is is time consuming. God wants us to focus more on Him, to spend time with Him not just all of our shopping and cooking. He wants us to remember that it is not just the food we are thankful for; give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever.
He had that written in the word so many times in Psalm 118 for a reason; sometimes we have to repeat ourselves to be heard by our children; we are God's children.
A family needs to be drawn together, God planned it so that is why we are called His children, not just His creations. God planned for us to communicate with Himself constantly, being able to walk with us in the Garden of Eden, but man blew that; lets not blow this one thing, to humble ourselves daily in the sight of the Lord that He may lift us up and encourage us.
When we realize that God's mercy is why we are able to purchase a turkey, or even eat one that someone else purchased for us we have reason to humble ourselves. When we recall that He forgave, and still forgives us of our sins; His mercy endures forever remember? We have reason to be humble and thankful to God. Even if we are eating canned ham, or a hamburger at McDonald's on the holiday of giving thanks, we can find a reason to be thankful.
For no other reason than for He is good, and His mercy endures forever; we should gather together and give thanks to God when we celebrate anything. The countries that have a certain date set aside are blessed nations that take the time to thank God for His bountiful goodness. In many countries out there they do not have big turkeys, or hams, or enough food to feed an army; and yet they take their own days to give thanks in their own way though mostly private and unseen by anyone but God.

Celebrating is good, it is ordered by His Word; throughout the whole Bible there is mention of the Lord ordaining, ordering, directing and giving reason to celebrate His goodness. Take time this week to be thankful for His mercy endures for ever and ever.

A lot of people getting together generally means there will be fights, or disagreements at best over something. This is nothing that happens only in your family, trust me I know families and friends coming together will cause friction. I still encourage it because there is so much good that can happen when people get together to thank God. In James the 4th chapter this morning I read some great thoughts on drawing closer to God. When we give thanks to Him for the small things first this opens the door to communication with Him. In this way we can communicate better with one another as well. As we draw nearer in our personal daily prayer and reading time we will find it easier to deal with family and friends in contentions that arise.

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Gods word asks this question as we read the first verse. It goes on to give some really great advice on how to deal with problems both with ourselves and those we can't seem to get along with;it all comes down with being humble before the Lord. When we ourselves have asked forgiveness for our own sins, it is much easier to help someone else find forgiveness for theirs. When we forgive someone for a sin of omission and point them in the right direction we will be in a much better position to humble ourselves before the Lord God.

Forgiveness proceeds thankfulness. Thankfulness causes humbleness. Humbleness draws us nearer to Him where we receive forgiveness. What a wonderful circle. All of this is bound in the Lord's mercy and lasts forever, because He loves us.

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say,God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
James 4:1-10

Which way you cook the turkey is not as important as how you share the time together.
If you are quarreling about small 
things like too bake boil or fry how will you find time to share His love with one another? When I first married my husband was often heard quoting “Don't sweat the small stuff” and occasionally he added that there was no big stuff either. He has a great way about him that can keep you calm in a heavy situation with that attitude. Nothing is worth quarreling about or over; “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” I want God's favor not His opposition, I will choose to humble myself. That includes with others who oppose me, I will humble myself and give Him praise. I will humble myself and allow my son to cook the turkey his way, because after all it is not about me.
I want God to favor me today so I will humble myself in His sight; He sees all things so that means I need to be humbling myself always.

Dear Heavenly Father, remind me that I choose to be humble today. Help me to have a clean and pure and up right heart and mind that I may be found humble in your sight and gain your favor in all that I do. Not just for me, but for the good of those around me and for Your glory and honor. In Jesus name, amen.

Suggested reading: James 4:1-17, James 5:1-20, 1 Peter 1:1-21, Psalm 107:1-33, Psalm 118:1-29