Come Near To God

IMG_3946I love the verse “Come near to God and He will come near to you…”  James 4:8.  I love it because it reminds me that all I have to do for God to come near to me, is to come near to Him.  He is always there…..waiting.  He is always there just waiting for us to come to Him.  Waiting for us to ask for His help.  All we have to do is ask for what we need.  Wisdom. Knowledge.  Patience. Understanding. Humility.  Whatever it is you are in need of, only He can provide you with it.

I think it’s important to remember how that verse reads.  It does not say that God comes near to you, so come near to Him.  You must make the first move.  You must come near to Him first.   He has given us choice and free will, so it is always our choice whether or not we go to God.  He is always there waiting, but it is up to us to make the first move. 

I find it very comforting knowing He is always there for me.  In fact, I thank Him for that every morning.  I thank Him simply for being there, for listening, for caring, for forgiving, and for loving me. What a great gift!

This morning I went for a run after my daughter left for school.  During my run I had a conversation with God.  I prayed, let Him know how thankful I am, what I want to work on today and how I need His help.  He gave me some to-do’s for the day and some things to focus on like He usually does, but today He gave me a little more.   When I was done with my run I was walking back to our house, and as I got to our house I noticed how the sun was coming through the trees just so and you could see the rays of light shining down to the ground.  (the picture above is one I took this morning from my yard)  It was so pretty and not something I usually see.  I immediately knew it was a little gift from God.  I felt He was telling me He enjoyed our talk, and He wanted to remind me that He is always there listening to me and loving me. 

What a great way to start your day!


Do You Love Others As You Should Be?

Love-2Jesus gave us our two great commandments in Mark 12:30-31.  The first is fairly easy for me.  “…love the Lord with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind, and all of your strength. ”  I can do that.  He is so worthy of my love.   That one is easy for me.  The second command is to “Love your neighbor as yourself”.  Wow.   I will be the first to admit that I definitely need some work on this one.  The Bible even says that if you do not love others, then you do not know God.  Ouch. 

God is serious when He commands us to love others as ourselves.  We are to treat others exactly how we want to be treated. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31

The Bible doesn’t say you only need to love those that are easy to love, or those that deserve love, or those that are nice to you.  No, the Bible gives a blanket statement of “love others as yourself” and that is how God intended it to be.  It is for everyone. 

Now, if someone is untrustworthy, or mean, etc.  You must forgive them and love them as yourself, but you do not have to be friends with them or hang around them.  That would not be smart.  So God doesn’t expect you to blindly trust people.  That is not one of His commands to us.  He just wants you to forgive others who have wronged you and love them.  Do what you can for them, but if they treat you badly, then you can stay away from them as much as possible.  Do not get that confused.  You can forgive and love others from afar.  God does not want you to harbor any hatred in your heart.  It only ends up hurting you.  Loving others and forgiving others frees you of that hurt, but it doesn’t mean that you then allow those people to hurt you more.  I have struggled with this concept in the past so I want to make it clear.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2.   This verse is a call to not only love our neighbors, but to be patient with them.  Aren’t we all guilty of being harder on others sometimes?  I definitely have been guilty of getting frustrated or even angry with someone for doing something I myself have done.  How does that help anyone, including me? 

Start today and practice loving others, forgiving others and being patient with others.  Reach out to someone today, show that you love them.  Do not let others frustrate you today in line, or in traffic, etc.  Just love them, forgive them and realize they may be having a rough day today.  Be the smiling face that changes their day, not the frowning face that just adds to their pain or sadness.

Can you imagine what the world would be like, or even your neighborhood, if we all adopted this philosophy?

‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. – Leviticus 19:18

Relevant Magazine

I was working with a client recently, and as we were clearing off her dining room table (which wasn’t being used for dining), and we found a copy of Relevant Magazine.  I had never see it, nor heard of it.   The tag line under the title of the magazine says: God. Life. Progressive Culture.  I was intrigued.

When I got home that day I looked up their website, and was very impressed.  They have a feature where you can look at the entire current issue on line.  Very cool.  So, I did.  And I liked what I saw.  I told my husband about it and showed him the site, and we have now subscribed.  We do not have our first copy yet, but it is on its way.

They talk about issues that are….well, relevant.  So it’s a great name.  They cover lots of music related news, interviews with bands, articles on current issues, entertainment, churches, missions, cultures, etc.  It seems like a very interesting magazine.  I knew my husband would be interested because he has a music related business, and he is the biggest music lover I know.  And he, like me, is an even bigger fan of God…so, it made sense to see what this magazine was all about.

I, personally, sometimes struggle with how much music and entertainment we should allow ourselves to watch, listen to, and read.  There is so much out there that can clog our brains with information that is not helpful at all, and can even be damaging.   But it seems this magazine addresses those issues and concerns, and will hopefully give me a better idea of who’s music and movies I should be paying more attention to, an vice versa.

I’ll let you know our review of the first issue when we recieve in the next few weeks. 

Here is their site, if you want to check it out:

Relevant Magazine