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Close, Closer, Closest

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kids whose parents let go of them in a candy store. Moses was eager to see the glory of God.

[Scripture often speaks of the potential danger of an encounter with God. Psalm 76:7; 103:3; Isaiah 2:10; 6:1-7; John 1:18; 14:8-9; 1 Timothy 6:16). If a person survived the contact, it was because of the Lord’s restraint, often in the form of a specific provision. The contrast between seeing God’s face and his back is figurative for full and partial revelation.]

[Moses wanted to see God’s glory. He wanted assurance of God’s presence with him, Aaron, and Joshua, and he desired to know that presence experientially. Because we are finite and morally imperfect, we cannot see God as he really is and live, apart from Jesus Christ (John 14:9). The good news is that Jesus has promised to show himself to those who love him (John 14:21).

 

Moses went from trying to get God to send someone else to lead the people, to “show me your glory.”
Earlier, I spoke about how the veil Moses wore is symbolic about the veil being torn in the temple (Matthew 27:51) at the death of Jesus on the cross. The Temple had three main parts: the courts, the Holy Place (where only the priests could enter), and the Most Holy Place (where only the high priest could enter, and only once a year, to atone for the sins of the nation; Leviticus 16).]

 

The curtain separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn in two from top to bottom at Jesus’ death, symbolizing that the barrier between God and humanity was removed. Now all people are free to approach God because of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:1-14; 10:19-22).

There are no more excuses for those who choose not to draw closer to God. Some time ago, someone shared with me that the presence of God was like standing under one of those black lights you might see on all night bowling. Black lights pick up every lint and particle on your clothes and sometimes on your teeth (Smile). But the truth is, most people forget about the black light and enjoy their bowling night. After a while, the black light seems obscure to you.

This is where Moses' relationship with God had grown too. Jesus encouraged Philip that he could see the Father too. Please read it aloud to yourself. "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (John 14:9-1218-21 KJV). The Greek word manifest (emphanizō) means to appear declare, inform. To show oneself, come to view, appear, to make known.

[Jesus is the visible, tangible image of the invisible God. He is the complete revelation of what God is like. Jesus explained to Philip, who wanted to see the Father, that to know Jesus is to know God. The search for God, for truth, and for reality, ends in Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:1-4.)]

John certainly understood as he grew closer to Jesus. There are times when the disciples were with Jesus that John was described as being in the bosom of Jesus (John 13:23-25). John was very close to Jesus. There was nothing morally corrupt about his leaning on Jesus. Remember, my beloved, Jesus was pure and sinless. The Greek word bosom (kolpos) is the front of the body between the arms.

 

Have you ever just wanted someone to hold you without it escalating to anything else. Some people just want contentment from the heart and arms of someone they care about. Being loved is the most powerful motivation in the world! Our ability to love is often shaped by our experience of love. Some people don't know how to love because they have never experienced true love.

Some wives never draw close to their husband's because their love is at arm's length because their love maybe material, or physical. But when these external things fade away, you are left with nothing to embrace. Jesus knew John fully and loved him fully.

We cannot know the depth of Jesus’ love unless we are willing to face the fact that he knows us completely. Every day, thousands and thousands of people search the web for that love that has eluded them. They are running all over the earth for a love that is as close as their next heartbeat.

Why can't they see it? They don't know who the culprit is. Just read this.
{3} "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: {4} In whom the god (Satan) of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 KJV).

It’s hard to love if you are blinded by a corrupt worldly love. Many people are defining love that brings pain, sorrow, and unfulfilled misery. Please read (Romans 1:18-32).

[The Good News is open and revealed to everyone, except to those who refuse to believe it. Satan, “the god of this world,” works to deceive, and he has blinded those who don’t believe in Christ (see 11:14-15). The allure of money, power, and pleasure blinds people to the light of Christ’s Good News. Those who reject Christ and prefer their own pursuits have unknowingly made Satan their god.]

Jesus certainly established a close relationship with his disciples. Jesus loved spending time with Lazarus's family. Jesus wanted a relationship with the Jewish people, but many rejected him (John 1:10,11; Matthew 23:37-39). To reject Jesus, is rejecting the only love that gives you love eternally.

Jesus had a closeness with Peter, James, and John. They were considered his inner circle of friends. Example The mount of transfiguration. Just as Moses was never alone, the disciples of Jesus were assured that they would never be leader less, defenseless, or powerless.

Talk about someone being close, closer, and closest. The Holy Spirit would be their guide, their leader, their power. When someone fills you, that's as close as someone can get to you. You see, my beloved friends, the Christian life is all about oneness and closeness with God.

People who do not know Jesus in this manner are like people who know about their neighbors but never really know their neighbors. If you don't know Jesus, you are missing the closeness of your living existence. But remember, my unsaved friends, your life has an expiration date into darkness, mine does not.

Why am I so confident? Just read Jesus' own words,
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28 KJV). God (Jesus) is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23:19).

Whatever God has said, the believers can know that they have eternal life. Jesus had all power and authority to give eternal life to those who believed in him (Spiritually born again). True, authentic believers know they have eternal life (1 John 5:10-15).

Remember my friends, Jesus is called the word of God. He’s God’s message about what is real, true, and good. Joshua told the people to come closer and listen to the words of God. The Lord is still saying this to America today. This country is turning away from God's voice. Corruption, crime, and discontent are running rampant across the nation. God's words, his actions, his reactions, his miracles, and his parables, communicates God and his plan to us.


🗣📢 Last words: In the Old Testament, there were two men who understood what friendship was, David and Johnathan. They never allowed outside corruption to destroy their deep care for each other, not even their families. The Bible says their hearts (souls) were knit together (1 Samuel 18:1-3). David loved him as his own soul. They a covenant of friendship.

This sounds similarly to the relationship husbands should have with their wives. Husbands should be close, closer, and close as they can be to their wives.
{28} So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. {29} For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:  (Ephesians 5:28-29 KJV).

When you tie the knot with someone, both should share in staying close to keep the knot tied "until death do you part." When you draw close to someone, they may inevitably draw close to you. "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you (James 4:7-10).

I recall speaking to a friend of mine (who was not a Christian) told me he would believe in God or go to church, but he said he wouldn't because there were to many hypocrites. I thought for a moment and told him “Hey, you're probably right."

He was kind of surprised at my agreeing with him. However, I told him I wasn't finished. I proceeded to tell him that the hypocrites are closer to God than he was. He started to get a little agitated that I would make such a statement.

But I explained that if he and the hypocrite is standing in line, and God is at the end of the line, the hypocrite is closer to God than he was. I then asked him, why would you let someone keep you from drawing closer to a man who sticks closer than any brother (Proverbs 18:24; John 15:13.)

Jesus laid his life down for you so you can walk around hypocrites and enter into a real living relationship with Jesus. The man later attended church and kept on wanting to learn and forgot about the hypocrites in church. Praise God!

[We see loneliness everywhere; many people feel cut off and alienated from others. Being in a crowd just makes people more aware of their isolation. Lonely people don’t need to hear “Have a nice day.” They need friends who will stick close, listen, care, and offer help when it is needed.]

Covid may have changed some ways we draw closer, but God is always approachable. Are you looking for true peace in the midst of your fears? You can decide today to move closer to God with your heart wide open. I certainly want to pray for all those whose hearts have been shut down from hurt and loneliness. Please leave a prayer request. True Christians can relax into the obvious truth of change because we have a Savior who will never abandon us. 


 

The love of Jesus frees us to really live for him. Have you accepted that love? Just move a little closer💕

🛐 Here’s a prayer you can pray to move closer to God. "Heavenly Father, thank you for your glowing presence today. When you speak, all the earth shall hear. Lord, I thank you for the gift of life. Lord, I repent from every sin and open my heart towards yours. God be Lord over my life today. Have complete control of my life and me. Heavenly Father, help me to resist temptation and run to your presence. Jesus help me to abide in you and you in me.

 

Holy Spirit help me to be close to God. Lord, help me to be like yourself and conform me to your image. Lord, today I want to enjoy the transformation that comes by being in your presence. Lord, nourish my spirit from now until am in your presence. Lord, whatever that is making me lose my focus in drawing close to you, take it away from me, and fill me with your love. Thank you, Lord, forever, in Jesus’ name, amen."

📕 Read more to get closer.
(Luke 16:22; John 1:18; Jeremiah 29:13; John 6:44; Matthew 5:6; Revelation 3:20

Get to know Jesus. Stay away from evil temptations. Read the Bible every day. Seek God wholeheartedly. Pray every day (even if you don't feel like it).


If you would like to know Jesus as your Savior, please read the drop-down page entitled "How to know Jesus."

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"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you."

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Pastor Todd Boxley

Worship Center Ministry

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