April 29, 2021 — Coming from a Distance

“I was reading in Mark’s gospel earlier this morning,” Stan began, “and I saw a single phrase that described me perfectly.”

“A single phrase? What was it?”

“It has to do with Mark’s description of when Jesus fed the four thousand people with a small number of loaves of bread and a few fish.”

“That was quite a story,” I commented.  “Jesus did that twice, once with five thousand and then again with four thousand.  Amazing how He fed all those people.”

“That’s right,” Stan replied, “but it’s not the feeding that caught my attention.  It was how Jesus described some of the people.”

“Described some of the people? In what way?”

“Mark records that Jesus said that some of the people had traveled a distance to be with Him.”

“So?”

“That’s a perfect description of me at one point in my life,” Stan replied.  “I was a long distance from Jesus and what He had for me.  There was a huge distance between me and God in Christ, a distance that had to be closed in order for me to come to faith.”

“And how did that happen?” I asked.

“It was God’s work,” Stan replied. “He created in me the desire to know Him, the desire to draw closer to Him.  And as I chose to draw near to Him, He responded in a magnificent way by drawing closer to me.  And on and on it goes.”

“However,” Stan cautioned, “there’s always the danger of allowing a distance to grow between me and God.  It’s something I have to be intentional about.  I came a long distance and I don’t want to ever have a distance between me and God.  I want only to be as close as possible to Him in an ever-deepening personal relationship.”

__________________________________

Bible verses to consider:

. . . and some of them have come from a distance.  Mark 5:3.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  James 4:8.

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Matthew 6:33.

Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.  Matthew 6:7.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you awakened in me the desire to want to know you, the desire to want to draw closer to you.  Thank you, too, for responding and drawing closer to me.  As you know all too well, I was a long distance from you, but you drew me to you, and I am eternally grateful.  I  confess that there are too many times when I tend to allow a distance to grow between us.  Please help me in following your lead so that there is no distance between us, only a deeper and closer personal relationship for as long as you keep me on this side of eternity.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Are you close to God, or is there a distance between you and Him?  If you sense there is a distance, why is that?  Do you believe that as you choose to draw near to God He will respond and draw near to you?  Why or why not?  If you would like to be closer to God, rest assured that He would like to be closer to you! If that is something you would like, do you know how it can and will happen? Ask, seek, knock. You will find and it will be opened!

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