Come Closer

closer to God

Come Closer!

Subtitle: Intimacy with God
Ephesians 5: 18-21 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God. – Being subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (AMP)
What does submitting to one another have to do with intimacy with you God?
God: I cannot have a relationship with ANYONE who does not have any regard for MY BODY, the church.
I am the Body and the body is made up of your brothers and sisters – and we are one part of the body and if any part of the body is against the rest of the body, it’s not complete and I cannot reside in that mess and since God will not walk away from the body, I will spit out those that brings division.
We are required to submit to one another in the fear of the Lord.
What is this fear of the Lord? I am supposed to serve my brother and sisters and when I do, it pleases God – it brings sweet aroma to Him?

This is not the fear we try to overcome in many areas of our lives.
This is a fear that if we do not ask God to search our hearts and see our motives, that we might find ourselves outsides Gods will.
This is a Holy Fear, a fear that keeps me in the confines of God’s guidance and love.
I used guidance because, when we are guided and we abide by the rules set, then we can enjoy the love that comes with obedience. This is the reason we enjoy football – Seahawks games – there are rules, otherwise, the love for the game would not be there if in the field did whatever they wanted.
This is not a call to be scared of God – walking tip toeing around God – it’s being consciously aware that if you go out of the confines of Christ, there is danger.
1 Peter 5:8 ”Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.
Its walking around with the awareness of the surrounding danger around you. That if you do not stay in the confines of God’s protection, you will be subject to danger.

Example of Safari: (Picture) Masai Mara =583 mi²
God is saying that we need to treat each other, with a Holy fear that if we do not walk in love – Continually, we will find ourselves outside the protection of God.
God said, I will not allow you in my courts (presence) if you don’t love my children, your brothers and sisters. If you don’t esteem your brothers and sisters. I weigh you motives and I know your heart.
Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]; 2 and walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance
It’s like saying that you love your neighbor, but you cannot stand their kids, you like her but you hate the husband, you love one but hate the other? Though they are of the same family.
Wait a minute…that does happen…. See in our human nature, this does not compare well.

The best way I can describe this that when Jesus was sent to come and dies on the cross for our sins, Imagine if He went around Jerusalem saying, I will love on that one, I will love on that other one, not that one…. sometimes on that one…maybe that one when they change this and that.
Yet, we have been commanded that we need to love each other with a Godly Fear, the same Godly that Jesus had when he said its finished for you and I. God will not be intimate with us unless we imitate Christ.
There is beauty in being intimate with God- being in a familiar, close, private and personal relationship with the maker of the world.
Psalms 25: 14 – The secret [of the wise counsel] of the Lord is for those who fear Him,
And He will let them know His covenant and reveal to them [through His word] its [deep, inner] meaning.
Yes, God has mysteries that He had hidden from us, and the only way you are going to know them is by obeying and fearing God. Being intimate with Him.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves.

We have been called to hold each other higher than ourselves!
Luke 10:30-37 -Parable of the Good Samaritan
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant[b] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[c] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
A guy is beaten and everything is stolen from him- He is left wounded and with no hope
A Priest and a Levite comes by and don’t help
It takes a foreigner – a despised Samaritan to help this guy.
He is compassionate – He takes the time to bandage his wounds and then pours oil and wine on him. He is committed, invested and sacrificing his time and money.
Every day we are facing people who have been beaten, stripped down by the devil and their self-esteem, their self-worth is stolen. We must be constantly aware of our surrounding, ready to share the hope that we have been given.

This readiness will only be achieved if the Body of Christ – The church is healthy. That we are serving one another in Godly fear, that when someone from the outside comes looking for help, its becomes second nature to love on them with a Godly fear.
It’s easy to point fingers at the priest and Levites. Why didn’t they help him, furthermore they are the one who are charged to the people, the fact is that, Jesus doesn’t tell us why this two passed on the other side, we can come up with all conclusion but the fact i:
That Jesus saw it fit to take the time and show how a foreigner, (you and I) can have a heart of Christ. How we can serve each other without any expectation that someone else will do it – Let us encourage one another, don’t wait or expect someone else to do it. You are the good Samaritan. You are the heart of Christ.
Have a word picture – He finds this guy in the middle of the road. He risks his own life by stopping, he takes care of him and then takes him to an inn and commits to continue to nature him until he is well.
And this was for a complete stranger- How much more are we supposed to serve those that are our brothers and sisters?
We have been called to be our brother’s keeper, to esteem each other, to only say those things that edifies the church- This is your reasonable service. It’s a command.

This is the only way you will be intimate with God. He cannot only reside in you if you are not willing to serve one another as Christ loved you.
The other day, I was thinking of how we sing that His blood was poured out for my sake. And the word poured out stuck out. And when I think of pour- I think of having a basin full of water- and dumped out
But it wasn’t like that, it was drop by drop – He was beaten and His skin was tore apart, He bleed drop by drop, as He carried the cross, the cross pressed on the open wounds and He bleed more, as He was being nailed on the cross, he bleed more…
He slowly bleed out and every drop of blood, was because He was imitating His father’s love, the love that God has for you. Every strike, He would say: you are worthy, you are worthy. Every nail driven in Him, you are worthy. This is the same love you are being commanded to imitate.

Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]; 2 and walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance
This evening He is not asking you to carry the cross man, to get whipped and pour out your blood-
What He is saying is that, I take my children very seriously. I take the person next you seriously and I charge you to do the same.
We have to have our house is order, the body of Christ, – Church has to be united,
Intimacy with God will only happen if you are willing to imitate Jesus and care for your brothers and sisters like He has shown us.
Matthew 20:28 The Son of man came not to be served but to serve others and to Give His life as a ransom for many.
Saul persecute Christians
Acts 9:4- and he fell to the ground and heard a voice [from heaven] saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting and oppressing Me?”

Saul why are you persecuting me? – Jesus was not physically being persecuted, but His people were, and so was He.
How are you prepared to answer that question? Saul , Saul, why are you persecuting and oppressing me?
Romans 12:5 so we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other].
What happens when you have a small stone in your sock or shoe…Have you ever thought about how small that pebble is compared to the whole body. Can you run or walk your best? No- Let us serve one another with Godly fear least we become that little stone that slows the church to run this race with endurance.
Psalms 139: 23 Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts. And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
God is yearning for an intimate relationship with you; first come closer to your brothers and sister and this will become a sweet fragrance unto the Lord.

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