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What a Promise!

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01_Jan_What a Promise 1
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"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”
James 4: 8.

What better way to start a brand-new year than to draw near to the One who knows the end from the beginning, whose timing is perfect, who knows what is best, and whose burden is light?

If we are not in the habit of doing so already, now is as good a time as any to start! And, what a wonderful habit this is… making the time each day to draw near to God our Maker and Master Planner.

He knows us better than we know ourselves and has blessed us with the wisdom of His Word for our guidance. What immeasurable grace He has bestowed upon us in expressing His desire for us to go to Him for guidance, for strength, for wisdom, and for everything else that we need.

He knows how prone we are to be diverted from our path, and lose our way, getting ourselves snared, distracted, or even in danger. But those who draw near to Him are in a place of security and safety. Nothing can harm us without His permission. In fact everything that comes our way has to pass through his divine filter first!

The end from the beginning...

That is why when living in a world that is so uncertain and filled with despair, God’s people can move forward with confidence because we are linked with the One who knows the end from the beginning, and everything in between. He has everything in His complete control. 

The insanity that we see around us would cause us to despair, were we not to know that this is the characteristic of end times, and although it is not nice to witness or even live in, we do know that this darkness will soon give way to light and to joy. This gloom isn't going to last forever for God's people. Jesus our beloved Lord and Saviour said: "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16: 33.

Because He has overcome the world, we can also! When we “draw near to Him” we get to see amazing things happen. We may have to pass through some choppy waters, or fiery furnaces, but He has promised He would always be with his people, and we can rest with confidence in Him who always keeps His promises. All of this what seems like endless suffering is not going to go on forever, it will come to an end, and the best is yet to come for His trusting people… very soon!

Perfect timing...

Every one of us who knows something of the certain future for God’s people have a tendency to want it all to happen now! We want to be with the One "who loved us and gave himself for us." Galatians 2: 20. The thought of waiting any longer is daunting! But all of our times are in His hands as He waits for others to come into the good of His loving and tender mercy. The good-news message of the Gospel is still being heralded far and wide, and while this is so, people are still coming to the Lord Jesus for the salvation of their precious souls. 

When He comes for His people one day very soon, may it be at a time when we are ready and waiting as well. While we are busy with our daily responsibilities, may it be with 'an eye on the sky’ while doing everything we do for His honour and glory.

“Draw near to Him”; for the closer we walk with Him the more acutely aware of how perfect His timing is, and the greater will be our ability to wait patiently.

He knows what is best... 

Sometimes we find ourselves in prayer about something of importance to us and we wait for an answer from God. Sometimes He says ‘No’, sometimes He says ‘yes’, sometimes He says ‘wait’. There are times when we might question why God has allowed something to happen in our lives because of the pain it may have caused. But be comforted by the fact that He knows about it all, and is monitoring every moment of the trial with the intention of teaching us priceless life lessons or elements of His glorious character. Upon hindsight, we would not forfeit what we know for an easier life… ever!

“Draw near to God”; for it is easier to trust in Him when our knowledge of Him grows deeper each day, and when we are acutely aware of His promise of nearness.

My burden is light...

We often carry unnecessary burdens that were never meant for us to bear. We overload our days with responsibilities until we reach breaking point, and our lives feel like they are about to implode. However, the Lover of our souls has a burden tailored especially for us that is designed to build us up, and not wear us out! But how can any burden do something like this when after all,  a burden is … a burden!

There is a reward when we respond to the invitation of the Lord Jesus to:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11: 28-30.

What an irresistible invitation this is! The Lord Jesus Himself is inviting the likes of you and me to come just the way we are with all of our burdens, whatever they may be.

For some, it may be the burden of their sin. One day long ago He bore that burden on the cross at Calvary so that we could be free from sin’s burden, and all the guilt and shame that comes with it, with the awful, and eternal consequences. With drops of His precious blood He paid in full the debt we owe to God so that we can of a certainty know the joy and comfort of His promise to: “Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.”

To those of us carrying burdens of the weight of our cares and concerns comes His promise of rest for our souls when we bring them all to Him. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5: 7. He cares for His people with a tender loving care like that of a shepherd caring for his sheep.

But how is this accomplished in our lives? The answer is in the burden the Lord invites us to carry instead of the burdens of our own making. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

There is no safer place to be, than to find ourselves in the place where Mary of Bethany was found ‘at His feet and hearing His word.’ (See Luke 10: 39.) The more time we set aside to learn of Him, the more of a wonderful habit it will become until we find that this is an absolute necessary occupation each day of our lives for the rest, the calmness, and the serenity we need in our busy lives in uncertain times like these.

“My yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” said our Lord, and when we do our part and “draw near to God” we will find that He will keep His side of the promise and “draw near to us”, and we will not ever be burden bearing alone again! Walking with our beloved Lord yoked together with Him, we will move with Him, stop when He stops, go this way and that way wherever He so desires, and soon learn to anticipate His movements because we will begin to understand His mind and will.

What a precious promise God makes to those who dare to do as He asks, and what better time to do so than right now, this moment at the beginning of 2023? 

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”
James 4: 8.

“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
Numbers 6: 24-26.

With love and every blessing for
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