The Psalmist had a special relationship with his God.  It seems that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God would hear him when he cried out to Him.

~Psalm 3:4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

Can you say this of your relationship with God? Do you absolutely know for certain that God is hearing you when you cry? If you cannot, then you are practicing religion rather than nurturing a relationship with your Heavenly Father. Think on this for a bit. A child never questions whether his father hears his cries.  So stop and meditate on your relationship with God.  Do you have one? If not, I suggest you read the Gospel of John through three times. Then continue reading the rest of the Gospels. You will soon see what Jesus was all about! Pray and ask the Father for help as you seek to grow closer to Him!

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I stand in awe of the God of all creation when I look at the moon and all the stars in the heavens! As a believer, I have a special relationship with God – He is my Heavenly Father, He is my Shepherd, He is my Friend. The Bible has much to say about the fear of the Lord. There are 30 verses with that same phrase. One such verse is:

~Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

This fear has nothing to do with being afraid of God and His judgment. We are no longer judged because we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour and His blood is what cleanses us from all unrighteousness. This places us in a different position than the unsaved. The unsaved have every right to be afraid of God and His judgment. But to the believer, we fear him as we do our own earthly father – a reverential fear.

What blessed peace is brought to the heart of the believer knowing that he is a child of the King and no longer needs to be afraid!

There is a difference between fearing God, and being afraid of God; the Godly fear God as a child does his father, the wicked are afraid of God as the prisoner is of the judge.
(Watson, Religion Our True Interest, 9)
Thomas Watson

~Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Do you truly want to be close to God in this new year? First of all, there is only one way to be close to God and that is through His Son, Jesus Christ. Only Christ’s shed blood on the cross forgives us of our sins. The Old Testament saints looked “forward” to the cross and knew that their Messiah would redeem them. They knew that their own works would not draw them any close to God. They looked forward to a better hope!

We, on the other hand, look “back” to the cross and know that nothing we do or say will bring us salvation, let alone draw us closer to God.

~Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Our hope is in Christ Jesus! He is the only way to a close relationship with the Heavenly Father. People claim to have this relationship – but do they really? What, exactly, is involved in their relationship? Is it their good works? Is it the money they tithe? These things are good but they don’t earn us an audience with God. The only thing that will get us closer to God is His Son! Nothing more … nothing less … nothing else!

~James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Cleansing and purifying our hearts can only be done by Jesus Christ’s blood. And thus, this devotional leads back to the first verse! Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you!

The Psalmist had a special relationship with his God.  It seems that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God would hear him when he cried out to Him.

~Psalm 3:4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

Can you say this of your relationship with God? Do you absolutely know for certain that God is hearing you when you cry? If you cannot, then you are practicing religion rather than nurturing a relationship with your Heavenly Father. Think on this for a bit. A child never questions whether his father hears his cries.  So stop and meditate on your relationship with God.  Do you have one?

~Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

We know that God hears everything – He even knows what we are thinking!

~Psalm 94:9 He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?

There is nothing that gets by Him. We can’t slide something passed Him so let’s not deceive ourselves. But how many times have we heard that God doesn’t seem to hear our prayers? Could it be that we have allowed sin to separate us from Him? When your child is continuously disobedient, does he get everything he wants from you? Why should it be any different with God? It’s not that God doesn’t hear our prayers, it is because we have not been meeting the criteria for answered prayer. The Word says:

~John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Ouch! So what’s our excuse? Are we praying with selfish motives? Are we praying but yet still clinging on to sin in our lives? Just as our earthly parents won’t reward us when we’re defiant, neither will our Heavenly Father. Our earthly family can be used as a good learning tool when it comes to the born-again believer’s relationship with God.

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~Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

I love this verse! It shows us two depictions of our relationship with Christ:

  1. Disciple and master
  2. Servant and Lord

The definition of the word “disciple” means pupil and the word “master” means teacher.   Christ is our teacher and through His Word He teaches all we need to know to serve Him.  Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1) and, therefore, has all authority to teach us.

The second relationship is servant and lord.  The word “servant” means bond slave and “lord” means supreme ruler!  No servant ignores his master’s commands.  No servant goes against what his master has told him to do.  A servant does not belong to himself but he belongs to his master.

Therefore, the born-again believer should obey the Lord without question.  The Word of God, our Master’s words, clearly outlines what He expects of us and as His servants, we must obey.

The world laughs at the Bible and anything that relates to it.  The world laughs at true Christianity and tries to make a mockery of anything holy.  Christians are depicted as lunatics and the world has great joy in making fun at Christ’s expense.  How very sad!  But Christ shall have the last word.

~Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

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~Psalm 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

As you meditate on your relationship with God, can you speak the words in this Psalm and mean it?  Do you thirst after God with the same intensity as a deer would seek water after running through the woods?  Do you desire a close relationship with Him with such intensity?

When I was a child, I absolutely loved being with my parents.  I felt a sense of security when my Dad was home from work.  When he entered the house, it seemed as though nothing could harm me.  When I became a child of God, the day I was born-again, I felt this same sense of security.  I now had the same type of relationship with the Heavenly Father as I did with my own father.  The child of God can run to the Father with the same confidence and assurance as he would to his earthly father.  As we grow in Christ toward spiritual maturity through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, we desire a closer fellowship with God than before.

Our hearts should pant/desire a closer relationship with God just as that deer desires a nice cool drink from the brook after an exhausting run through the forest.

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