DEVELOPING YOUR FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD  (1)             James 4:7-10

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:8) “For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.” (Proverbs 3:32)

You are as close to God as you choose to be. The Third way to develop your friendship with God is to choose to be honest. (3) I must choose to be honest with God. The first building block of a deeper friendship with God is complete honesty – about your faults and feelings God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, but He does insist on complete honesty. God’s friends in the Bible were not perfect. Fortunately, because of God’s grace, Jesus is still the “friend of sinners” (Matthew 11:19) God allowed Abraham to question and challenge Him over the destruction of the city of Sodom, negotiating what it would take to spare the city down from fifty righteous to only ten. God also listened patiently to David’s many accusations of unfairness, betrayal, and abandonment. God did not slay Jeremiah when he claimed that God had tricked him. Job was allowed to vent his bitterness during his ordeal. (Job 42:17) Hold Moses he would keep his promise to give the Israelites the Promised Land (Exodus 33:12-17) People often blame God for hurts caused by others. This creates what William Backus calls “your hidden rift with God.” Bitterness is the greatest barrier to friendship with God: Why would I want to be God’s friend if He allowed this? The antidote, of course, is to realize that God always acts in your best interest even when it is painful. God gave us the book of Psalms – a worship manual, full of doubts, fears, resentment, and deep passion combined with thanksgiving, praise and statements of faith. (Rick Warren)

PRAYER LINE: Father, strengthen my resolve to live by Your wisdom and develop enduring friendship with You. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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Hope comes with help from God and others qualified by God

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