Daily Update #231

 Deut 4:1-9 

7 ​What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?​’ 

The amazing difference between Christianity and all other faiths is the presence and relationship with God. No other faith actually promises this. Other faiths teach there is a god, but you could not possibly be with god. Or some teach that actually there is no god at all and that death is just a different state of being. Many people around us believe there is nothing at all, atheists (which derives from ​atheos​, people without hope, Eph 2:12). But Christianity stands out because rather than set out to ‘find God’, God has come to us. We have a sure and certain hope.  

 Verse 7 opens up this passage for me. It introduces the favour God shows us, the willingness to be  with his people, his commitment in spite of our failings, that he listens to our prayers ,that he cares is attentive when we call, compassionate when we hurt, delights in being with us as we can with him.

That we are loved by God. That we have hope, assurance and an ever faithful Lord and Saviour who  promised to be with us always. 

Israel, and so the church as the subsequent recipients of these promises, are to stand out as people  to whom God is near. That means that when we pray, when we speak, when we act, we can do so  knowing we are neither far from God and without hope. There is risk of becoming complacent, which    Moses warns us against, in verse 9, ‘Watch yourselves closely, so that you do not forget the things  your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live.

How can we keep our life with God alive, fresh, present?  

Make time to be with him. Talk to him. Let him speak to you through his word, listen to his still small  voice in prayer, take him with you when you are walking, shopping, making essential journeys by car…   
  …just don’t leave him without him. The world needs to see that God IS near us.

Sovereign God,
the defence of those who trust in you
and the strength of those who suffer: 
 look with mercy on our affliction
and deliver us through our mighty Saviour Jesus Christ.

Almighty God, 
in Christ you make all things new: 
transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Tomorrow’s readings  – Jer 7:23-28; Ps 95.1-2, 6-end; Luke 11:14-23