February 18, 2011
Lori Fairchild We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our "Friday Friends." So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend,"
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness' (Jeremiah 31:3).
Friend To Friend
This past Christmas, I lovingly set up my nativity set on the hearth. I placed Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus in the stable surrounded by the animals and the wise men. Because our nativity set comes with an angel, I put the angel and the shepherds a little distance away, as if they were in a field nearby.
A couple of hours later, I looked over at our fireplace to find the shepherds of our nativity set squeezed in next to the wise men in the stable. The angel was there, too. All of the figurines were placed with their faces toward Jesus and their backs to the room. My 7-year-old daughter had rearranged things more to her liking.
I started to move them back - after all, it looked better with the shepherds a little ways off and the figurines facing outward - but then I decided my 7-year-old had it right. She wanted all of the people to be in the stable where they could be near Jesus. So, for the month of December, our nativity set figurines stayed huddled around Jesus, backs to the world, a reminder for us to focus on the most important thing in the world - being near Jesus.
Too often, I spend my time where I had placed the shepherds - a short distance away from Jesus. I'll get close, but not too close. Why? If I get too close then God might ask me to do something that makes me uncomfortable or expect me to deal with the sin in my life. Too often, I want to stand out in the field and hear the wonderful news that Jesus came to save me, but I don't want to do anything about it.
God isn't content to let us be far away from Him. He wants us near. Jeremiah 31:3 says that He draws us near. Have you ever dealt with a skittish animal or a shy child? When you want them to come close to you, you offer them things that they want to draw them in. God offers us the thing that we want more than anything - unconditional love. He loves us for who He made us to be. And He uses that love to draw us closer to Him.
When we're physically close to someone, we can know things about them that we can't know when we're far away. We can read their body language, which gives us clues to knowing what they think and feel. The same is true when we draw near to God. While we can't see Him, we can know Him better. The more we get to know God, the more we become like Him. And the more God can use us to share His love with others.
Girlfriend, God loves you, and He is doing His best to draw you near with His unconditional love and His unfailing kindness. He gave up His son for you. You can choose to stand out in the field, doing whatever you think is important or you can choose to run to God.
When the shepherds heard the good news of Jesus' birth from the angel, they didn't stay in the field. They hurried to the stable - to be near Jesus. Jesus came so that you could do the same.
God is waiting for you to draw near to Him. Unlike the shepherds in our nativity set, you won't have squeeze in - God's arms are big enough for all of us. And He is saving a spot just for you. Draw near today.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your amazing love and Your unfailing kindness that draws me near. I want to draw closer to You and become more like You. Show me the things that are keeping me from drawing near to You today, and help me to remove those obstacles. Bring me closer to You today.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Read Ephesians 3:17-19. How does it make you feel to know that God's love is more than we can understand, and that He uses that love to draw us near to Him?
Pray and ask God to show you one way that you can take a step closer to Him today. You may need to commit to a daily time with God or commit to joining a ladies' Bible study. Whatever that step is, take it today.
More From The Girlfriends
It's easy to make excuses for not drawing closer to God. I know. I have two girls who play sports. We've got school activities, plus there's work, church and some time for fun. It's easy to say, "I'll squeeze God in tomorrow." The next time you find yourself saying that, stop and find a time in your day to spend with God. Use the time you spend waiting in the carpool line at school or break out your Bible instead of the newspaper at the breakfast table. God is doing His best to draw us near, but we have to start walking in His direction for that to happen. Make the time to spend time with God. You won't regret it.
Want insights into sharing God's word with your children? Check out Lori's blog, Everyday Truth, at http://www.everydaytruth66.blogspot.com/.
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