Summary: What does it mean to come near to God and experiencing a relationship with Him?

Intimacy with God. WORSHIP series.

Text- Mark 12:28-34 (NLT) Oct.14, 2001

28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the discussion. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbors as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

34 Realizing this man’s understanding, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Someone has calculated how a typical life span of 70 years is spent.

Listen to these surprising numbers:

Sleep.................23 years..........32.9%

Work................16 years..........22.8%

TV............…......8 years..........11.4%

Eating................6 years............8.6%

Travel................6 years............8.6%

Leisure.....…......4.5 years.........6.5%

Illness.......…......4 years...........5.7%

Dressing............2 years............2.8%

Religion............0.5 years..........0.7%

Total................70 years....…....100%

Now with if this is really true, people will have trouble relating to God. Intimacy with God is not a topic, we as humans can handle very well, we’re quite under qualified to do so. I do not think we should trust sources of human wisdom here. It is far too unreliable. Today, it seems, people are thinking a bit more about religion, as fears of Islamic extremism begin to come out to the woodwork. As of yesterday 5 more confirmed cases of anthrax has hit in the US. There’s hardly a gas mask you can buy off the shelf in the US, as a result. With that the reality of terrorist attacks via germ or biological warfare is no longer a theory, or speculation, it is deadly serious problem. FBI issured warning of serious threat too this past week! And with that the question of death and God and ultimate reality comes home to us. Maybe we better get some answers about God. If God is in control, what does He want of us? Why does He not stop the terrorist attacks? Today, few are able to answer that question well because only 0.7% of a typical person’s life span of 70 years is spent on the subject.

People do have trouble understanding God. But for Jesus, He has no trouble understanding God. Even when he was cornered like He was in context of Mark 12, he had no trouble telling the religious experts what god wants the most. You see, He came from God, in fact He is God so the Bible tells us , John 1:1(NKJV) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:14 says: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

So when he was asked what the most important command in the Bible? Jesus, in our text, speaks without hesitation, knowing the truth, said there is only one God. To Jesus, worship begins with that, intimacy with God is about knowing there is a God, and He is just one, not many. Heb.11;6 NLT “So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”

From where He stands, He affirms that ultimate reality is simply there is a God and He is just one. Since only 0.7% of our typical 70 year life span is spent on thinking about this, should we not trust the One who came from God and demonstrated with miracles and His power over death by rising from the grave? How much of our lives have we really given to think about intimacy with God or a relationship with God? Let’s trust Jesus’ words shall we?

So first point, in getting close to God, is believing He exists and as heb.11:6 points out He will reward anyone who will give more than 0.7% of their lifespan to really seek Him. Intimacy with God begins here!

Next step is since there is a God, what does He want? And if you take a good look at what God is after you’ll find what God really desires, as He reveals to us his heart in the Bible is this:.

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