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Summary: Encourages God’s people to get closer to Him and to rest in His presence.

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Title: Nearer To My God

Introduction: Mamie made frequent trips to the branch post office. One day she confronted a long line of people who were waiting for service from the postal clerks. Mamie only needed stamps, so a helpful observer asked, "Why don’t you use the stamp machine? You can get all the stamps you need and you won’t have to wait in line." Mamie said, "I know, but the machine can’t ask me about my arthritis."

We live in a world that has become extremely impersonal. You can take care of numerous business transactions without dealing directly with people. When you do talk with people, most of them aren’t going to ask you about your arthritis. They want you to state your business and get out of the way for the next customer.

We can get our lunch from a machine if we choose to. We can take our own blood pressure at the drug store. It’s been a long time since many of us have had a conversation with a real, live telephone operator. When you live in that kind of context, it’s hard to find anybody who is the least bit curious about your arthritis, your gout, your bad cough or anything else that ails you.

People still need human contact. Solitary confinement is still the most severe punishment that a prisoner can receive. As Christians we need to be sensitive to the need that people have to be touched and cared for. "For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone" (Rom. 14:7).

Ps 119:151 “You are near, O LORD, and all Your commandments are truth.”

Ruth 1:14-19

I want to preach to you tonight from the thought “Nearer to My God.”

I. I believe that one of the areas in which God is calling the Church to today is nearer to Him! Friend, I believe that God is desiring to share an intimate relationship with you that He will go to any measure to attain that closeness with you! However, there is a barrier called sin that He must contend with! For you must understand that God will not even look upon sin! He has no knowledge of sin! That’s why He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross! He became sin so that we might be made righteous someday! Rose from the dead!

II. Ruth and Naomi

A. Ruth lost her husband! She lost everything! And she declared to her mother-in-law, “Naomi, you ain’t gonna get rid of me that easy! For wherever you go, I will go to; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.”

B. Folks, this is the kind of relationship God wants to have with you and me! He is saying “You can run if you want to! But you can’t get away from My presence.” He’ll get Heaven’s Hounds on you! For listen to what David said in PS 139:7, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.”

C. Jesus said in John 17:20-21, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21“that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

D. When David Livingstone appeared at the University of Glasgow to receive the honorary doctor of law degree, he was received with silent respect. He was gaunt and weary from 16 years of exposure to Africa’s hardships. One arm hung useless at his side because of an attack by a lion. Livingstone asked, "Shall I tell you what supported me through all those years of exile among a people whose language I could not understand and whose attitude toward me was always uncertain and often hostile? It was this: ’Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world’ " (Matt. 28:20).

III. How Near Are You?

A. David said in PS 73:28, “But it is good for me to draw near to God.”

B. IS 29:13 says, Therefore the LORD said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me….”

C. Hebrews 10:22 says, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

D. James 4:8 declares, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

E. Church we’ve got to start getting closer to God! If there was ever a time for the Church to get near to God it is now!

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