I have noticed something about me over the years. This ‘something’ is not all that spectacular, and most of you have this tendency as well. This trait is fun, helpful, mind expanding, and a great way to gain wisdom. What this inclination is, is that I love to learn! I am constantly reading books, trolling the internet for information, watching documentaries, listening to pod-casts, taking in a bouquet of news medias from NBC to BBC to NHK to CBC/Canada to Al Jazeera to FOX News, and I take opportunities to sit down with smart people, draw near to them and learn from their life. I love to learn! (One of the reasons I am taking on a new educational adventure as I seek a Doctorate of Ministry).
In all this knowledge absorbing, it does require we draw near to the source of the teaching. In this ‘drawing near,’ we have to seek out the resource, take time to gain understanding, let the information resonate in our thoughts and wrestle with the truths.
In faith and life it is of utmost importance to draw near to God.
James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
It is personal actions, movements, and efforts made to get closer to God. Just like we would seek to draw near to any resource; take time to understand, put out the effort to know, and expend the energy to put this information in practice. We should do the same to draw near to God.
Psalm 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.
It is to set aside time to read up on Him and think/meditate on what the Bible says about Him and how He wants us to live
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
That is why we have started a new teaching series called ‘In the Dust of the Rabbi.’ This title is taken from an ancient Jewish teaching coming out the Mishnah. The Mishnah is a collection of rabbinical sayings that forms the core of Jewish thoughts. Christianity is the realization that Jesus of Nazareth is The Messiah talked of in the Jewish faith. According to the Mishnah, Avot 1:4, people are to be open to learn from godly, wise, insightful teachers or rabbis, to draw near to them. The quote is literally translated ‘powder yourself in the dust of their feet.’ The idea was to draw so near to your teacher, the rabbi, where you not only are covered by the dust they kick up as they walk, but you choose to walk through it.
To be ‘in the dust of the rabbi’ was to choose to draw near to the teacher; to walk where they walked, to do what they did, to make the choices to take on their purpose, passions, and priorities. This was the markings of a disciple, to be covered by the dust of the rabbi. It is how we should live out our faith.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.
In my passion to learn, I want to and seek to draw near to The Lord, to put the effort to know Him and how He wants me to live. My encouragement to you is to draw near to God…it will change your life!
Psalm 73:28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works (God’s works).
Seeking to draw near to God along with you,
PS As I mentioned we have just started a new teaching series at our all church campuses, ‘In the Dust of the Rabbi.” We are continuing our study of the Bible book of Matthew as we learn about our Rabbi Jesus and how we can follow His example. To listen in or join us please check our web site www.cypresschurch.net. This will help you draw near to the Lord.