(Here are my notes from Sunday from Dr. Chris's sermon, if you trust my note-taking. Sunday night was the Children's Choir Christmas Concert, which rocked out. You know those things are going to be good but they are always better than you'd figured. And if you want a crowd -- and if you want a BAPTIST crowd that will fill up the FRONT pews -- get children up there. Automatic congregation.)
CLOSING THE GAP
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."
How close are you and God?
I Corinthians 1:9 "God, who has called you into fellowship, is faithful..."
* We cannot exhaust our relationship with God. We can always draw closer.
* He has shown himself to us in his Word; He wants us to show ourselves to Him.
What do we do to draw closer?
Rev 3:20 "Behold I stand at the door and knock..." Jesus is a gentleman and won't force himself in...
Jer 29:13 "You will seek and find me when you seek me with all your heart..."
1. Have a clarity of purpose
* God can't be used or toyed with
* Ask what you want from God ... Do you want an intellectual or social relationship, or an intimate relationship with Him
2. Have a commitment to the relationship
* An inferior to a superior; He is God and I am not.
* You spell love T-I-M-E; meet Him in the Bible and in prayer and in your listening.
3. Cut out the wrong stuff
* Clean your outside and inside
* We can be morally pure on the outside and a skunk on the inside. A whitewashed tomb has a dead person inside. (ouch...)
John 8:47: "...He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God..." Am I hearing?
We are each in one of three places:
Jesus follower, growing in Christ
Christian growing apart from Christ
A.W. Tozer said 'closeness' means 'resemblance.' Am I resembling, in any way, the Savior?