Snuggling Up To God – I

November 15, 2013
James 4:8

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

That’s an odd title to many Christians, “Snuggling Up To God”!  God is often thought to be so high and holy, He is quite far removed from us!  Oh, yes, He controls all things, and even intercedes for His children occasionally, but to snuggle up to Him?  That’s beyond comprehension for a lot of us.  I want to show you a half a verse in James, chapter 4 and verse 8:  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  How near can we “Draw near to God…”?

In Mark 14:36, when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His arrest and crucifixion, this is how He began His prayer: “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You.  Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not what I will, but what You will.”  “Abba”is loosely translated by some as “Daddy”.  But others reject that idea, saying the Aramaic word is just another expression meaning “Father” – and translated here (and in Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6) as “Father, my Father.”  Some scholars seem to be too careful that we do not get too familiar with God!

Here is the Bible dictionary entry from the website, – “Historically, this word would be used during New Testament times by a child addressing his or her father. It would have been akin to the modern use of papa.”  I tend to go with “papa” or “daddy”.  You see, there are two ways that the New Testament illustrates that we are brought into relationship with God as our Father:

•    We are adopted as children of the Father.  But this is not quite like our modern western idea of adoption.  In a family of means in Jesus’ time, a young son was given to the oversight of a schoolmaster – a trusted and educated slave whose job it was to train that child in formal, social and religious education.  When such training was complete, the son was presented to the father as being ready for full sonship – and all the responsibilities that entailed.  The son was accepted by the father, and so he was, in that sense, adopted into the family.  See Romans 8:15, 23; 9:4; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5.

•    We are also born into God’s family.  According to John 1:12 and 13:

        But as many as received Him [Jesus Christ], to them He gave the right
        to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who
        were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of
        man, but of God.

We are born-again, according to John 3:3 through 8 – the Holy Spirit bringing to life
our spiritually dead human spirits.  And so we are God’s sons and daughters by

The tender care God gives His children is shown forth in many ways in the Bible:

•    Isaiah 40:10 and 11 – Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.  He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.

•    Isaiah 46:3 and 4 – Listen to Me…[you] who have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb:  even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you!  I have made you, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

•    Isaiah 49:15 and 16 – Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb?  Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.  See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands….

•    Matthew 11:28 though 30 – Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

•    Luke 13:34 – O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!  How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

I have run out of space for this blog!  I hate to quit in the middle, but maybe this cliff-hanger will induce you to come back!  I will write more on Friday, so stay tuned – and learn about Snuggling Up To God!

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