God vs. Yachts

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8, NASB1995).

The word “draw” in the Greek means “really close.”

We say, “I’m really close to this person,” or “That person is my closest friend.”

As a participant at many funerals over the years, a frequent comment I’ve heard is, “I was a close friend.”  

I’m often surprised at memorial viewings with the number of close friends of the deceased. I think the deceased would be surprised at how many close friends they suddenly had — maybe their departure had something to do with it!

But this is God’s offer to you. James 4:8 has God saying, “Become My friend, and I will become your closest Friend.”

If we received an offer of friendship from a billionaire or a famous personality, we would take it. Associating with the right people elevates our status. But I haven’t had an offer recently, have you?  

And let me humiliate myself by saying to any multimillionaire reading this Interruption — I would make a great friend.  

But God humbles Himself by requesting my friendship!

HHHHMMMHHM, an offer of close relationship to us — everyone — with the Creator, Owner, and Sustainer of the entire universe. Why don’t more take advantage of this invitation?

Well, right after the offer of close friendship in James 4:8, we find the following verses …

Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you (James 4:8-10, NASB1995).

Admittedly, this is one of the most brutal “get your act together” exhortations in the Bible. To be called double-minded and be told to be humble and weep, that our laughter should turn to mourning and our joy to gloom.

We want our close friends to accept us for who we are — don’t we?

Another comment that I hear at funerals is, “The deceased was loving and accepting. They would do anything for you.”

There is a difference between friends of this world and friendship with God.  

God is holy, and we aren’t. I would probably muck up the reputation of my new rich and famous friend at a soiree on New Year’s Eve when I showed up wearing a flannel shirt and out-of-style blue jeans.

Friendship acceptance of “just as you are” does have limits!  

I’m not expecting an offer from the rich and famous with a trip on a NetJets™ aircraft to a waiting yacht anchored off St. Bart this winter. But Jesus has already extended His offer to all of us.

Not only the “draw near to Him and He will draw near to us” offer, but Jesus also says …

I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you (John 15:15-16).

There is nothing wrong with cleaning up for a party and wearing nice clothes, especially when celebrating the Marriage Feast of the Lamb with our best Friend.

Let me name-drop to conclude, “My closest Friend is the Author and Creator of the universe!”

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