“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works” (Psalm 73:28).
As all my friends know, I have a most loyal, chocolate lab named Koda. His rich chocolate fur makes him look like a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory commercial. We hunt together, fish together, go to work together, ride in the car together, and play together. He is only truly happy if he is no more than one inch away from me. If he is asleep with his head on my foot, he sleeps in peace. That’s what “nearness” looks like to me. Oh how I long for my heart to look like that with my Savior!
The difference between a city dog and a country dog is this: The city dog is penned up all day and all night. He stays by the pen because he has no choice. But if he gets out of his confinement, he runs away, knocks over trash cans, and bites the mailman. (Kidding of course.) A country dog is free to roam. He enjoys playing in the woods, running in the fields, and playing in the creek. But you can always find a country dog at night sleeping on the doormat of his master’s house, sleeping as close to his master’s side as he can get.
It’s called “nearness by grace.” He sets us free to choose our path and our affection and forgives when we stumble. But in our freedom, we choose to stick as close to his side as we can get. That’s called love unconditional. That’s why “The Nearness of God” is more valuable, more precious, and more desired than all the riches of the Earth and all the other affections this world has to offer.
1. Psalm 73:23-24 – “Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory.”
What does “The Nearness of God” look like to you?
Why is it more precious to you than anything else in your life?
How do you show that to God in your daily life?
What do you sacrifice to prove that?
2. Psalm 73:25 – “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.”
We may possibly live 70 to 80 years on Earth, but we will live for eternity in Heaven. How does that realization affect your choices and your priorities?
3. Matthew 6:19-21 – “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Why does your heart follow the things you treasure the most?
What is your greatest treasure? How do you show it?
4. Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Why is it impossible to serve two masters?
Why is life a shallow experience for those who try to put both God and pleasure together as their first love?
5. Psalm 73:2-3, 16-17 – “But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps had almost slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. When I pondered to understand this, i t was troublesome in my sight until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end.”
What is the psalmist confessing in this passage?
Why is the word “until” in verse 17 one of the most gravitas words ever written?
John 13:15 – “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
From today’s scripture, how does THE Shepherd inspire you to shepherd your flock?
“Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory” ( Psalm 73:23-24).
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication