|Nearer, my God, to Thee
Ponder: Drawing near to God – When? How?
Today’s Scripture: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22 NKJV).
When they departed from Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912, bound for New York City aboard the RMS Titanic, none of the 2200+ passengers and crew members planned to perish in a shipwreck. Folklore has it that the ship’s builders or owners had declared it “unsinkable,” but local newspapers are more likely to have made that boast. Shortly before midnight, four days into its maiden voyage, the Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic. In less than three hours, the “unsinkable” Titanic . . . sank. 1517 people lost their lives.
Passenger liners (today we call them cruise ships) are well-known for an eat-drink-and-be-merry atmosphere. Reports from the survivors indicate the Titanic was no exception. Prior to the collision, the band was playing dance music. When it became evident the ship would sink, the mood obviously changed. One report says the band’s last song was the hymn, “Nearer, My God, to Thee.”
Why do we wait until disaster is upon us to think about being near to God? There are no unsinkable ships; an there is no life that is secure without fellowship with God. Your life is both your maiden voyage and your final one; you will not make another. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). We know not when we will hit the iceberg that will sink us – but, barring the imminent return of Christ, we will. We may have two or three hours of warning; or we may have more; or we may have none at all.
In contrast to the Law of Moses, the gospel of Jesus Christ makes us complete and gives us “a better hope, through which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:19). James exhorts, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). Don’t wait until you hit an iceberg to draw near to God. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Song: “Nearer, My God, to Thee”
Prayer: Father, we thank You for the Gospel of Christ through which we can draw near to You with the confidence that You will draw near to us. Help us, we pray, to cleanse our hands of evil works and purify our hearts of sinful thoughts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Joe Slater (Justin, TX)