Week 51 Monday

Closer Than You Think

Today’s scripture selection: Deuteronomy 29-31

Key verse: Deuteronomy 30:11-14

“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach….No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”

When Moses reminded his people of all that they had been through; all God had done for them – he also reminded them of something very important.  They could do it.

They could really be the people of God.  They could really follow God’s commandments.  They could, with God’s help, be faithful.  Why?  Because the “word” was “very near” to them – in their mouths and in their hearts.

We aren’t talking about obscure; difficult to understand; impossible to do religious instruction.  We are talking about God telling the people to keep their eyes on Him; listen carefully to Him; and do what He says.  Period.

We human beings complicate things so much.  Sometimes I think we even enjoy making our lives a roller coaster ride full of drama – after all – that’s exciting.  What’s exciting about a quiet walk with God in the garden?

But in that quiet walk; in that intimate conversation – there is life.

Jesus talked about it in terms of walking in the “narrow” way, rather than the “broad” way of destruction.

Others have described it as a walk “in the Spirit.”

But however you imagine it – know this.  It’s close by.  It’s within your reach.  It’s God deepest desire to be in that kind of communion with you.

All you have to do is ask.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your ever present loving word, which is always within my reach.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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