“Have You Sought and Found God in 2016?”

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The Bible is full of difficult sayings. Some are more challenging than others. Consider, first, a few of the “less difficult” Biblical sayings which apply to the Christian. From these verses, we learn, that the normal Christian life is to be one of complete dependence upon the enabling grace of almighty God (1 Peter 1:13, “... set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”), while we will aim to live lives of consecration 24/7/365, by the grace of God alone, while aiming for God’s perfect standard (Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”). 

So, our lives before God will be lived, firstly, in the complete awareness that God is actively at work in us to pursue such ends (Philippians 2:12-13, “... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you ...”), while at the same time, understanding fully well that such a pursuit will prove out your salvation and bring glory to God (John 15:8; 1 Corinthians 10:31). Consider, secondly, two of the “more difficult” sayings in Scripture. However, notice, this time, that these apply to the unbeliever: (1) Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6); (2) THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD (Romans 3:10-11). These verses teach us that an unsaved man will never seek God on his own (1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:18); yet, he must seek God in order to have his sins forever pardoned (Isaiah 55:7). This is what God meant when he said, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13; cf. Rom 10:13). Further, we also learn that it is God who seeks us first (Philippians 1:6), that we might earnestly seek Him and be found (Luke 19:10). Finally, we read our Lord’s familiar words in Matthew 7:7-8, “... seek, and you will find ... and the one who seeks finds ...” How should we explain these seeming contradictions to both the carnal critic and the anxious inquirer? We must, first, ask them to read Romans 9:20, “who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Then, tell them to seek the Lord at once! But not on their time-table (Zechariah 7:13; Hosea 5:15)! Yes, we must compassionately tell them that they must repent and believe in Christ today without delay! “For many are called and few Are chosen” (Matthew 22:14; cf. Acts 16:31; 17:30)! This is why Paul cried out, “NOW is the acceptable time, behold, NOW is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)! Dear friends, I leave you with the very hopeful words from my old friend Dr. John Gerstner, “When men have been convicted by the Spirit of God, and are not hardened, nor neutral, not holding back at one point or another, then they are true seekers. They are those who are determined to find the God who has stirred them up to seek him.” Finally, let us draw near to God, in beginning this New Year, by taking heed to our need for careful heart preparation today, for encountering the living God tomorrow, in our church’s public Worship service; both through our praises and prayers to Him; and secondly, through our attending to the reading and preaching of His Holy inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! May your 2017 be a truly Happy New Year!

 

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