Here's A Thought...

Here are some "THOUGHTS" that will hopefully answer some of the questions that you may have about what the Bible has to say about our everyday lives. These articles are here to provoke thought; provide answers, guidance and resources; all in an effort to bring you into a closer relationship with your Heavenly Father!


Friday, May 24, 2013

Treasure of God

How many times in your life have you lost a penny? If you even noticed, how much time did you spend searching for that penny; a glance, a second of your time? What if you lost something of greater value - maybe a hundred dollars, maybe a thousand…maybe a diamond or some other jewelry? How much effort would you put into attempting to find one of those items?

There are so many people in church today that are frustrated in their Christian walk; I know because I have been one of them. We go to church with the same laundry list of questions for our priest, pastors and spiritual leaders:
·         Who is God and what is Jesus all about?
·         What does God want with my life?
·         How does God want me to make this big decision?
·         Where was God when that happened?
·         Why wasn’t God there?
·         When is God going to do some work in my life?

There are those that will spend years or even a lifetime “going to church” and never get the answers to any of those questions. What is the most astonishing and equally the most frustrating…is that the answers are all very simple. Not easy…but simple.

A man we’ll call Jerry goes to a group of friends with a problem. He tells his friends that he just won the lottery but he lost the ticket and just can’t seem to find it. Out of concern and wanting to help their friend, they begin to ask him some questions.
“Where have you looked?” -is one of the first questions. Jerry said; “Well I went to a group of people I kind of hang out with on Sunday’s. I talked to some people and kind of glanced around for about an hour. Some of them had some great suggestions on where to look and some even looked around for me for a while; but we never found the ticket.”
“Have you looked anywhere else?” was the next question. “I had dinner with a group of friends last week and told them of my problem. I go there about every week; so they kind of looked around a little for me. They also had some great suggestions on where I could look.” -was Jerry’s reply.
A good friend of Jerry’s put his hand on Jerry’s shoulder and asked; “Jerry…have YOU looked for the ticket?” Jerry looked back at him with a very frustrated and puzzled look and said; “I just told you…I’ve been looking and no one has told me where the ticket is yet!”

The single biggest thing that God wants from us is a relationship. He wants it so bad that he has done everything on His part to make Himself available to us:
For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. (Ezekiel 34:11-13 ESV)
I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me;
                        I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.
            I said, “Here I am, here I am,”
                        to a nation that was not called by my name. (Isaiah 65:1 ESV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17 ESV)

Through the scriptures, God is letting us know that he is seeking us, his desires are for us and he is calling us. The problem enters however, when we fail to understand that relationships are a two-way street. A man and a woman can attend counseling and get all the advice in the world on how to improve their relationship; but if they don’t invest time in each other, if they don’t seek after each other…it is WASTED!
Let me simplify. Going to church on Sunday and hearing about how to have a greater relationship with your Heavenly Father but not spending any time in the Word or in prayer the rest of the week; is as useful and a couple attending counseling once a week to hear about how to improve communication in their marriage but never spending any time talking to each other! The solution is simple! Just start talking to each other…it’s just hard.

Your Heavenly Father desires so badly to have a relationship with you, but he will not force you. He will call you, he will nudge you, he will seek you and he will lead you…but he will not make you.
But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice. For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them. (Deuteronomy 4:29-31 ESV)

            One thing have I asked of the LORD,
                        that will I seek after:
            that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
                        all the days of my life,
            to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
                        and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4 ESV)

We want answers. We want to know. We want greater understanding and wisdom. We want peace and we want provision. God has given us the answers:
            Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
            But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
            “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:31-34 ESV)

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! (Psalm 105:4 ESV)

Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! (Psalm 119:2-3 ESV)

            My son, if you receive my words
                        and treasure up my commandments with you,
            making your ear attentive to wisdom
                        and inclining your heart to understanding;
            yes, if you call out for insight
                        and raise your voice for understanding,
            if you seek it like silver
                        and search for it as for hidden treasures,
            then you will understand the fear of the LORD
                        and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV)

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. (Proverbs 8:17 ESV)

In closing, I have to confess an understanding that what I am saying is hard. Jesus himself told us that this would not be an easy road. But it is the only road to Him and to our Heavenly Father.
            He (Jesus) went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them,
            “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” (Luke 13:22-30 ESV)

What I have written is simple…it’s just hard. The simple is that God just wants a relationship with you and has made himself directly available to you through the Holy Spirit as granted by God’s sovereign grace through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ. The hard is that relationships require effort, sacrifice, time and a commitment. We are asked to submit our will for His. We are asked to sacrifice our desires for His. We are asked to acknowledge that we only exist because of Him; created by Him, designed by Him, made for him…we are asked to submit to Him.
            Seek the LORD while he may be found;
                        call upon him while he is near;
            let the wicked forsake his way,
                        and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
            let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
                        and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
            For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
                        neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
            For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
                        so are my ways higher than your ways
                        and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV)

May all the grace of God fill you with His Holy Spirit; that He may create in you a desire to draw nearer to Him, to grow in your relationship with Him, to have the courage to submit yourself to Him so that we may all be together with Him for eternity in Heaven. May the LORD bless you and keep you; may the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. -Amen

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