Sermons

Summary: God has opened the way to having a close, personal and intimate relationship with Him. Are we seeking after that type of relationship?

LONG AGO, EVEN BEFORE THE FIRST RECORDED WORDS OF GENESIS 1:1 SAID, "IN THE BEGINNING," GOD LOVED US AND CHOSE US IN CHRIST JESUS TO BE HOLY AND WITHOUT FAULT IN HIS EYES.

HIS UNCHANGING PLAN HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO ADOPT US INTO HIS OWN FAMILY BY BRINGING US TO HIMSELF THROUGH JESUS CHRIST IN ORDER TO HAVE INTIMACY, PERSONAL COMMUNION AND FELLOWSHIP WITH US.

IT IS THIS ADOPTION AND THIS DEPTH OF FELLOWSHIP THAT GIVES HIM GREAT PLEASURE. MAY WE TRULY GRASP THIS CONCEPT ONCE AND FOR ALL THAT GOD OUR FATHER IS APPROACHABLE AND DESIRES FOR US TO COME TO HIM.

LET US PRAISE GOD FOR THIS WONDERFUL KINDNESS HE HAS POURED OUT ON US BECAUSE WE BELONG TO HIS DEARLY LOVED SON JESUS CHRIST THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.

MAY WE COMPREHEND HOW RICH GOD’S KINDNESS IS TO US THAT HE WOULD WILLINGLY CHOOSE TO PURCHASE OUR FREEDOM THROUGH THE BLOOD OF HIS SON JESUS, SO THAT OUR SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN AND OUR LIVES REDEEMED.

MAY WE TRULY BEGIN SEEKING OUT THIS GREAT AND MIGHTY GOD WHO HAS MADE ALL OF THIS POSSIBLE FOR US. LET US BEGIN A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM THAT IS IN THE DEEPEST FORM HE HAS ALLOWED IT TO BE: INTIMATE, LOVING AND PERSONAL!

MAY WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO APPROACH GOD AS HE TRULY AND RIGHTFULLY DESERVES: HERE WITH US NOW, RATHER THAN "FAR AWAY UP THERE" IN HEAVEN.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, CAN WE JUST SIMPLY ONCE AND FOR ALL APPROACH GOD, PERIOD?! WITH AN OFFER THAT IS THIS PRICELESS, WHY WOULD ANYONE TURN IT DOWN? CAN WE COME CLOSER? IF NOT, WHY DO WE SIT SO FAR AWAY?

THIS IS WHY I THINK THE SADDEST VERSE IN THE BIBLE IS GENESIS 3:9, WHEN HUMANITY BROKE ITS RELATIONS AND GOD ASKED THAT CHILLING QUESTION: WHERE ARE YOU?"

DESPITE THE SIN AND REBELLION, GOD STILL CAME TO THEM AND SEARCHED FOR THEM IN ORDER TO BEGIN THE RESTORATION PROCESS OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH OTHER. GOD IS SEEKING US…CAN WE BE SEEKERS OF GOD?

WE MUST SEEK GOD AND SEEK HIM IN THE CORRECT WAY. FOR FAR TOO LONG THE CHURCH HAS SOUGHT GOD THE WRONG WAY AND FOR THE WRONG REASONS.

WE MUST STOP SEEKING THE BLESSINGS AND BENEFITS OF GOD AND START SEEKING THE GOD IN WHOM THE BLESSINGS FLOW AND FROM WHICH THE BENEFITS COME.

WE MUST STOP ASKING FOR THE GIFTS AND GRACES OF GOD AND SEEK HIM WHO IS THE GIVER OF ALL THINGS AND WHO IS THE ESSENCE OF TRUE GRACE. WE MUST HUNGER FOR GOD ALONE. HIM ONLY! GOD ALWAYS.

THIS IS THE BEAUTY OF JEREMIAH’S PROPHECY OF THE SEVENTY-YEAR EXILE IN BABYLON. DESPITE BEING UNDER BONDAGE, GOD’S GRACE STILL FULFILLED ITS PROMISE TO DELIVER THEM BY RESTORING THEM TO THEIR NATIVE LAND.

THE LESSON OF BONDANGE WAS CLEAR TO THEM THAT TAKING THEIR OWN WAY AND COMPROMISING GOD’S WAYS HAD AN ULTIMATE PRICE. THEY QUICKLY LEARNED THAT PARTIAL OBEDIENCE IS STILL TOTAL DISOBEDIENCE.

DESPITE GOD’S WONDERFUL PROVISIONS TO SECURE A FUTURE THAT WAS REFINED FROM THE FIRES OF HOPE, THEY FOUND OUT THE HARD WAY THAT EVEN GOD’S GREAT PLANS CAN BE SHAPED AND AFFECTED BY HUMAN ACTS, HUMAN DECISIONS, HUMAN WORDS, HUMAN ATTITUDES, AND HUMAN MISTAKES.

THIS IS WHY THE LORD GOD WAS SO OFTEN HEARD SPEAKING THROUGH THE PROPHETS TO "TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, REPENT, AND COME BACK TO THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY." IT IS SOON LEARNED THAT THE MOST LOGICAL WAY TO AVERT RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT IS TO NEVER TURN FROM GOD IN THE FIRST PLACE.

WHAT IT BOILS DOWN TO IS THIS: WHAT GOD INTENDS TO DO IS SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTED BY WHAT HUMAN BEINGS DO. GOD’S DIVINE PURPOSES ALWAYS PREVAIL.

WE CAN SPEND SEVENTY YEARS IN BONDAGE TRYING TO SWAY GOD TO OUR WAY, OR DWELL IN HIS WONDERFUL PRESENCE OF FREEDOM BY CHOOSING TO SEEK SOLELY AFTER HIM.

GOD WILL NEVER DISPENSE HIS PRECIOUS GIFTS TO REBELLIOUS OR A HALF-HEARTED PEOPLE. AS PEARLS WILL NEVER BE CAST UNDER THE FEET OF SWINE, NEITHER WILL GOD UNLEASH HIS INTENDED PURPOSES UPON A PEOPLE WHO REALLY DON’T LIVE LIKE THEY WANT IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

THE STIPULATIONS OF HEARING FROM OUR HEAVENLY FATHER COME FROM A PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND THAT "SEEKING" THE FATHER IS FUELED BY AN INNER HUNGER TO SEEK HIM WITH ALL THEIR HEARTS. A LITERAL TRANSLATION WOULD READ, "WITH ALL THEIR WILL AND ENERGY."

ARE WE HUNGRY FOR GOD TODAY? CAN WE INCREASE OUR APPETITE FOR THE REAL LIVING GOD? IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO JUST KNOW BIBLICAL FACTS ABOUT GOD. MERE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GOD IS NOT THE SAME AS AN INTIMATE FRIENDSHIP WITH HIM.

WE MUST KNOW HIM PERSONALLY AND INTIMATELY THROUGH HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. OUR FAITH MUST ANSWER THE CALL OF GOD’S GRACE. EPHESIANS 2:8-9, “GOD SAVED YOU BY HIS GRACE WHEN YOU BELIEVED. AND YOU CAN’T TAKE CREDIT FOR THIS; IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD. SALVATION IS NOT A REWARD FOR THE GOOD THINGS WE HAVE DONE, SO NONE OF US CAN BOAST ABOUT IT.”

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