Summary: PENTECOST 18 (A) - Seek the Lord while He may be found. Today God's mercy calls us. God's ways are always best.
“SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND” (Outline)
September 26, 2010 -
Pentecost 18 -
INTRO: What are you looking for? We often are searching for something much of our entire lifetime. Early on we look for the love and approval of our parents. Next we search to grasp the meanings of 1,2,3 and the A,B,C’s. We continue our searching for satisfaction and meaning for our lives. As believers the Lord reminds us that his plans for us include hope and a future. God’s future for the believer is guaranteed by his free forgiveness. Now is our time of grace to grow in the wisdom of our eternal salvation. "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (JEREMIAH 29:12,13).
“SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BEFOUND”.
I. Today God’s mercy calls us. II. God’s ways are always best.
I. TODAY GOD’S MERCY CALLS US.
A. Chapter 55 of Isaiah begins with the Lord’s invitation to enjoy the banquet he has prepared.
1. God invites the believer to come and enjoy his grace. Enjoy God’s grace without cost.
2. God’s grace is meant for all. God’s grace is free. (Please read all of ISAIAH 55.)
B. Verse 6. Isaiah reminds believers the importance of God’s gracious invitation. Do not ignore.
1. God’s grace is unlimited, boundless, and free. Man’s time of grace is limited.
2. Today God’s mercy is calling those with ears to hear. Seek and call on the Lord while near.
C. Verse 7. God’s call of mercy is extended to all men. Turn from sins of thought and deed.
1. This is the grace of God that wants all men to repent. Those turning from evil will turn to God.
2. Look at God’s grace: “he will have mercy”, “he will freely pardon”. This is God’s grace.
D. Today God’s mercy calls us. All mankind need God’s mercy. We are reminded of the total depravity of man. This simply means everyone sins. In fact, we are sinners from birth. Our sins make us enemies of God. Very rarely, if ever, do enemies come to any kind of peaceable agreements. Differences continue to keep enemies as enemies. This describes our sinful nature we inherit at birth. This describes the sinful nature that is woven into the very fabric of our souls. "The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time" (GENESIS 6:5). The Lord spoke this before the flood. The Lord repeated the same after the flood. Sin still taints our every thought and word and deed. By nature we are enemies of God.
E. Today God’s mercy calls us to turn away from evil. The sin in our hearts and lives can show itself in different ways. Read PSALM 38 to see how David suffered physically because of his sin. He was worn out. His back was sore. People today do try to cover up and deny their sins. After all, no one really takes any pleasure in admitting wrongdoing or shortcomings. Guilt still exists. Guilt can express itself in different ways. At times physical symptoms result from repressed sin and guilt. "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (PROVERBS 28:13).
F. Today God’s mercy calls us to re-discover divine forgiveness. True, we do not like to admit all of our sins before our God (and maybe not even to ourselves). The Lord God Almighty is our loving, gracious, and forgiving heavenly Father. Our loving Father invites us to repent because he delights to show mercy! "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus" (ACTS 3:19,20). Peter spoke these beautiful words of forgiveness to the crowd after showing them they crucified the very Savior. The crowd confessed. Next, the crowd asked, “What must we do?” God’s mercy called them. God’s mercy forgave. Today God’s mercy calls us. Today God’s mercy forgives us.
“SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND”. Today God’s mercy calls us to repent. Today God’s mercy reminds us of the Lord’s forgiveness. We are no longer God’s enemies but his children.
II. GOD’S WAYS ARE ALWAYS BEST.
A. God’s ways and plans are not the ways and plans of sinful man. Man likes to get even, get revenge.
1. God is the very opposite. The loving Lord freely pardons. God keeps no record of wrongs.
2. When the Lord God Almighty forgives he forgets. This is not always true with man.