Summary: Why do we Pray? Why do we read our Bibles daily? Why do we Give? Why are we at the Church when the doors are open? Do we think that by doing these things that we are earning "points" with God? Are we trying to obligate God to bless us? Duty or Desire?
The Presence Of God
In 1943, a lady by the name of Rhea B. Miller wrote one of the greatest hymns ever written: I’D RATHER HAVE JESUS! This wonderful hymn so influenced one young man that it determined the direction of his entire life.
This young man had grown up with devoted Christian parents, He was encouraged to use his fine singing voice in the Wesleyan Methodist churches which his father pastored. Financial needs required him to leave college and work in an insurance office. Unexpectedly, he was asked to audition for the Radio City Music Hall, and passed the test.
Not knowing what to do, and being at the crossroads of his life, he sat down at the piano one Sunday morning to prepare the music for that days’ service. He found a copy of Ms. Miller’s song, took it in his hand, and began to sing the words to that wonderful song, which formed his decision.
Read words of song.
His name - George Beverly Shea
As a Pastor I sometimes stop and notice the wonderful people that God has given me that call me pastor. People that love God and that love this church and yes that love me because I am their pastor.
I am often amazed and humbled at the commitment and sacrifices that you make.
People that sacrifice - of their time and their possessions.
People that come to church when they don’t feel well. Especially some of the Senior citizens with hurts and pains. They could find an excuse for not being here but instead they find a way to be here. People that in the midst of their suffering – take refuge in God.
Illustration of Nita wanting to be here today.
I. Duty Or Desire – Law Or Grace
This is what the Christian life is all about. Why do you do what you do as a Christian?
This is DUTY
Do you pray to earn “point’s with God” – He now owes it to you to answer your prayers.
Do you read you Bible every day to be a good, dutiful Christian.
Do you give to God because it’s your duty and God will have to bless you.
Do you witness to the lost because if you don’t they will die and go to Hell.
Do you attend church when the doors are open out of duty.
Do you serve God because God’s work has to be done.
This is DESIRE
Here is the difference between duty and desire.
The reason we pray – The reason we read our Bibles – The reason we give – The reason we witness – The reason we go to church – The reason we serve. --- Has but one purpose.
To Bring Us Into The Presence Of God.
In this morning’s message we are going to study some tremendous scriptures. They all have one thing in common. The writers had a tremendous desire to seek after God – To be in the very presence of God. - To spend time with God. - To be around God.
II. The Pursuit Of The Presence Of God
1. There Was No Person He Desired But God.
Ps 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
2. There Was No Place He Desired But God’s House.
1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!
2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
3. There Was No Possession He Desired More Than God.
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
4. There Was No Pleasure He Desired Above God.
Ps 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
5. There Was No Passion He Had Greater Than His Passion For God.
Ps 63:1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
6. There Was No Praise He Had Greater Than His Praise For God.
Ps 40:3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
7. There Was No Purpose He Had But To Serve God.