Sermons

Summary: No matter how far we have strayed from the Lord, seeking the Lord with our whole heart will bring forgiveness, spiritual satisfaction and peace.

The Satisfaction Of Seeking The Lord

Text: Hosea 10: 12; II Chron.15: 1-2, 12

Intro: While there are some things in our world that happen by coincidence, most are accomplished by conception and choice. Whether it is the development of a gargantuan shopping mall or sending a spacecraft to Pluto, someone had to conceive of its feasibility and make the choice to begin the project.

Seeking God is not concerned with the scientific realm of life, but with the spiritual. Yet, it still involves the elements of conception and choice. Some Christians can’t conceive of the idea of being truly close to God because Satan has convinced them that it is impossible. They have believed Satan’s lie that they are too bad—too unworthy to be really close to God.

Asa became king over Judah at a time when his people were extremely estranged from God. They were involved in idol worship, with all of its vileness and debauchery. Yet, Asa had a heart after God, and he used his influence as king to turn Judah around, spiritually. As a matter of fact, somewhat of a spiritual awakening took place during Asa’s reign.

Though the transformation was not fully completed before Asa’s death, his choice to seek God brought some very satisfying results. Notice how the Lord used King Asa, and helped him realize the satisfaction of seeking the Lord.

Theme: The satisfaction of seeking the Lord was realized by:

I. THE CHALLENGE TO SEEK THE LORD

II Chron.15: 1 “And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded:

2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.

…………………………………………………………

7 Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.”

NOTE: [1] Asa and Judah had just returned from doing battle with the Ethiopians. Because Asa had already begun to seek the Lord and make reforms in Judah, God gave them an overwhelming victory. It is after this great victory that Azariah comes out to meet the king, and challenges he and his people to keep seeking the Lord. My, how we need to accept that challenge today. The devil wants us to believe that it’s impossible. But as someone has said: “The task ahead of you is never greater than the power behind you” (Source Unknown).

[2] Azariah was not only challenging Asa and the people of Judah to continue seeking the Lord, but also assuring them that God would be “found” of them (v. 2c). The rule of thumb found in the Bible is that when people truly repent, God responds. This was the gist of God’s message to the captive Jews in Babylon.

Jer.29: 12 “Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will harken unto you.

13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

14a And I will be found of you, saith the Lord…”

A. Rebellion Had Brought Punishment.

II Chron.15: 3 “Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.

……………………………………………………

5 And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries.

6 And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity.”

NOTE: [1] What is rebellion? Someone has defined rebellion this way: “Reserving for myself the right to make the final decision” (Source Unknown). Obeying God only when it’s agreeable to one’s own way of thinking isn’t really obedience at all; it’s rebellion. This idea is brought out in these words:

Isa.65: 2 “I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;”

[2] Recounting Israel’s past rebellion against God, Azariah indicated that one of the chief results of that rebellion was a lack of peace. The Word of God admonishes us, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…” (Col.3: 15a). However, peace never rules where there is rebellion, for God’s Word also tells us, “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked” (Isa.48: 22). The only way to have real peace is to live in submission to God. The Apostle Paul said, “…to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom.8: 6b).

[3] What if Asa, after hearing of Israel’s past failures, had given up the idea of seeking God? He and his people would have missed the blessings of God. Satan tries to discourage Christians from going forward with God by continually throwing up their past failures to them. He wants them to give up on the idea of being close to God. Here are some ways to discern Satan’s tricks:

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