Friday, January 10th, 2014
How Do I Engage in the Proper Pursuit of God – part 2
Today we study together a New Testament perspective on what we must do in our Pursuit of God
The following quote is a resounding declaration of what is happening today among the Christian community. It describes the 21st century atmosphere of THE PURSUIT of GOD. It paints such an accurate picture of how dark the world is and yet, how hard true followers of Christ are running to the light! Even now, in 2014, people are seeking after the Lord with their whole heart, desiring a clear understanding and intimate walk with Jesus, hungry for his presence and power in their lives.
Here’s the quote:
“In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with correct “interpretations” of truth. They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied till they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water.”
The above statement was written June 16th, 1948 by Aiden Wilson (A.W.) Tozer. (April 21, 1897 – May 12, 1963) Tozer was a pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor. For his work, he received two honorary doctorate degrees; from Wheaton College and Houghton College.
As a teenager and while on his way home from work at a tire company, he overheard a street preacher say: “If you don’t know how to be saved… just call on God.” Upon returning home, he climbed into the attic and heeded the preacher’s advice. Over sixty years as a minister and more than 40 books later, A.W. Tozer was laid to rest in Akron, Ohio and on his stone is this simple epitaph: MAN OF GOD.
What this tells me is that the world was dark in sin then, is in a darker place now and will grow even darker in the future. But it also tells me that there is a revival—a real pursuit of God—going on among believers and it’s getting stronger! There is and will always be a light shining in the darkness, giving hope of salvation and redemption to the world. That light is us. Just one person sharing the gospel can make a difference!
Read with me these verses from Romans chapter 5:14-21
14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM? WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
THE PROBLEM: Through one man’s sin, all of us are exposed to eternal condemnation (means being held accountable – one must pay the penalty for his sins). Adam sinned and all of mankind lost its holiness and righteousness.
THE SOLUTION: But because of Christ and his righteousness, we have more and greater privileges than we lost by the sin of Adam.
THE PROBLEM: The law of Moses showed that many thoughts, tempers, words, and actions, were sinful and so our sinfulness was multiplied. If you were broke just one law, you were guilty of every law. Regardless of who you are or how good or bad you’ve lived, every man is a sinner against God, stands condemned by the law, and needs a pardon.
THE SOLUTION: That’s where Jesus comes in–He alone makes us righteous (being saved through faith in Jesus who puts us in right-standing). A righteousness that can truly justify cannot be made up of a mixture of sin and holiness.
THE PROBLEM: We cannot claim an eternal reward without a pure and spotless righteousness. This is our Condemnation.
THE SOLUTION: When you look for grace and a spotless righteousness, you discover it is only found in the righteousness of Christ. When you accept Him as Savior you are redeemed. This Is our Salvation.
God bless! – Pastor Steve
Key Verses: Romans 12:1-2
Prayer Point: Transform my mind/thoughts
TODAY’S PERSONAL PURSUIT
LFC Children’s Pastor
Jalynn is married to Brian Vaught, LFC board member. They were blessed with two children: Her son, Bryce, who is LFC’s youth pastor and her daughter, Tristan, whose story you will read today.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord.” That phrase “with all your heart” reminds me of the Great Commandment to love God with every shred of our being. Love for God means not only obedience but desire for God—a yearning to know God, a longing to see God.
It wasn’t until we lost our daughter till I realized that I needed God more than ever before and felt the desire to pursue him daily to find a new beginning to my life. When our daughter, Tristan was 6 months old we were told the unbearable heartbreaking news that she had a diagnoses of Holoprosencephaley. A diagnose that is so rare it’s 1 in 85,000. In severe cases the babies die before birth and in mild cases they are usually born with facial defects. God gave her a beautiful face along with a gorgeous smile that brightened our day like a ray of sunshine. Even though she was faced with medical and physical challenges God blessed us 8 ½ years with her even though we were only given hope for a year.
Thursday, August 8th, 2002 was supposed to have been a normal hot summer day filled with playing in the pool with family and friends and was suddenly changed forever. God had other plans and decided to call Tristan home and from that point on my life as I knew it would never be the same. I found myself furious with God asking the famous questions of “why, “how could God do this”, and “should I even serve a God that could take my child”? It wasn’t till I was home alone a few days after the funeral that God answered those questions after hours of crying, praying, and yes some screaming. However, God was patient with me and gave me the chance to say my peace and then He answered in a still calm voice, “Jalynn, I am not trying to abuse you, I am just trying to use you.” It took a little while before I understood exactly what He was trying to tell me; I was seeking after the desires of my own heart and couldn’t see that I needed to be constantly seeking and drawing to Him daily. I was thirsty and dry and didn’t even realize it.
Psalm 63, “God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” This day I will seek you: I will be looking for signs of your presence, I will be listening for a word from you, and I will be paying attention for evidence of your love. But it is more than attentiveness: it is a thirst. It is an acknowledgement that I need God in my life the same way I need water. This has carried me through and has charged me to seek and pursue him more each and every day.
I am reminded that each day is a blessing and we do not have a promise of tomorrow and we need to be ready for the coming of the Lord. God bless – Jalynn
Prayer Request: Bro. Dean Chaffin is in Kansas City having at least 5 days of testing. Please pray for God’s favor.
God bless – Pastor Steve