This We Seek: To Be Made Pleasing To God
“The poor shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever!” Psalm 22:26
It is possible for our hungry souls to be satisfied by God. When we seek Him and find Him, a profound satisfaction is available to us, but it is not what many people expect whose first though is for what they themselves wish to receive. It is a satisfaction that comes from what David called “praise.” Our hearts were made to enjoy God by giving joy to Him, and this we do by expressing our adoration for what He has done – and can do.
We are to seek God diligently and having sought and found Him we are to serve Him obediently and faithfully. But the emphasis must be kept on God. Even those scriptural exhortations that urge us to be careful about our obedience do so within the context of God’s work rather than our own: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12, 13).
Ultimately, we seek God because we long to be persons who please Him. Having been made by Him in His image, we find that this longing has been planted deep within us. But we are creatures broken by our own sin; we cannot make ourselves into what we long to be. So, the thing that we desire is to be remade – by God Himself – into persons who please Him. We understand that the highest holiness to which we may aspire is yielding of ourselves to him so that he can do His good pleasure through us. Only we can make this choice (and our actions will be a fair indication of whether we have done so), but our focal point, first and last, must be simply God Himself. The Hebrew writer prayed for his Christian readers: “Now may the God of peace…make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Heb. 13:20, 21). For personal beings, the highest and sweetest joy of all is to give joy back to the Person from whom our lives have come. This is what we seek.
Diligently Seeking God
Sermon in Song: Jesus Gives Us A Song to Sing!
I. #452 He Keeps Me Singing – Col. 3:16
II. #209 Christ For the World We Sing – 2 Cor. 5:19
III. #664 He Gave Me A Song – Psa. 40:3
IV. #405 Wonderful Words of Life – John 6:68
V. #232 When all of God’s Singers Get Home – Rev. 19:1
Lesson by Kaleb hopper
Days Well Spent
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph.5:15, 16
We have only a limited number of days to live in this world, and it’s important to have the confidence that we’ve spent them well. We need to be able to go to bed each night knowing that we’ve used the resources of that day to the best of our personal abilities and have “redeemed” the time.
This doesn’t mean that every single day must be spent in full-throttle, no-time-for-leisure “work.” The best use of some days is to rest. In the Law of Moses, it should be noted, God required the people of Israel to rest one day out of every seven. And though the Sabbath law does not apply directly to us today, the point should not be missed: God understands our need for rest and replenishment, and the correct use of many days is to engage in those very things. “Days well spent” does not mean “all work and no play.”
On any given day, however, whatever should be done with that day – whether work, play, or some combination of the two – that is what we should do. As the days come and go, we need to have the good feeling that we’re using life as God wants us to use it, rather than wasting it doing things that were never meant to be done or things that were meant for someone else to do.
For fallible creatures like us, living the godly life comes down to the business of making regular improvement. Reaching forward means doing a little better with each day than was done with the day before. If we take a moment or two at the end of the day to reflect on what we’ve done (and it’s wise to make that a habit), it’s a wonderful feeling to know that, with that day, we’ve taken a step forward in our stewardship of life – we’ve brought another thing or two under the benevolence of God’s will and made ourselves a bit more completely the vessels of God’s glory. In an age obsessed with “self-esteem,” we should understand that healthy self-respect can only come from hearing God say to us at day’s end, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21).
– Reaching Forward – March 08, 2009