Category Archives: Seeking God

A Relationship with Jesus

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See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  (1 John 3:1)

The first step to having a relationship with Jesus is to choose Him. To say “God I want all of YOU and none of me. I surrender my life to you.”  

In a world that distracts us even blinds us from God we often don’t ask ourselves if we have really given our life to God. The disturbing truth is most of us haven’t. That’s why the road to life is narrow and few find it (Matthew 7:14). Only by surrendering to God, can He work through us and show us the path to life.

God does not force us to accept Him. We must choose Him. That’s why He gave us free will.  We either accept God and submit to Him OR we submit to the enemy. By our choices, we condemn ourselves to death or we are saved by God’s grace and set aside for Him.

Now, some of you may stop reading this or even stop seeking God because you don’t want to hear the truth. Why? Because you are comfortable in your sin. Because you want to keep watching that TV show that’s ungodly, or keep listening to that music that’s offensive or keep going to places that give birth to sin. But when God sets you aside, you need to live by HIS standards. The Holy Spirit WILL NOT let you live like the world because you do not belong to it.

Let’s make it clear. There are two choices. There is nothing in between. “You are slaves of the one you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness” (Romans 6:16).

Here’s the amazing part. The result of choosing to be slaves to God is that He honours us, protects us, loves us, blesses us and makes us His children and heirs in His kingdom. “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians 4:6-7).  We see that once we receive the Holy Spirit, we can become children of God.

Are you ready to surrender your whole life to God?

I don’t mean saying a quick 30 second prayer (if that!) before you sleep. We can’t divide our life and give some time to God, some to work, some to study and keep parts to ourselves. “The idea is to live all our lives in the presence of God, under the authority of God, and for the honour and glory of God” (R.C. Sproul).

With You

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.    (John 1:1)

God is with you.

It is important to know this because you won’t always feel it.

Having faith means we cannot be led by what we feel but by what we know and what we know comes from the truth found in God’s Word.

We are reminded constantly that God is with us, that He will never leave or forsake us and that nothing can separate us from His love.

Even in times of trouble, we are not abandoned.

We will face troubles in this life (John 16:33) and when we do, we have a safe place to go to.

 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you (Psalm 9:9-10) 

For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in his dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me high upon a rock (Psalm 27:5)

 …because the name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe (Proverbs 18:10)

 The Lord will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (Psalm 91:4)

 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. They will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust (Psalm 91:1-2)

The Lord is our haven, our strong tower which we can run into.

We run into Him by calling on His name, seeking Him diligently in prayer, fasting, the Sacraments and ultimately by spending time with Him and in His presence.

Our lives are no surprise to God and He promises to not only be with us but to lead and guide our lives if we so choose.

PRAYER

Dear God,

I thank you for always being with me. I don’t always feel you, but I know you are always at work in my life. I pray that you help me to live a life led by your truth which does not change and not by my feelings which are ever changing. You are good and faithful desiring only the best for my life. You are all I want.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love Your Enemies

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But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44)

Not everyone will like you.

As humans, we tend to judge and categorize people.

We cast them away, write them off and give them as much value as a speck of dust.

Perhaps you don’t do this but maybe you’ve experienced it.

In the midst of this, it remains your choice as to how you treat those who don’t like, or even hate, you.

The way you react reveals the true nature of your heart and speaks volumes about YOUR character.

Our human nature encourages us to respond in a like manner. To hate back. To gossip, slander and bash people with our words (often, behind their backs). This is an act of weakness.

To act divinely, that is, beyond our mere mortal nature, means we dig deep within ourselves and choose to love those who dislike or hate us.

“Wait, what?! How do you expect me to love someone who I hate or who hates me?”

This is not any easy thing to do which is why it is an act of strength that begins with a choice.

Make the decision first.

What kind of person do you choose to be?

Choose love, and the strength to grow into this genuine love will follow. Keep choosing, seeking and desiring love. God will meet you there and help equip you so that you can grow further into the image of Christ.

After all, Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that (Martin Luther King, Jr.).

What Do You Strive For?

Seek the Kingdom
But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

Matthew 6:25-34 teaches us not to worry about our worldly needs but instead to “strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”.

Other translations use the word “seek” instead of “strive”. To “seek” is to pursue, to search for, to try and find but to “strive” is to struggle, to endeavor, to go all out. We must be active in our pursuit but do we actually pursue God? Do we go all out to draw close to Him? Do we allow ourselves to struggle in our pursuit for His Kingdom and His righteousness or do we just give up when the going gets tough?

Too often, we like comfort. We don’t like to be uncomfortable. But to pursue God means we need to step out of comfort zone and learn to be comfortable in our discomfort. God will meet us in our discomfort and give us peace if we first meet Him there.

The place of calling is not the place of comfort.

Do you think it was comfortable for Jesus to preach the Word of God amongst those who hated Him? Those who would later persecute and forsake Him? Do you think it was comfortable for Jesus when all His disciples (but one) abandoned Him as He hung dying on the cross, His most darkest and lowest moment? Was it comfortable for Jesus to be spat on, mocked, tortured and hung on a cross for our sins when He was completely innocent and perfect in every sense. No. He stepped out of His comfort zone and three days later, He defeated death, rose from the grave and brought new and everlasting life to anyone who desires to be children of God. An invitation for all humanity.

God is calling you out of your comfort zone.

Your response will depend on what you strive for.

To be able to strive for God, His Kingdom and His righteousness, God must be in His rightful place in your heart. FIRST. That is the rightful place of God in our lives, He must be FIRST.

Who is seated on the throne of your heart? Who or what rules over your life?

Remember there is only one throne and you cannot have two masters. You will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other.

Maybe you’ve been sitting on the throne and it’s time to get off.  Letting Go of the Wheel and giving up control over your life is trusting God. It’s time to get out of the driver’s seat and let Jesus take control to lead and direct your life.

We must get our priorities right. Are you in order? It’s a costly decision to put anything or anyone in the throne of our heart that is not God. Only he can heal, renew, strengthen and satisfy. Nothing else can truly fulfil the desires of our hearts which is why we end up empty every time we fill ourselves up on anything that is not God. So Are you TOO Full, on something other then God? It’s time to go to Christ to empty you, fill you and lead you to life.

PRAYER
Dear God,
Thank you for always pursuing me and never giving up on me. Thank you for your unfailing love. I ask that you give me a renewed hunger and desire for you that I may actively pursue you, your Kingdom and your righteousness. Lord, help me to kick off anyone (including myself)  or anything who is currently sitting on the throne of my heart. I freely give that seat to you and choose you to reign as King over my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

 

It’s Within Your Reach

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Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change (James 1:17)

When a child sees something they want, they generally make every effort to reach out and grab for it…often to the frustration of their parents. They are determined.  As adults, our willingness to “reach out” seems to be on the decline with a sense of entitlement on the incline. We want every good thing to be handed to us and placed in our hands. We don’t want to move to action, we just want to receive.

God is a good Father who gives His children good gifts. But God doesn’t always place these directly into our hands. He often places them within our reach.

Matthew teaches us in Chapter 7, verses 7-8 to

Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Before receiving, there is FIRST a call to action. Ask. Search. Knock.

THEN there is response. Receive. Find. The door is opened.

  • Would you get mad at someone for not getting you something you never asked for?No, you didn’t ask for it.
  • Would you be annoyed if no one opened the door for you despite standing there for hours? No. You should have knocked.
  • Would be bothered if you didn’t find something you were never looking for? No. You were not looking for anything.

We constantly have God’s attention but may never bother to communicate with Him. Why do we expect to receive from God without asking, seeking, and acting?

Only when we ask, search and knock can we then receive, find and have the door opened to us.

God has placed His love, grace, peace, joy, mercy, forgiveness and salvation all within our reach but it is still up to us to:

  1. Use our mind to contemplate our choices
  2. Use our will to freely decide how we will act and
  3. Use our body to then act according to what we have decided.

It is a call and response relationship that requires action.

Here are few other instances of this pattern in the Bible:

Verse Call to Action Response
Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16) Approach the throne of grace with boldness Receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need
Draw near to God and God will draw near to you. (James 4:7-8) Draw near to God God will draw near to you.
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17) Hear the Word of God. Grow in Faith.
If we confess our sins, He who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) Confess our sins. Receive forgiveness.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:11) Ask God. Receive from God.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures (James 4:3) Ask God RIGHTLY. Receive from God.

All these things we must do with right intent before God (James 4:3; 1 John 5:14) seeking first the giver not the gift (1 Corinthians 12-16)

God has not placed any good thing outside of our reach. God wants us to use our intellect to discern His will and then act by faith. Often, we are busy waiting for God to drop down His blessings into our laps or place it into our hands. We must act. Ask, seek, knock and keep knocking! God will answer but we must first reach out to receive.

PRAYER

Dear God, help me to come before you with a right heart to seek you. Give me patience as I wait on your answers. Help me to be still and to not run ahead of you if it seems like you’re not responding. I trust you and know that you will take care of me. I thank you Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.