Would you like confirmation about why we’re in this series right now? This morning at New Life Christian Center we had a guest evangelist from Reinhard Bonnke’s School of Evangelism. Now, I promise you that up until this morning I’d never met Evangelist Fabian Grech until this morning, and I can promise you that he’s never met me. So, when he got up this morning preaching about the importance of Seeking God…you can imagine that I found myself sitting up a little bit straighter in my seat.
Friends, just the other day, I was seeking God just to kind of make sure that He and I are on the same page, and just asking Him to show me that what I’m doing is His will…and where He wants me. This morning’s message confirmed that very thing to me.
So…imagine how much more confirmation it is to see “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 NIV as part of our text for today. That’s because Evangelist Fabian Grech had that verse in his sermon today.
So…let’s see what the Lord would have to say to us today…Amen!?!
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 NIV
What do you think of when you read those words? I’ll remind you that Jesus spoke them in what’s known as “The Sermon on the Mount”. He opened the Sermon on the Mount talking about what we know as the “Be-Attitudes”. But in the middle of this message is this admonition: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”.
You know what I see? Every thing that we need is found only by seeking God’s face. You know, why do we go to church? Why do we sing worship songs? Why do we do things like tithe? What is the importance of reading and studying the Word of God? Why are all these things necessary?
Because it’s all about seeking the face of God. Let me share some verses with you in this message that might stir up your hunger and fire to seek God’s face.
When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Psalms 27:8 (NKJV)
This is one of my favorite moments that David has with God because you can see the sincere desire of David, and it makes me humble to realize that I can have that same desire…but to be completely honest…I don’t. I don’t always have this desire because of all the distractions of the world, and I’m ashamed to have those kinds of excuses, but it’s the truth. I’m no where near as diligent about seeking the Lord’s face as I want to be, and I thank God that He can see and know my heart. I’m thankful that He knows I desire to have that desire that David had…because in all honesty I do desire to have that desire and fire and passion for the face of Jesus.
“Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart” Psalms 119:2 (NKJV)
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 (NKJV)
“Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.” I Chronicles 22:19 (NKJV)
Set your heart and soul to seek the Lord, seek Him with all your heart and soul, and blessed are those who seek Him with the whole heart. Oh, Lord that You would burn that fire and desire in my heart to seek You. Oh…that You would ignite my heart and set it ablaze for You, Father.
Friends…this ought to be the desire and passion of our hearts. It’s good to seek to be promoted at work, but I submit to you that the more we’re desiring God’s face the more those promotions will come…from Him. I want to get to a place where my heart burns with such a fire for the face of God that the only thing that will satisfy it is His face, His presence, and a touch from Him.
I mean, come on, seriously…why do we go to church? I mean, if you want to visit with the Smith family wait until after the service. I mean, if we’re not going to church to meet with God then we’re wasting our time…because if that’s not the goal of attending church then we’re just their for a social gathering…and we can have social gatherings anywhere…but in the House of the Lord…if we’re not there to encounter Him in a deeper and more intimate way then I hate to be the bearer of bad news…but you’re wasting your time.
I don’t want to go to church to sing a few songs, hear a short sermon, and then go about my day like nothing happened. I don’t want to just hang out for a couple of hours, and then say hey to those I haven’t seen all week. I go to church because I want to feel the tangible presence of God. I go because I need my soul to be fed the Word of God so that I can be challenged, grow, mature, and then turn around and be more equipped to minister and write these messages. I go because I want to be more and more acquainted with my Father’s presence, and have my heart and ears more tuned to His voice.
Friends…if we’re going to church for any other reason than to seek God’s face then we’re wasting our time, and really that’s why we leave the same way we came in…because we’re not seeking God with our whole heart. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to leave church the same way I arrived. I want to encounter God’s presence…and that’s because that’s where transformation takes place. In His presence is where He conforms me more and more into the image of His Son. If I’m not going to church for that…I may as well sit home and watch church on television or go to the coffee shop…
I’m sorry that this is coming out as strong as it is, but the time of “playing church” is over. It’s too late in the game, and there is an urgency and emergency to the hour in which we live. Do you not realize that any moment that trumpet is going to sound? I know that there’s always people out there who are trying to predict the day of the rapture, and it’s impossible to do so because the only person who knows when that trumpet is going to sound is God the Father…but if you cannot look around at the state of the world today…and realize that the trumpet is about to be hoisted to the lips of the One who is going to sound the end of the church age…then you really need to check to see if you’re even living for God at all.
It’s not hard to turn on CNN or MSNBC or Fox News, and see what’s going on. There’s so much hurt in the earth today, so many people who think all of this is just a mere coincidence, but just like they thought us Christians were crazy in the days of Noah…there’s a storm coming…and that storm is the return of Jesus to claim His bride from the earth.
What does seeking God look like in your life? Feelings of guilt used to sometimes drive my desire to spend time with God in prayer and Bible reading. I thought I was letting God down if I didn’t make this a priority. Honestly, I think God must feel disappointed when we neglect Him. After all, He tells us in His Word that He is a jealous God. I’m jealous for time with the people I love, too. We need to realize God doesn’t want us to come to Him out of obligation but out of desire. When you and I see God for who He really is, we will desire Him. Period. Oh, Father, open our eyes to who You are! Write, pray, or reflect on this today. Tell God that you want to know Him and love Him more. Cry out to Him for more of His presence in your life.
Let’s talk about this a little bit. What does seeking God look like in your life? Are you seeking, truly seeking the heart of God…or do you just seek Him when you’re in trouble? Do you really want to know what God’s desires and plans for you…or do you only want to know when what He wants from you suits you?
How much time do you spend with God? How much time to you spend studying the Word to show yourself approved? According to recent studies not much because less than 25% of Christians who have a Bible in their home reads or studies it on a regular basis. That means 75% or more barely open it long enough to get the dust off of it.
How much time to you spend talking to God? Do you even have a secret, quiet place where you go to seek Him? When you go to church do you go do encounter God or meet with the Robinson’s? When you worship God…do you really worship Him or do you just kind of wish they’d stop singing and get on with the sermon? When you listen to sermons do you actively listen? Do you take notes? Or do you wish your pastor would hurry up so you don’t miss kick off?
I’m not trying to meddle in your lives…but what I am trying to do is challenge you to seek God more diligently than ever before…because the hour is near where we need to cling to God like never before…and it’s coming a lot sooner than you think. Don’t be like the fools in Noah’s day laughing and carrying on like it’s no big deal…and that there’s no flood coming. It’s time, friends…may these words from the prophet Isaiah speak a warning to your heart…and I’ll close with this warning:
Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6 (NKJV)
When the trumpet sounds…it’s too late. Don’t worry, friends, you’re not alone in this. I’ve had to repent, and challenge my heart to be more diligent and passionate about seeking the Lord with all of my heart…not just some of it.
That’s the punch line for today’s message: Seek God with ALL your heart…not just some of it. Amen!?!
We need to realize God doesn’t want us to come to Him out of obligation but out of desire. When you and I see God for who He really is, we will desire Him. Period.
I know I spoke a lot harsher today than I have in many messages in the past, and that’s because I feel a sense of urgency in my heart that I’ve not felt before. Friends…I love what’s written here so much that I thought I’d add it to the conclusion. When you and I see God for WHO He really is…we will desire Him.
I would like to encourage you to make a sincere effort to find a quiet place AND time for just you and Him. I urge you to get out your Bibles a little more often, and maybe turn off the television more often so you can spend time with God in His Word. The most important relationship you and I will ever have isn’t the one with our parents, our friends, our families, or even our spouses…it’s our relationship with God…because He’s the only One that will stand the test of time.
Evangelist Fabian Grech talked this past Sunday for those of us who are married to live for God like we weren’t. He wasn’t saying that we shouldn’t be married. What he was saying is that we should desire God above every one and every thing. He was just trying to illustrate to us the depth of hunger and passion we should have for God…and I find myself wanting to get to that place. How about you?
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV
Be A Doer…Not Just a Hearer:
I am giving you homework with this message, but I don’t want you to do it because you feel obligated…I want you to do it out of a sincere desire to draw nearer to God. The Bible says that if we draw near to God…He WILL draw near to us…but it’s up to us to draw near to Him. He will respond to our desire, but He’s a gentleman in the sense that He will never force us to draw near to Him…He’ll only respond when we invite Him…and take steps towards Him.
Anyways…here’s your homework…it’s up to you whether or not you do it…I’m not going to ask or check to see if you’ve done it…no…this is between you and the Lord…therefore…you and the Lord will know if you really do this or not.
Write, pray, or reflect on this today. Tell God that you want to know Him and love Him more. Cry out to Him for more of His presence in your life.