Page 7 was a Sunday and I had the privilege of preaching at the North Wayne Mennonite Church, so I’ll add the main points of the sermon to today’s page in addition to the “thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections” from the day. 🙂
I had planned on using the sermon outline and points that I shared at Deer Run last week but as I prepared, God led me in a different direction and I ended up with a message today titled, “A God Who Will Be FOUND“. Many Christians are familiar with the words from Jeremiah where God says, “I know the plans I have for you . . . “. Yet what is often missed when that verse is quoted is the context of a people whose time of exile in Babylon is nearly up and a reminder to them that to experience the plans God is talking about, they must seek Him with a whole heart so that He will be found. Using the word “FOUND” as the outline, here are the main points we considered this morning.
We must seek a God who will be . . .
- Faithful: In 2 Timothy 2:11-13, we find a God who responds to us in manner similar to our approach to him . . . until it comes to our unfaithfulness. Even when we are not faithful, He is always faithful. We can be assured that when we seek Him with our whole heart, He will be faithful in His promise that He will be found. God’s faithfulness doesn’t depend on our faithfulness, but it ought to produce a greater faithfulness in us as we seek to live like Christ.
- Observant: In 1 Peter 3:10-12, we read that “God’s eyes are always upon the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers.” It is easy to feel overlooked by people around you that are just as busy as you are or simply have no desire to notice others. God, on the other hand, is always observant and never misses what is going on in the lives of His children. Even in the midst of a generation whose every thought was inclined toward evil all of the time, “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” We can rest assured that the God who will be found can, will, and does observe us even when we are surrounded by evil.
- Understanding: Hebrews 4:15-16 lets us know that we have a God who can sympathize with our struggles and weaknesses. It is easy to go through life feeling misunderstood because, frankly, no one else can see accurately into our heart and motives. Even more reassuring than having someone who understands when we choose to do right, God understands the struggles we face when we are tempted to choose what is wrong. Rather than demanding perfection that we will never achieve on our own, through Jesus we have a mediator between God and us who understands and can speak accurately and lovingly on our behalf. The God who will be found understands us completely and still wants to be found by us.
- Nurturing: When I read Matthew 23:37, I hear great sadness in the voice of Jesus as He looks out over Jerusalem and longs to gather the people to Himself “as a hen gathers her chicks under her wing.” God has not simply called us to Himself and left it up to us to make it to Him on our own. As His children, He cares for us and nurtures us with a love that is more complete and pure than any other. He makes it clear that it is He who has provided the gifts of leadership throughout the ages for the purpose of building up the body to complete maturity with Christ as the head. When we seek a God who will be found, we find a God who nurtures us and cares for us as His own — because we are!
- Decisive: In 2 Peter 3, we find Peter warning individuals that people would make the claim that Jesus was not going to return. Those spreading such rumors would point to the amount of time that had passed and claim that everything was happening on earth just as it had since the beginning of time. These “scoffers” would show up and mock those looking forward to the return of Christ. Peter explains to his readers that God is not slow, as the world counts slowness, rather He is patiently waiting in order to give people everywhere the opportunity to repent. But there will be a day when that patience has run its course and Jesus returns “like a thief in the night.” On that day there will be no question of who belongs to Jesus and who doesn’t. The decision will have been made by us and proclaimed by the Son of Man. When we seek a God who will be found, we find a God who is decisive and holds fast to what has been decided.
So, does this sound like the God you are seeking? I pray that it is not only the God you are seeking, but also the God you have found!
Here are some other thoughts, lessons, and/or reflections from the day:
- Today was a “multi-hat” day — both literally and figuratively. 🙂
- The cold air temperature made multiples hats beneficial as I cleared snow from the sidewalks this morning.
- Once the snow was cleared, I took off those hats and put on the “cleaning hat” as I took the floor scrubber to the floors while the building was still empty — at least when I began.
- With the floors cleaned, I took off that hat and put on a “trash collectors hat” as I emptied some of the trash cans to get ready for the day.
- With the building ready, I put on my traveling hat as I made the drive to Dowagiac to share with the North Wayne Mennonite Church this morning.
- Once at the church building, I set aside the other hats so that only my “worshiper hat” remained . . . at least until I was needed to run the song lyrics computer and had to put on my “A/V tech hat”. 🙂
- Eventually I was able to put on my “preacher hat” and share the message God had given me for the morning.
- I suppose there were some other “hats” throughout the day, but that was at least most of the morning ones.
- I am thankful for the abilities God has given me which allows such variety in my life.
- I am thankful for the wonders of photography which allows me to revisit some great family times from the past year.
- I am thankful for the opportunities I have to preach.
- One of the hats I didn’t wear today was “photographer”, so today’s photo is one from our trip to Silver Beach yesterday. Even on a cold snowy day, the beauty of this scene caught my eye.