A Real God Gives A Real Reward

Hebrews 11:6
… anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

It’s easy to ignore God. Lots of people do it. Developing a relationship with someone is something fewer people do. It takes time and effort. You have to give of yourself and work on two-way communication.

Anyone who wants to hear from God about a particular issue must realize that God doesn’t really approach you in a business-like manner. He doesn’t have office hours. He doesn’t take coffee breaks. He is actually available to us whenever we want to speak and listen.

And since He’s available 24/7, we have to realize one more thing. He’s not a vending machine. We’re not supposed to put in words of praise and adoration like quarters into a machine. He doesn’t give out blessings and miracles if you push the right buttons.

God is real. He’s not only real, but he’s also a person with feelings. We sometimes forget how to approach God since we’ve never encountered anyone else who is Almighty, Omnipotent, and Omniscient. We have to remember that “seeking God” is simply seeking a relationship with him.

He is the powerful Lion who is also the gentle lamb. He’s just, and he’s merciful. He knows we’ve sinned, but he reminds us (often) that we’re forgiven.

The reward mentioned in Hebrews 11:6 is sometimes thought of in earthly or financial terms. But my experience has been that when you seek God with your whole heart, the satisfying and enduring reward that He gives is the thrill of his warm presence. Being with God is more important to me than receiving a small gift of finances. I know He provides and protects in whatever way He chooses, so I don’t fret about what I don’t control. I simply enjoy His presence.

This is the perfect time to thank God for his presence with us.

Two Searches, One Goal

Matthew 7:8
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

There are two kinds of searches. The first is a search for something you once had, but lost. The second is a search for something you never had.

The goal of both searches is achieved the same way. You have to look for what you lack.

In the first search you know what the item you’re looking for feels like. You know whether it’s heavy or light. You know its size and smell and general appearance. You even know when you last had it. The search should be easy.

The second type of search is a little more difficult because you may not have all the necessary information. You have to do an initial search for the information that will tell you where you should look for the item.

If you and your dog Jumpy are sitting in the back yard in the shade and you fall asleep, and then you wake up and the dog is gone, you simply look in the usually places for him. If you see Jumpy across the street in the neighbor’s yard, you would recognize him right away. It should be easy to get him back.

However if you go to your Grandma’s house and she asks you to help her find her new dog Simon, but she doesn’t have a picture of him, it would be much harder to get Simon back. Even if she told you he’s a black and white dog, it would be possible for you to bring back three or four black and white dogs before you find the right one.

My point is no matter if the search is easy or difficult, you’re not going to obtain your prize unless you look for it.

When I lost something and knew it had to be there nearby somewhere, I got distracted away from whatever else I could’ve been doing and got really focused on finding it.

That’s how God wants us to be when we’re searching for Him. You ask yourself, “Where’s God in this situation?” He’s there. You just have to look harder. He even gave us a Bible verse to motivate us to keep looking for Him. Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Whether your search is for something tangible like a dog or intangible like peace, you may need to get more information before starting your search. You may need to ask God for wisdom to look in the right places. So start there first, and seek God with me.

God Loves His Kids

Zephaniah 1:6
I will cut off “…those who turn back from following the Lord and neither seek the Lord nor inquire of him.”

God loves you. He wants you to know that.

If you have been in church and found the people in the church to be imperfect, don’t judge God by that. If you’ve been hurt by someone who claims to be a Christian, don’t judge God by that. People – even good Christians – are imperfect. But God is love.

Many find questions in church that they can’t answer, and they turn away from God. We have to realize that some answers don’t come easy. Don’t make getting answers a condition of your love for God. He doesn’t put conditions on his love for you.

God can be in charge and not like what he sees. He’s a parent. Sometimes his children are well-behaved, and sometimes they’re naughty. He loves his kids anyway.

If you’ve ever known God’s love, don’t turn away from him. When difficult times come your way, stay with him. Ask him the hard questions. Seek him in prayer. Sit silently in his presence. He will be with you.

God stays patient with us through our ups and downs, but we have to remain his kids. Why do we turn our backs on God, disown him, ignore him, run away from him, and then wonder why we don’t feel his love?

There will be a day when those who turn their backs on God will identify themselves with the wicked. If they remain arrogantly wicked long enough, they will turn down every chance to come back to God. They won’t seek God when they need him.

God doesn’t want to lose any of his kids. No parent does. That’s why I keep encouraging you to seek God with me.

Seeking Him In Our Brokenness

Psalm 10:4
In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Where is God when you need him?

He’s right where he was when you thought you didn’t need him.

He’s always been there for us, but we haven’t always been there for him. We sometimes find that there is no room for God in our schedule. But God always has room for us in his.

Why is God so patient with us?

When we arrogantly think that we can handle all the events in our lives without help from God, we ignore his guiding touch. We push away the hand he holds out to us. Then when we find ourselves in need, we know he is the only one to whom we can run. But we often hold back our call for help. We think he won’t help us. We think we’ve offended God too much for him to hear our plea.

It’s not the cry for help that he ignores; it’s the unrepentant heart. As long as we take him seriously and believe he will respond to us, we can run to him in our brokenness. We can flood his shoulder with our tears. We can ask him to help us stay turned back to him.

It starts with a heart that is willing. You must be willing to be held and directed by God.

The wicked doesn’t seek him. They don’t want his love. But you aren’t wicked and your heart is willing to be held in the hand of God. So seek God with me today.