Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 12, 2011

".......because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."  Hebrews11:6

The old saying claims, "You do for love what you wouldn't do for money."

That is proven every Sunday in every church nursery when faithful volunteer workers change stinky diapers of infants who are not theirs. Yep, that's love!
When someone volunteers to sit in a nursery filled with stinky bawling babies, what are they looking for? Why do they do that? It isn't fun or pleasant. It doesn't do much for them.
Motive matters and when you are a nursery worker you are not doing it for the reward you are probably doing it for the relationships.
This verse states that "God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him".
Are you seeking God for a reward or are you seeking Him for a relationship? Is your faith based upon what you hope to get from Him or are you seeking  to know Him?

Hebrews 11 is the Christian Heroes Hall of Fame (or Hall of Faith). What made these men and women exemplary was not just what they did, but what motivated them to do it.

Noah labored every day for over 100 years building something he had never built before to prepate for something he had never seen before! Why was he doing that? What reward was he seeking? He didn't get paid by the hour nor was he on salary. He not only had to pound the nails into the boards and seal then with pitch - he had to make the nails, he had to cut down the trees and draw the tar out of the trees. There were no Lowes or Home Depots in that day.

Noah wasn't in it for the reward. I believe he was in it for the relationship with God.

You could go through this list of great people and ask, "Were they after a reward or were they wanting a relationship?" I believe the answer would be the same, they wanted to please God through their obedience. And they did! They altered history! They changed the world! They changed lives!

In the end they discovered an amazing truth - God IS their reward! They found that what Who He is far exceeds anything we could ever receive from Him.

Are you seeking God for what you can get from Him? Are you after the reward more than you're after the relationship? God can't reward self-seeking. You run the risk of missing both the reward and the relationship - which, in fact, IS the reward!

May 11, 2011

"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

If you want to please God you must be willing to come to Him. In fact, you must be excited about entering into  relationship with Him and sharing life with Him.

So, then how do you come to God?

Through Christ

"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  John 14:6

Apart from Christ, there is no way to come to God. He is a Holy and Righteous God and we are totally depraved and degraded sinners. Sin can have no fellowship with God and God is unable to abide with sinners.

Christ came as the God - man with the holiness of God in the flesh of mankind. His holiness qualified Him to be a perfect atoning sacrifice for our sins. His humanity allowed Him to dwell on earth and to eventually die on earth for our sins. Only the Second Adam could undo the damage from the the first Adam. And, Praise God, He did!

When we were unable to come to God, He came to us through the person of Jesus Christ. You might even say that He had to have some faith in us to send His Son to rescue us!

Through Cleanliness

"Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god." Psalm 24:3-5

No unclean thing or unclean person can come into the presence of a Holy God. So, if you plan to enter into God's presence - if you want to come to him - you must be cleansed from your sin.

How does that happen?

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all  sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. "  I John 1:7-9

Coming to God requires a cleansing by God. That cleansing comes from the shed blood of Christ. That cleansing is a moral and spiritual cleansing that brings us into fellowship through Christ. The same Christ Who is "the Way, the Truth and the Life" is the way to cleansing. Cleansing is the way to come after God.

There is an old hymn that expresses it this way:

Oh, now I see the cleansing wave!

The fountain deep and wide;

Jesus, my Lord, mighty to save,

Points to His wounded side.


The cleansing stream I see, I see!

I plunge, and, oh, it cleanseth me!

Oh, praise the Lord, it cleanseth me!

It cleanseth me, yes, cleanseth me.

I see the new creation rise,

I hear the speaking blood;

It speaks, polluted nature dies,

Sinks ’neath the cleansing flood.

I rise to walk in Heav’n’s own light,

Above the world and sin,

With heart made pure and garments white,

And Christ enthroned within.

Amazing grace! ’tis Heav’n below

To feel the blood applied,

And Jesus, only Jesus know,

My Christ crucified.

Will you come after God?

Will you surrender to Christ?

Will you be made clean?