Lucia's Blog: GOD IS NOT FAR FROM EACH ONE OF US
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

GOD IS NOT FAR FROM EACH ONE OF US

"That they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us."
Acts 17:27



As I look at the current state of our nation: the political atmosphere, the degradation of the family, our schools, the high rate of drugs, fornication, and alcohol among our youth, I can't help but be grieved. There are so many souls at stake here that don't have a clue as to God's purpose in their life. They are being destroyed for lack of knowledge of the Truth. They even reject that knowledge. What they don't realize is that when they refuse to know God's Truth, it leads them to their own destruction.  My fervent prayer is that those hearts who are seeking God diligently may come to know the Jesus of God's revealed Word, the Bible, and be saved. I have prayed that those who are developing a seeker's heart might find God so that they may know the blessings of a relationship with Him, and that they may seek His face, and respond to His calling (Psalm 27:8).

Our loving and merciful God loves all souls.  They are all precious to Him.  He desires all men to seek Him diligently, repent, and turn to Him, their Creator for salvation (Psalm 14:2-3; Jeremiah 7:7-11).  He wants all men to know Him (1 John 1:1-7).  I assure you that if you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him and know Him and His ways so that you may serve Him faithfully.

In Hebrews 11:6, we are told that "without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."  Although the word "faith" (believe) can be a powerful word in the Bible, the word "must" used in this passage is much stronger.  It is used to indicate something mandatory, necessary, and something that ought to be done.  Therefore to seek God, one "must" believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him diligently.  Without "faith," it is impossible to please God.

The only truth is that we all one day soon, whether we want to or not, will meet our Creator, our God. Therefore, why not seek Him while you are still alive so that you can repair your relationship with Him before it is too late.  Your eternal destiny is important and is knocking at your door.  Don't let it go!  Why not seek Him and accept His invitation without resisting it?  Jesus, our Lord, died for us that we might know His Father, be accepted by Him, be adopted by Him, be reconciled to Him, and be saved through Him.  Therefore, do not neglect His great invitation of salvation, eternal life   (John 17:2-3; 1 John 5:20). 


I.   HOW DOES ONE SEEK GOD, FIND HIM AND KNOW HIM?

When man seeks God diligently, he will find God.  In Deuteronomy 4:29, we are told:
"But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul."  (Deuteronomy 4:29)

What was true back then in the days of Moses is true for us today.  In Matthew 7:7, our Lord Jesus stated.
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."

Again in Acts 17:27 we read,
"That they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us."

Our God is not far from any of us, but we must seek Him diligently. Sadly many seek Him and turn to Him only when they're in distress (Deuteronomy 4:30), yet our God is all-merciful to the genuinely repentant heart (Deuteronomy 4:31).  I do not deny that it is good to turn to God when adversity strikes, but it is always so much better to seek Him, inclining our hearts to Him at all times.

  • God is Knowable:
In Acts 17:22-23 we read;
"So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you."

Paul is standing amid the philosophers at Athens (the legislative body).  He perceives that they are "very religious" in the way they lived their life, i.e., they seem to respect what is divine.  Indeed, this is a good trait to have as long as one's religion pleases God.  The problem is that many who are religious, practice their religion only when it is convenient for them.  It makes them hypocrites.  You see, the Athenians were religious people though they severely misunderstood the concept of deity.  These Athenians were exclusively Gentile.  They worshiped idols.  It was easier to find a god in Athens than a man!  These were people who were very ignorant of God and the long-awaited Messiah.

Before Paul could preach to these pagan Gentiles about Jesus Christ, the Messiah, he had to correct their flawed religion (their faulty knowledge of deity).  That is why it is so vital when one is teaching the "good news" to consider the level of knowledge a person might have and start from there, the way Paul did.  Paul noticed an altar "to the unknown god."  Of course, this "unknown god" was the only true and living God.  It is ironic that they would worship the only true God without knowing Him.  Paul did not waste any time but went straight ahead, instructing those who would hear him about the living God.  In Acts 17:24-27, he said,
"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us."

Isn't it something that the "unknown god" that the Athenians worshiped without knowing it, was the true and living God?!  The God that created everything!  The true living God and giver of life.
  • A God that does not live in physical structures made by men.  
  • A God that is almighty and all-powerful.  
  • A God, who is Lord, Master, and Ruler.  
  • A God who exercises authority over all His creation.  
  • A God who does not need anything offered from men like food or drink.  
  • A God who desires men to submit and surrender to Him alone.  
  • A God who wants complete and faithful obedience from His creatures.  
  • A God who is the Sustainer and not the sustained one!  
  • A God who has set boundaries on mankind and that regulates them (Daniel 4:25).  
  • A God who wants all mankind to seek Him!  
  • A God who wants humanity to search for Him and find Him!  

Therefore, all of humanity is obliged to seek Him while there is time.  This is precisely what Paul was eagerly trying to teach and help the Athenians to grasp.

You see, as Paul was trying hard to teach the Athenians to seek God, he indeed assured them that God was not far away from any of them.  He helped them to acknowledge that God was involved in their lives. Our awesome God is near to all who are diligently seeking Him.  He has made everything possible for man to know Him through Christ.  Our God did not ignore or overlooked the wickedness of man.  Otherwise, there would not have been any need for a Savior.  God expected these Athenians to repent the same way He wants all people today to repent of their wicked ways (Acts 2:38).  He seeks to instruct all men in His divine nature and His plan of redemption through His Son.  God wants to lead mankind to repentance, a change of mindset, and behavior.  God desires all men to repent and obey Him.  He wants all people to escape eternal damnation through the power of His glorious Gospel of grace.

Sadly, there is a final Day of Judgment approaching (Heb. 9:27), and no one will escape it.  We must be ready for it!  This should be enough to move us to repent and obey Him and avoid condemnation. The only way to escape the eternal destruction of our souls is through obeying the gospel. Jesus, our Lord, and Savior, will be the righteous Judge of all (2 Cor. 5:10-11).

  • That same Jesus who was crucified for the sins of this world.  
  • That same Jesus who was resurrected and is alive again.  
  • That same Jesus, who was raised from the dead by the power of God, His Father, never to die again!  
  • A Jesus, who gives us hope through His resurrection, that according to God's promise, we will be raised again from the dead.  Such a promise is beyond words!!

When Paul spoke to the Athenians about the "resurrection of the dead," they began to ridicule him. These Athenian Philosophers were not too much in agreement with a universal resurrection.  Many decided to cling to their false beliefs.  Yet some seekers genuinely desire to hear and learn more about the gospel of Christ.  Sadly, from what we read in the Scriptures, the gospel was not able to reach many souls there in Athens.  But according to Luke, some did obey.  Today we have the same problem.  Why?  Because the gospel message is preached to many different hearts, resulting in many different responses (Matthew 13).  The seed is planted, but many do not respond well.

  • Finding God Through His Revealed Word:
God inspired some men (called prophets) to speak and write down His Word.  They spoke God's divine words.  The sum of all these sacred writings is what makes up the Bible.  A book trustworthy, of course, God being the only Author from the beginning of mankind.  A God who is eternal and whose Word is also eternal.  A God who made us and told us how we ought to live.  A God whose Word is life and is food for our souls.  And as we read the pages of His divine Book, we begin to know the Author.  We want more and more, we hunger and thirst more and more for Him.  A God who satisfies our hunger and yearning through His Word, when we are diligently seeking Him. He challenges us to examine His Truth.  God's eternal Word is for diligent seekers and not for casual inquirers.

For one to know God, he must seek and rely upon the revealed Word of God (I Corinthians 2:9-13. Romans 10:17 and II Timothy 2:15).  God's ultimate plan or intent is for men to "seek" Him (Acts 17:27).

God is calling all men to seek His face, to draw near to Him (Psalm 27:8). God calls us through His eternal Word to a cleansing of our mind and heart.  What that means is that we must be willing to put away all sin.  It is the only way to turn our hearts toward Him.  His Word is alive and can penetrate the soul and the spirit by changing our intentions and way of thinking into righteousness.  The Word can cleanse the hearts of all men bringing them into newness of life, but man must humbly accept the remedy for the illness of the heart called sin.

His Word restores our souls to perfection if we indeed want to know Him and want to be like Him. There is no other way! God's Word endlessly transforms us.  God's everlasting Word does not return to Him void.  His Word regenerates us according to the character of God.  Our transformation or the renewing of our mind and soul is like a metamorphosis.  It can only be accomplished through the Word of God, His Truth.  His Word gives us excellence.  And this excellency of His Holy Word is seen in us if we abide in it and obey it.

One can have knowledge of God and yet not know Him.  In John 8:18-19 Jesus said,
"I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, 'Where is your Father?' Jesus answered, 'You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.'"

The Pharisees thought they had knowledge of God, but in fact, they didn't.  And since they didn't know the Father, they couldn't have fellowship with either the Father or the Son.

God is looking for true worshipers who will worship Him in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23).

Jesus said, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17).  Jesus' words are words of eternal life.  The Word of God offers us many benefits, such as peace, freedom, trust, purity, love, joy, and hope. But we must love it and let it bear good fruit or good results in our hearts.  If we use God's Word, according to His will, it can prosper us and make us productive.  God's Word will not return to Him void.


  • Jesus Came to Earth to Reveal His Father to Man:

"No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known"  (John 1:18).

God has given us His Son, and in Him, we have everything we need to know about the Father.  When we know the Son, then we can know the Father and have fellowship with Him (John 14:6-9; 6:45). Jesus died for us that we might know God, His Father, be accepted, adopted, become heirs, and have eternal life (John 17:2-3; 1 John 5:20).

We can know God, the Father, through His Son.  Through Jesus, we can find our way back to the Father. Jesus, our Lord, is our link to God.  No one can come to the Father except through His Son, our Lord, and Savior.  Jesus came to earth to save us from the bondage of sin.  Sin separates us from God, the Father.

"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,  or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear."  (Isaiah 59:1-2)

The Bible word "iniquity," "sin," and "transgression" are mistakenly understood as synonyms. The word iniquity refers to that which is perverted, defiled, or twisted.  God has commanded us to walk the straight way, but when one perverts it, defiles it, or twists it (by changing it), one commits iniquity.  Now to sin is to miss the mark, i.e., God's target.  We sin by falling short of God's expectations or going beyond them without respecting His authority (Deut. 12:32; Col. 3:17; Lev. 10:1-2).  To transgress is to rebel or trespass against God.  The truth is that God hates all iniquity, sin, and transgression made against Him.  He demands obedience out of us, His creatures.  Turning against Him in disobedience is against God's holy nature.

Sin severs our fellowship with our Father.  Sin is a grave thing, and we must not take it lightly.  Sin is so serious to the Father that He had to send His "only begotten" Son to die for our sins.  Our sins had to be atoned by the blood of Jesus.  His death on the cross became the atoning sacrifice for our sins.  It is through His shed blood that God, the Father, has made us alive with Christ and has forgiven us of our sins.  It was through Jesus' atoning that we can have fellowship restored to the Father. 


CONCLUSION:

When one is seeking God, he learns God's will for him.  It means that one knows God and obeys His Son's teachings (2 Thess. 1:8; 1 John 2:3-6).  So how can we find God that we might know Him and obey Him?  By simply seeking God's invitation diligently; by accepting the duty of seeking; by not resisting it; by wanting to know God and do His will.

God wants all men to obey and please Him.  He is a God of consequences who does not tolerate an unrepentant and proud heart. He accepts and receives only a humble and contrite heart that seeks Him.  He wants all men to seek Him to find Him.  God is all-merciful and gracious and will not turn His face from man when he diligently wants to return to Him.  He is also a God of lovingkindness.  A kindness that overflows with love.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."  (John 3:16)
"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  (Romans 5:8)

Our God desires all humanity to have godly sorrow for their sins (2 Cor. 7:10).  Therefore to seek God is to seek righteousness and humility (Zephaniah 2:3).  Jesus spoke of seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness in Matthew 6:33.  Therefore, the best time to seek Him and obey Him is now. Today is the day of salvation!  Let us show a heart that diligently seeks after God.  God is near to those who are seeking Him from their heart.  He will not let them down.  Let us take advantage of God's invitation and drink freely from the river of the water of life.  Let us eat freely of the tree of life which is offered to those who want to wash their robes and enter the gates of the city, the heavenly Jerusalem, His church.
"Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever."  Revelation 22:1-5
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.  Revelation 22:17
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.  He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. Revelation 21:6-7

Everlasting life is only offered to those who seek, obey, walk with, trust, and serve the only true and living God.  Seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness is what really matters.  Calling Him Master, acknowledging Him as the source of all life, the Light, the Way is not enough!  It is not sufficient.  Likewise, recognizing that He is all gracious, powerful, wise, and almighty is not enough either.  Obeying Him and doing His Father's will makes our confession sufficient!

God wants all men to drink of the living water to refresh their thirsty soul and obtain salvation through obedient faith in Jesus.  Anyone is welcome to drink freely of this living water to satisfy their thirst by believing in Jesus and obeying His teachings.

May the Lord help us to present His Holy Word faithfully to the lost that they may know the peace and freedom that we have come to know through that Everlasting Word.

I want to leave you with the compelling words of this encouraging poem:



You call Me "Master" and obey Me not.
You call Me "Light" and seek Me not.
You call Me "Way" and walk Me not.
You call Me "Life" and desire Me not.
You call Me "wise" and follow Me not.
You call Me "fair" and love Me not.
You call Me "rich" and ask Me not.
You call Me "eternal" and seek Me not.
You call Me "gracious" and trust Me not.
You call Me "noble" and serve Me not.
You call Me "mighty" and honor Me not.
You call Me "just" and fear Me not.
If I condemn you, blame Me not!

Luci

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