Apply the Word: 3 Reasons to Pursue God
Jesse preached an inspiring message, called "The King of Glory," from Psalm 24 (which you can listen to here) this past Sunday that left us with a lot of hope for God to embrace us when we seek him and to act in our lives when we call on him. Perhaps the best way to summarize his sermon is to say he gave us 3 reasons to seek God:
1. Feeling Hungry
There is nothing that will bring us more happiness, more peace, more of a sense of blessedness, than being in God's presence. Jesse pointed out that Psalm 24 assumes that we want to "ascend the hill of the Lord" and "stand in his holy place." God purchased us in Christ to be his special people in his presence. God came to us and saved us so that he can be with us. Does that matter enough to you to make a difference in how you live every day? Is it real to you? Does it bring you to God in prayer, because you'd rather be with him than do anything else and because you know you need him more than anything else?
2. Feeling Dirty
We are sinful, and God is “the God of our salvation.” Psalm 24 tells us that only the one with clean hands and a pure heart may enter into God's presence. When we realize how far short we fall of that standard, we can be tempted to view our sinfulness as a reason not to seek God, as a reason to give up on seeking God, because we feel disqualified from being in his presence. But the gospel tells us that it is specifically for the unclean that Christ came and that when we bring our dirty hands and impure hearts to God, he removes those things which disqualify us and replaces them with the qualifications of Jesus Christ, himself. Therefore, we seek God especially when we are dirty, because we know he will make us clean.
3. Feeling Needy
We need God's help in other areas of life. Psalm 24 closes with an announcement that God is about to show up at the tabernacle ("lift up your head, O gates...that the king of glory may come in"). God, who is "mighty in battle," has fought for his people and won, and he is bringing them home in victory. Because we know God wants to help us, and because we know God has the power to help us, we ask him to help us. Jesse had us spend the last several minutes of service praying for each other that God would intervene in difficult circumstances, and, based on this psalm, I encourage you to bring a pressing need to God right now, knowing that the "God of your salvation" in Psalm 24 is the God of your salvation right now. He hears, and he will help.
Alex earned his degree in Practical Theology from Southeastern University, and now works as a Project Coordiantor over at Adventist Health System. He also preaches occasionally, and blogs over at Redemption Applied, which you can (and should!) check out here.
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