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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
The Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Directions For God-Seekers
INTRODUCTION: I was back in familiar territory last Friday,
visiting a town where I had lived and worked for 13 years. I was at a gas
station and there were some out of town folks who wanted to know how to get to
the High School. Since it was Friday night, I surmised that they were planning
to attend the Football game. They asked to go to the High School, but thats
not where football games are played in this town. They needed the right
directions. Todays text provides us with some directions too. Speaking
through the Prophet Isaiah, we are given: Directions For God-Seekers.
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he
qarab A primitive root; to approach
(causatively bring near) for whatever purpose: See the parallel in
Esth. 4:11. See also Rom. 5:1-2 and Eph. 2:13-18.
"Call upon him while he is near"the idea here
A. Your time has limitsHeb.
9:27; Gen 3:19; Ps 89:48. Text, v. 6
B. No chance for grace in
II. Seek Him with a repentant hearttext v.7and
you will receive mercy
Cf. Ezek. 14:6, 18:32; Matt. 11:20ff., 21:32; Lk 13:1-5;
Acts 2:38; Rev. 3:3. Et.al.
A. Notice that forgiveness
is the only way we can enter eternal lifev.7
B. Notice that there isnt a
whisper of human accomplishmentEph. 2:8-9
C. The only way to eternal life is
by Gods grace and mercyJohn 3:16-21
(Note: While this text is often used in the event of tragic
death and other incomprehensible turns of life, that thought is not present
here. The issue is returning to good standing with God and that is through
repentance and faith.)
IV. God provides the way that we may think His thoughts
after himtext, v. 9-11
A. Our natural way of thinking leads to deathProv. 14:12
B. Only Gods Word has the power to change our thinkingCf. John 6:63; Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:18-19; I Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:23-25.
Holman Bible Dictionary Pardon: An
authoritative act reversing a sentence given under a guilty verdict. Prayer for
Gods pardon for sin is based on the greatness of Gods covenant love and on
the long history of Gods acts of forgiveness (Num. 14:19; Mic. 7:18). The Old
Testament believers were already aware that the condition for seeking pardon was
a repentant heart rather than ritual exactness (1 Chron. 29:18). Gods
willingness to abundantly pardon serves as an incentive to repentance (Isa.
MacArthur's New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7 Presumption
hinders mourning because it is really a form of pride. It recognizes the need
for grace, but not much grace. It is satisfied with cheap grace, expecting God
to forgive little because it sees little to be forgiven. Sins are bad, but not
bad enough to be confessed, repented of, and forsaken. Yet the Lord declared
through Isaiah, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man
his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on
him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isa. 55:7). No pardon
is offered to the unrepentant, presumptuous person who refuses to forsake his
sin. The gospel that teaches otherwise has always been popular, as it clearly is
in our own day; but it is a false gospel, "a different gospel" (Gal.
1:6), a distortion and contradiction of the gospel of Scripture.
The Treasury of David, Psalms 58-110 Charles
H. Spurgeon: An upright heart will not be satisfied without hearing God speak
peace to his heart by his Spirit. And for this he will pray, and wait, and
hearken, and when God speaks peace, there comes such sweetness with it, and such
discovery of his love, as lays a powerful influence on the soul not to turn
again to folly. This peace is an humbling, melting peace, which brings
humiliation to the soul as well as joy; but this never happens when men speak
peace to themselves.John Berridge, 1716-1793.
Ministry Health Sermon
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:31 PM