Someone asked me recently if I would share the devotional I gave to our “Welcome to our Home” group in a newsletter so, in a more condensed version. Jeremiah 29:11-14a says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14a I will be found by you,” declares the LORD. Are you searching for Jesus and then finding Him? Great question.
Remember the movie, “The Bucket List” It was a comedy/drama with Jack Nicholson & Morgan Freeman. Gest of it all – both men dying of cancer in the same hospital room. Nicholson had all the money; Morgan was making out a bucket list – things to accomplish before he would actually die. They got together and did those things; jump out of a plane, safari in Africa, the Great Wall of China, travel to the far reaches of the world… They got that done… funny. There are a lot of things you can accomplish if you have the money… Wouldn’t we all like to have enough money to do what we want when we want and all we want? Most of us likely will never get to do what these two guys did on the big screen. But then if you could…. would you?
How satisfied are you with how life is going for you right now? Are all your goals & dreams met? Most Christians would say that they have found God. if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior as the Holy Spirit prompted; each of us confessed sin and asked Jesus for forgiveness and received Jesus. And we began the journey of walking with the Lord, going to church. And in our minds and the way we were feeling seemed good enough. But for many that feeling, that knowledge never goes much deeper than that. In many ways we keep searching. Searching for something we just have not attained to yet.
In some respects, we are not much different than the Jews in Jeremiah’s day they too had found God. They knew who God was because He had found them first! First by choosing to establish a covenant with Abraham. Then by freeing them from Egyptian captivity. Then there was the 10 Commandments. Even Jesus saying the words in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last…” Again, proving that God is in the business of pursuing His creations.
Jeremiah’s readers & listeners had the Torah, they had the history! They had heard the accounts over and over again how God had promised and fulfilled His promises for them. They even heard of the accounts of God’s judgment when disobeyed! If you were able to ask those people if they had found God – certainly they all would have said, “Yes! We’ve seen Him in action!” We have at times have said, “I know God, I have seen Him perform miracles!”
And yet, for people in Jeremiah’s day – was that enough? It was not! If it was Jeremiah would not have said in “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” He might have said it this way, “You’ve already found me, so live like you have found me.” There is a seeking after God that goes deeper than our salvation experience and beyond where you are right now. We call that Entire Sanctification – or total surrender where Jesus will live in and through you rather than just taking up residence within you. There is a difference. David was a man after God’s own heart – God’s anointed. David hungered and thirsted after God with a deep desire. Psalm 63:1, “You, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry & parched land where there is no water.” Have you ever been so thirsty that your throat was actually so dry to the point only water would satisfy? This was David. He wasn’t satisfied or even content to say that he had found God. No! He wanted more. Paul wanted more. Philippians 3:10-11, “I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
Ask yourself the question: Is this where you are at in your relationship with Jesus? Or are you satisfied that you’ve reached it and there is no place left to go? The end of that Bucket List? Nicholson found his heart in the friendship he made with Morgan in a friend he never knew, and it saved his life and Morgan, portrayed a man who had peace because of his relationship with God & family. The day will come when we see God face to face and I think we will be amazed to discover how little we actually knew of Him during our earthly existence. We might even be a little humbled of what we may have missed out here while we had the chance. Jesus said to “Love the Lord with all your heart… & in Jeremiah we read, Seek Him with all your heart and you will find Him…” You just might discover that there is more to your relationship with God than what you are currently experiencing.
In Him, Your Pastor,