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Scripture Reading: Luke 15:1-10
God is Looking for You
1. God is a God who seeks out men and women of faith to serve His purposes on earth. He is not content to “live in yonder heavens” while humanity gropes, toils, and strains to survive, only to die (Acts 17:26-27). God is seeking sinners! (Lk. 15)
2. God seeks our welfare on earth and beyond (Acts 14:17). As creatures made in His image, His desire is our eternal well-being, 1 Tim. 2:3-4.
3. Consider some of those whom God seeks, and ask ourselves, will we be among the number He finds?
I. GOD SEEKS THOSE WHO WILL STAND IN THE GAP BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL, Ezek. 22:30.
A. God Seeks for Those Who Will Speak Truth in a World of Error,Isa. 5:20; Eph. 4:15 (25).
B. God Seeks for Those Who Will Live Righteously in a World of Moral Defilement, Matt. 6:33; 1 Pet. 1:13-16; 4:1-4.
C. God Seeks for Those Who Will Act on Behalf of His People When They Are in Spiritual Danger Due to Sin.
1. Moses stood in the gap between God and Israel, Psa. 106:19-23.
2. Phineas stood in the gap by executing justice and staying God’s plague, Psa. 106:28-31 (Num. 25:1-13).
3. cf. Congregational discipline to save sinner and guard against the influence of sin upon the church (1 Cor. 5:1-8).
II. GOD SEEKS HIS SHEEP AND THEIR WELFARE, Ezek. 34:11-16 (31).
-cf. The Good Shepherd, 34:23-24; Jno. 10:10-11, 16, 25-27.
A. God Delivers His Sheep from Spiritual Danger, Ezek. 34:12; Matt. 18:10-14 (Gal. 6:1-2; Jas. 5:19-20).
B. God Feeds His Sheep, Ezek. 34:13-15.
1. With His word, Acts 20:28 (Jesus, Jno. 6:33, 63, 68).
2. To strengthen and equip us to serve, Eph. 4:11-12.
C. God Judges those Who Oppress His Sheep, Ezek. 34:16-17 (16-22; 1 Pet. 4:17); Matt. 23:15, 16, 23-24.
1. Shepherds who feed themselves and not His sheep, Ezek. 34:1-10(1 Pet. 5:2-3).
2. Preachers and teachers who will not preach the whole counsel of God, Eph. 4:11; Acts 20:27 (2 Tim. 4:2-4).
III. GOD SEEKS TRUE WORSHIPERS, Jno. 4:20-24.
A. True Worshipers Come before God with Right Heart (Spirit).
1. With whole heart, Psa. 9:1-2; 111:1.
2. Humble reverence, deference, honor, submission, Lk. 18:9-14.
B. True Worshipers Come before God with God-Appointed Service (Truth).
1. Worship was defined for Jews in the Law of Moses; Worship in Jerusalem was in truth; Samaritans worshipped in ignorance, Jno. 4:20-22.
2. If heart alone defines true worship, then the distinction Jesus made was misplaced (wrong).
C. Applications for Us (Gal. 1:6-10).
1. God does not accept right acts of worship from sinful hearts and hands. (Motives must be pure, Matt. 6:5; Lives must be holy)
a. Israel’s immorality made their worship vain, Isa. 1:4, 10-17 (Amos 5:21-27).
b. Unholy motives defile worship, Mal. 1:12-13; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9, 11.
2. God does not accept wrong acts of worship from good hearts, Matt. 7:22-23 (Paul, Acts 23:1; Phil. 3:6).
-Religious ceremonies, shrines, icons, and images are no more approved by the Scriptures than instrumental music and entertainment as expressions of worship, Col. 2:18-19 (3:17).
3. Our worship must be with hearts that show piety (spirit) and our actions must follow the “pattern of sound words” (truth).
a. Lord’s supper, 1 Cor. 11:17-34.
b. Prayer, 1 Cor. 14:15.
c. Our music, Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16 (Jas. 5:13).
1. God is looking for you to stand in the gap between good and evil, to be His sheep (led by His Good Shepherd), and to be a true worshipper.
2. Will He find us acceptable? Only as we conform ourselves to His will by faith.
3. Obey His gospel now to be saved (“found”) by God.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted November 27, 2019