Thursday, June 4, 2009

presents or presence?

Brad Cooper, a youth pastor at Newspring Church, SC, preached a compelling message that I listened to via itunes yesterday. The main thrust of the sermon was dealing with prayer. But it was these two quotes that caught my attention...
"Are you pursuing God's presents or His presence?"
"Sin is not an outward action, but an inward essence."
Let's ask further, aka my translation...
However, I'll hit just the first one with this post.

"Are you pursuing God's presents or His presence?"
(If you are,) Why are you a Christian? Are you looking for the "benefits" that come with being a follower of Christ? Are you counting on the grace that He so freely gives? Are you taking for granted the peace that comes from knowing He is ultimately in control? Enjoying the "country club" acceptance/perks of being a part of a church family? Really, I guess it could be summed up by asking, "Are you using God for how great He is?"
I stop and reflect on those questions myself and have to knock the gavel down as guilty sometimes.
What God wants is for us to desire His presence. When we bathe ourselves in His Word, when we spend our days focused upward in prayer while walk forward in action, we are in His presence. And in His presence we will gain the byproducts of a fruitful relationship with Him. We will not seek the byproducts, but seek just simply Him.

Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

1 comment:

HDMac said...

Wow... that is very good food for thought..... ....

Actually I came over this morning because you crossed my mind and I lifted you in prayer.... Hope that you are enjoying your summer and that everyday is a new blessing from our Lord!!!