Advent 2022: Seek and You Will Find

We so often hear the complaint that Christianity is just “blind faith,” and many simply refuse to believe without “proof.” But that is not the kind of faith the Bible expresses. God invites us to step into faith with our eyes wide open. He said “If . . . you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut 4:29).  God does not require mindless devotion to an unseen, unproven entity. Nor is He playing a divine game of hide-and-seek. He has gone to great lengths to make Himself known.

On the night of Jesus’ birth, He announced the way to this blessed Child. A chorus of heavenly hosts appeared to the shepherds in the fields and told them exactly where to find this Baby – “in the town of David” (Luke 2:11) and how they would recognize Him – “wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (v. 12). They responded to God’s revelation – “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see . . .” (v. 15). They determined to follow the evidence that God has given them “If you seek Him – you will find Him.”

Matthew records another visible and powerful proof of Jesus’ birth as the Magi from the East declared “We have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2), “the star . . . went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was” (v. 9). God not only gave directions, He led the way with a star in the sky. They were overjoyed – they sought the King, and their search was rewarded. “If you seek Him – you will find Him.”

There is another path that God has provided for man to find his Creator. That path leads up a hill in Jerusalem, to Calvary, and to the Cross. God made this way clear and unmistakable when He covered that path with the blood of His one and only Son, Jesus. He has declared that this is the way to find Him – the only way. To all who will accept it, God has promised not only to reveal Himself but to claim the seeking soul as His own.

God wants you to know Him. He wants you to find Him – so much so that He puts Himself right in your path where you can’t miss Him. He said “I will be found by you” (Jer 29:14). Beloved, He would have never said, “Seek Me” if He didn’t intend for you to find Him.

One Way

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How do we live godly lives in an ungodly world?
Jesus said, “Be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). “Shrewd” means “wise, sensible” and its root meaning is “thinking, understanding.” Jesus said think and then make a wise and sensible determination. Let’s be honest – we get mentally and spiritually lazy – accepting as truth whatever we are told without bothering to examine things for ourselves. The advertising world depends on that. We need to be Bereans. “The Bereans…received [Paul’s preaching] with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11). We must wake up our dulled minds and think about what we hear – in the world and even in the church – alongside of the Word of God and see if it is true.
In contrast to being shrewd, Jesus also commands us to be innocent, which means “to be pure, not mixed with evil.” His command here is to not get mixed up with the world’s philosophies and ideas. The Israelites were commanded to keep themselves separate from the pagan peoples around them and not fall into their evil ways nor worship their pagan gods. Yet they tried to compromise with the Lord and the culture, believing that they could dabble in paganism as long as they continued to also follow the sacrificial Law of God. In their dulled minds they believed they were still being obedient to the Lord.
Has anything changed? I don’t care what your bumper sticker says, God’s people cannot “coexist” with ungodliness. It didn’t work for Israel and it won’t work for Christ’s followers today. I’m not advocating separatism; Jesus called us to be His witnesses in the world. We must interact with lost people to tell them about Jesus. But we must also keep our hearts purely devoted to Him alone and not allow the world to mix us up. Jesus left us “in the world” (John 15:11) but “not of the world” (v. 14). We live with people who do not follow Christ or His Word and that is by God’s good design; but we live for the One who died for the world, and we live by His Word and for His glory. How will they know that He is the only Way if we live as if Jesus is just one option among many?