[The Lord] will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure. Isaiah 33: 6
"The time is coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant though I was a husband to them," declares the Lord. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the Lord. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the Lord. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Jer. 31: 31-34
"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourselves ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' " Luke 17: 7-10
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?... For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8: 35, 38
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Heb. 4: 15-16
And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." [Prov. 3: 11, 12] Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. Heb. 12: 5-7
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true--even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5: 20
If a man's deeds are not in harmony with his prayer, he labors in vain. The brother said, "What is this harmony between practice and prayer?" The old man said, "We should no longer do those things against which we pray. For when a man gives up his own will, then God is reconciled with him and accepts his prayers." Abba Moses, Instruction No. 4
A brother questioned an old man saying, "What good work should I do so that I may live?" The old man said, "God knows what is good. I have heard it said that one of the Fathers asked Abba Nisterus the Great, the friend of Abba Anthony, and said to him, "What good work is there that I could do?" He [Anthony to Nisterus] said to him, "Are not all actions equal? Scripture says that Abraham was hospitable and God was with him. David was humble, and God was with him. Elias loved interior peace and God was with him. So, do whatever you see your soul desires according to God and guard your heart." Nisterus, No. 2
A brother questioned Abba Poemen saying, "If I see my brother committing a sin, is it right to conceal it?" The old man said to him, "At the very moment when we hide our brother's fault, God hides our own and at the moment when we reveal our brother's fault, God reveals ours too." Poemen, No. 64
A brother said to Abba Poemen, "My heart becomes lukewarm when a little suffering comes my way." The old man said to him, "Do we not admire Joseph, a young man of seventeen, for enduring his temptation to the end? And God glorified him. Do we not also see Job, how he suffered to the end, and lived in endurance? Temptations cannot destroy hope in God." Poemen, No. 102
A brother whom another brother had wronged came to see Abba Sisoes and said to him, "My brother has hurt me and I want to avenge myself." The old man pleaded with him saying, "No, my child, leave vengeance to God." He said to him, "I shall not rest until I have avenged myself." The old man said, "Brother, let us pray." Then the old man stood up and said, "God, we no longer need you to care for us, since we do justice for ourselves." Hearing these words, the brothers fell at the old man's feet, saying, "I will no longer seek justice from my brother; forgive me, abba." Sisoes, No. 1
Once the same spirit of fornication attacked her more insistently, reminding her of the vanities of the world. But she gave herself up to the fear of God and to asceticism and went up onto her little terrace to pray. Then the spirit of fornication appeared corporally to her and said, "Sarah, you have overcome me." But she said, "It is not I who have overcome you, but my master, Christ." Sarah, No. 2
The very highest worship of God is this that we ascribe to him truthfulness, righteousness, and whatever else should be ascribed to one who is trusted. When this is done, the soul consents to his will. Then it hallows his name and allows itself to be treated according to God's good pleasure for, clinging to God's promises, it does not doubt that he who is true, just, and wise will do, dispose, and provide all things well. Martin Luther
I'm not writing any of this to convert you. I'm assuming that you already acknowledge your responsibility to seek God, and that you're here to get a different perspective on how to seek God, on how to possibly do it better and certainly with better security.
And for those who have not yet accepted God, your coming here must mean that you are curious and you too are seeking after God. It is important to realize that by seeking after God, by trying to understand his word and his relationship with you, then you are providing yourself with a defense when you are judged in the hereafter. Don't be like those people who reject God without any consideration.
And for everyone, always remember: God is real. Jesus is real. The judgment is real. And our responsibility to choose between God and the world is also real.
Our God is a personal God. He is fully interactive in your soul and in your world. If you haven't acknowledged his presence, it isn't because God wasn't available. If you would like to think that God has hidden himself from you, then tell him that on the Day of Judgment. Really, I'm serious, that can be your defense. But before you take that position to the grave with you, make sure that is the real reason. If your pride has kept you from being faithful, then work on being humble. If your anger has kept you from accepting God's will for things that have happened in your life, then "Get over it!" and open yourself up to God's infinite possibilities. Live in the present. Take advantage of your option to believe while you still have an option.
What really astonishes me is how many so-called atheists are complete believers in many New Age philosophies. People can somehow open themselves up to those possibilities, but can't to God? People can have faith in the influence of horoscopes and the stars, but can't have faith in Moses and the hundreds of thousands of Jews who experienced the Exodus? Or can't have faith in the apostles and hundreds of disciples who experienced the life and miracles of Jesus and the apostles in the first century? Of those who were so convinced in their experience that they gladly welcomed a painful martyrdom knowing that God was real, and that Jesus had revealed God's truth?
Many people dislike religion only because of the forms that they have encountered it in. I think many resist Christianity because of the bad experiences they have had. That's the nice way of saying some people don't like Christianity because they identify Christianity with those sleazy tele-evangelists, or with uneducated witnesses who were narrow or misguided in their vision of Christianity when they witnessed to the non-believer. If that's what happened in your situation, then you're lucky you found your way to this Home Page. I don't like those people either! In Christian Pursuit the focus is always the individual and God. Forget about your unfortunate experiences in the past, and focus on developing a recognition of God in your life, and build outward for there.
"If you seek God you will find him." What if you seek and don't find him? First, be sincere in your seeking. Eliminate any ugly motivations that might be causing you to search. Search because you have felt in your soul that there is a personal God who has called you to search. Search for that feeling until you find it. Don't act like some scientist conducting an experiment.
God is a personal God. In a lot of the New Age alternatives to religion that I've studied, that's the one element that you never see--a personal God. There might be guardian angels, or spirit-guides, or less-than-God entities that you might have contact with. This is all part of the great Satanic strategy! What makes these New Age beliefs truly evil is how they substitute quasi-spiritual fictions in place of a real, personal God. Individuals lose their perception of God's closeness to them, and relate instead to their Tarot cards or telephone psychics or ancient Earth spirit-guides. In fact, even if you're a Christian that prays too much to angels, you're just as bad as a New Ager that meditates on the Universal Light of the Universe. Never, never, never think that God is distant or unavailable, uncaring or disinterested. God will always be closer to you than you will ever conceive, so why be anything but completely open to God, directly with God.
This is a tough topic for me to write. I just can't do justice to this with quotes or essays. You're just going to have to experience it on your own. Plus it's different for people who are on different levels of openness with God. You can never go wrong with just being open and honest with God. Try praying to God silently at all times during the day, no matter what you're doing, even if it's a five second reflection while you're driving, or working, or whatever. Just make it personal and real. Do this often and with increasing sincerity, and you will have an excellent foundation to grow with.
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