The Puritans constantly urged upon men the necessity of doing all they could. An unregenerate man is capable of using his eyes to read. He can choose to read the Scriptures or pornography.
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An unregenerate man's legs can carry him either to the church or the tavern. Thomas Watson wrote, "When God bids us convert and turn, this is to show us what we ought to do, not what we can do.
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Yet let us do what we are able. We have the power to avoid those rocks which will certainly ruin our souls; I mean gross sins. A man does not need to be in bad company; he does not need to swear or tell a lie; nor would he do it if it were by law death to swear an oath. We have power to cast ourselves upon the use of means: prayer, reading, holy conversation.
This will condemn men at the last day that they did not act so vigorously in their sphere as they might have; they did not use the means and try whether God will give them grace, God will come with that soliciting question at last, 'Why didst not thou put my money to the exchangers?
Why didst thou not improve that power which I gave thee? Making satisfaction for his sins. Earning a righteousness that makes him acceptable before God. Change his own heart. The sinner suffers total moral inability to save himself or cooperate in his own regeneration. However, there are certain things man can do without a principle of life in him: 1. Man cannot earn or contribute to his salvation. God may or may not save the seeker. So the question arises, 'Why seek at all?
We will answer this question first from God's perspective and then from man's perspective. It is not because there is any merit in seeking, nor that it itself in any way disposes God to bestow the blessing sought, nor that it is any substitute for faith, by which alone men can be justified and are justified. Rather, it is because, first, men in their fallen condition are unable to believe, and second, the gift of faith is so great a gift that there should be some demonstration of a real desire before it is bestowed.
Men are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins and cannot exercise faith, but although they cannot believe, they are capable of seeking. Again from John Gerstner: "For Edwards, men were able to seek though they were not able to believe. And they were to seek precisely because they could not believe without the gift of faith from God which God would not give except in a way of seeking.
Thus, instead of Edwards' doctrine of seeking implying ability, as so many think, it rested on the very opposite: inability.
It was because men were unable to believe that they were to seek, not because they were able. They were able to seek, of course, but they were not able to believe. It is unsuitable for God to give such a great gift to those who show no interest in it. Although all the actions of evil men are, in themselves, evil, including seeking, because they proceed from wrong motives, some actions are less evil than others. It is less evil for an unregenerate man to read the Bible than from him to read pornographic literature.
It is less evil for men to seek God than to not seek Him at all. The earnestness of men in seeking the gift of salvation is in keeping with the greatness of the gift. It is appropriate that men should diligently seek for such a gift, even if there is no spiritual goodness involved in their seeking. Seeking is not necessary to merit salvation, but it is necessary to prepare men for its reception. Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them.
If there were nothing in the word of God relating to seeking God, then it would be inappropriate to advise people to do so. But the Word of God is not at all ambiguous in regards to commanding men to seek Him. The diligent person generally has no trouble finding or keeping a job and often prospers economically because of his diligence. Proverbs says: "The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat.
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There are degrees of punishment in hell. The more sins a man commits, the greater will be his eternal torment. The less sins a man commits, the less will be his torment. Edwards wrote: "Tis not absolutely certain they shall go to heaven, but this is certain, that they shall escape an exceeding intolerable addition to their eternal misery and indeed any degree of that misery is intolerable" and should you go to hell "you would willingly give all the world for the least mitigation of your misery.
Although there are no guarantees that the seeker will find, and seekers are to be constantly reminded of that fact, still there is a possibility that those who seek may find. Contrariwise, there is little possibility that those who do not seek will find. Reverend Henry Scougal wrote in his work The Life of God in the Soul of Man, "To undertake vigorously, and rely confidently on the divine assistance, is more than half the conquest: 'Let us arise and be doing, and the Lord will be with us. It is true, that God hath been found of some who sought him not: he hath cast himself in their way, who were quite out of his But certainly this is not God's ordinary method of dealing with men: though he hath not tied himself to means, yet he hath tied us to the use of them; and we never have reason to expect the divine assistance, than when we are doing our utmost endeavors.
So hope provokes the soul to use the means, and say, I am a damned man, but if there be any hope, I will pray, and hear, and fast; Who knows but God may show mercy to my poor soul. A possibility of obtaining mercy will go a long way in motivating the sinner to continue seeking diligently, even though the work of seeking is difficult. Through the Holy Spirit we can be comforted by His presence in our lives. Seeking after God leads to a blessed life with peace and joy no matter the situation. All rights reserved worldwide.
Tagged as: Bible Verses , seeking God. Crystal McDowell and her husband of 22 years raise their five children in the Midwest. She writes, speaks, and teaches with a passion to encourage women with Biblical truths. As a freelance writer for over 12 years, Crystal has written numerous Christian curricula for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She gives weekly words of encouragement on her blog: Crystal McDowell Speaks. Read them in the archive below. If you like what you're reading, you can get free daily updates through the RSS feed here.
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Are You Seeking God's Face or God's Hand?
How do we reconcile these seemingly conflicting ideas? Might it be that we are all lost and incapable, without the Holy Spirit, of seeking God? That God gives to all of us a measure of faith Rom It is God who finds us. Have you ever played Hide and Seek with a child? The child is having a hard time finding you, so what do you do? I often have to move to a place which, to me, seems to be in plain sight. The lamb, bleating, lost… away from the Master. Bleating is its way of seeking. The Master hears the plaintive cry.
Here it is:. Who was it who placed that thought into his mind? Docreits, Thanks again for your insightful comments. I believe that the subject of seeking God can be paradoxical in many ways. We are in a relationship that by His grace grows over time. The Lord has given each of us the ability to accept or reject Him—thus seeking and being sought after can go hand in hand.
I appreciate your comments that are helpful to encourage deeper thinking and consideration. Have a blessed day! I think its really great of what you have achieved.
Worrying vs. Seeking God
John NASB. The word was used in the New Testament to refer to dragging a person Acts or a net John That is, God draws or drags a person to Himself. This is great news.
It means that God wants you and is helping you find Him. The next principle will reveal that God will reward the person who seeks Him. Hebrews NASB. It is important to notice that anyone who seeks God believes to some degree that God exists. Otherwise the person would not be seeking God. Why seek some one who does not exist? The next step to pleasing God is to believe God will reward the seeker. It is important to notice that the Greek word for seeking is ekzeteo. The Greek word has the sense of someone seriously and eagerly seeking to find God.
God promises that He will reward the person who seeks Him. What is the reward? The reward is that the person will find God. Here God tells us that if we will seek Him with all our heart and search for Him, God will let us find Him.