Seek God and Live!
James Smith, 1860
Life is generally prized, though existence is not always a blessing — for there are some for whom it had been good, if they had never been born; and others end their mortal life by their own hands.
But life as it comes from God, and as it is spent in the enjoyment of God, is always a blessing; because it is life with solid happiness. That such a life is attainable, is a great mercy — but it sometimes appears astonishing, that if it is to be had for seeking — that all do not seek it. But herein we discover the effect of sin — that it . . .
blinds man to his own best interests,
hardens his heart against God, and
impels him to seek death in the error of his way.
And herein we discover the work of the Holy Spirit — in opening man's eyes to his true interest, and stirring him up to seek this great blessing. But if I wish to obtain eternal life, life in the presence, favor, and enjoyment of God — can I? Yes, for here is the Lord's Word, "You who seek God — your hearts shall live!" Psalm 69:32. Notice,
The NATURE of the life promised."Your hearts shall live."
It is the life of the soul, and it embraces justification by God. To be justified is to be cleared of all charges, to be pronounced righteous, and to be treated as such. Now God justifies every soul that seeks him, by imputing to him the obedience of his beloved Son, and placing to his account all the merit of his life and death.
This promised life, includes reconciliation to God. God and man become friends. The enmity of the human heart is subdued. The love of God is revealed. The affections of man are won. The lawgiver and the lawbreaker meet and agree to terms of peace. God loves the sinner, and the sinner loves God. They join hands, and take the same course.
This promised life, includes communion with God. God meets man in a way of grace — and man meets God in a way of duty. Prayer becomes social converse. God pours his thoughts into our minds — and we pour out our desires, needs, and thanksgivings to God. Everything is carried to God, by man; and everything is made to work for man's good, by God.
This promised life, embraces communications from
God. God gives . . .
grace to help in every time of need;
strength, to fit us for conflict and duty;
light, to direct us in all seasons of perplexity;
comfort, under all our sorrows and discouragements;
and glory, to crown us at the end of our course.
This promised life, includes conformity to God.
We are changed into the same image.
We become godlike.
We think as God does.
We desire as God does.
We love as God does.
We hate as God does.
We aim at the same end that God does.
Our wills are ultimately lost in the will of God.
This promised life, includes also the exercise of all the
Christian graces. Especially . . .
faith in the Word of God,
hope in the mercy of God,
and love to the Church of God.
To live, is to answer the great end of our creation, and to he happy in doing whatever God requires, and receiving whatever God imparts. This, this is life!
Reader, are you justified by God?
Are you reconciled to God?
Do you live in communion with God?
Do you receive gracious communications from God?
Are you growing into conformity to God?
Do you exercise . . .
faith in God's word;
hope in God's mercy;
and love to God's character?
If so, you have the life of God within you, and the
prospect of eternal life before you!
To WHOM is this Life Promised?To those who seek God.
To those who seek to know him, as revealed in his Word.
To those who receive from him, as the fountain of living waters, the source and giver of all spiritual good.
To those who enjoy him, as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.
To those who seek to honor him, as the author and end of their existence; the object of love, confidence, and adoration.
To those who seek him . . .
in his Word, where he is revealed;
in the house, where he meets his people;
on his throne, where he dispenses his favors;
and in his Son, who declares him.
All who seek him sincerely, earnestly, and with perseverance — find him, and obtain eternal life from him.
Their hearts live, for they receive his life-giving
they become united to his Son, who is the life;
they receive his visits, which quicken and delight;
and they enjoy his love, which is even better than life.
Our life is in God's favor. God's favor is to be
sought by us, before, and beyond anything else. All who seek it in God's way
— will surely find it. All who find it . . .
will enjoy peace with God,
will become devoted to God, and
will live a life of preparation for dwelling forever with God.
Separation from God, is death.
Union with God, is life.
The presence of God, is Heaven.
The absence of God, is Hell.
Reader, have you sought God? Have you found him? Have you the life of God in your soul? Are you seeking him now? David's words are still true, "If you seek him — he will be found by you." Seek him in his Word. Seek him in Jesus. So you will be sure to find him, and finding him, eternal life is yours. Rest not until you have received Christ, "for he who has the Son, has life; and he who has not the Son of God, has not life."
"You who seek God — your hearts shall live!"