Posts Tagged ‘followers of God’

To seek good is to seek God

January 8, 2017

amos-5 14

In the Verse of the Day for January 8, 2017 we find strong words of encouragement to direct our efforts found in the Classic Amplified Bible:

Amos 5:14-15:

Seek (inquire for and require) good and not evil that you may live, and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate the evil and love the good and establish justice in the [court of the city’s] gate. It may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph [the northern kingdom].

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.

To “seek (inquire for and require) good” is to seek God, for the term “good” is derived from God, who alone is good. Indeed, the essence of God is goodness. Jesus Christ declared, “There is none good but the father.”

In Proverbs 11:27 we find a similar reminder regarding the individual who pursues good:

He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, but trouble will come to him who seeks evil.

We also recall the words of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 7:7-8 expressed in the New Living Translation:

[Effective Prayer] “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

As mature followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are continually seeking, following after, earnestly pursuing God. Our lives should demonstrate our desire for more of the presence of God. The following poem personalizes our sincere yearning to “seek good” which is to seek for more of God:

The Proof of Desire

The proof of desire is pursuit.

Mike Murdock

 

In this new season our lives shall abound with fruit,
As we follow after God and seek His favor,
To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

This passion to please is our relentless pursuit,
As we seek to taste His goodness and to savor.
In this new season our lives shall abound with fruit.

Seasoned trees are strengthened from the leaf to the root,
As we flow with fullness of joy while we labor,
To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

Though we may seek as silver His wisdom and truth,
This life swiftly passes, fleeting as a vapor.
In this new season our lives shall abound with fruit.

Having yearned for God’s presence, even in our youth,
We now forsake all to scale the heights of Mount Tabor,
To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

We ever seek to know God’s will and to do it,
To follow in the steps of Jesus, our Savior.
In this new season our lives shall abound with fruit,
To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

In reflecting upon our seeking, following after, and pursuing God, I thought of the lyrics of the Don Moen song “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee.”

His faithful follower

September 17, 2014

Ephesians-5 1-2

Taken from Ephesians 5:1 (KJV), the Verse of the Day for September 17, 2014, offers this exhortation:

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].

 

The idea of being followers or imitators of God brought to mind something that I had written five years ago when I was attempting to more fully grasp the significance of the season of life in which I found myself. I recognized that I was and continue to be in the autumn of the years and that apples are among the produce currently in season. The idea of harvesting produce in their season is to pick the fruit at the peak of their flavor—not too soon, when, in the case of apples may be hard and not be sweet enough, and not too late when the fruit may be overripe and begin to spoil. I read this statement from an orchard that is known for its tasty apples: “One of the reasons that Ela Orchard apples are so good is that they often pick the apples later in their season than most orchards. This increases the flavor of the apple although it means that there is more risk of apples dropping off the trees.”

Most remarkably, I also came across this endorsement from someone who had sampled the apples from, of all places, “Farmer Johnson Apple Orchards” in Washington State. The individual commented, “I have had the opportunity to try all the varieties of Farmer Johnson apples, they are the best apples I have ever tasted. Fresh, crisp…. the perfect apple.” I couldn’t help but smile, as I reflected upon my desire to be “neither barren nor unfruitful” but to be productive and highly fruitful in all my endeavors. I was inspired to write this poem which most amazingly makes reference to being a “follower”:

Farmer Johnson

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who

through faith and patience inherit the promises.    

Hebrews 6:12

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Lyrics by Joseph H. Gilmore

Farmer Johnson owns orchards in Washington State.

His apples are renowned and said to be the best.

As scriptures remind us to labor and to rest,

This Farmer Johnson is patient and learns to wait

For the bountiful fruit of his harvest season.

Patience now abounds to complete and perfect me,

As I walk by faith, despite all that I may see.

I assess my times and unfold the real reason

For all the trials and seeming setbacks that came.

At times I felt as though being torn asunder

But like Job, I still abide and bear up under.

God yet delivers those who call upon His name.

Committed to go wherever the Lord shall send,

A faithful follower, I endure to the end.

 

The poem opens with lyrics from the hymn “He Leadeth Me” which is the perfect way to end this blog entry: