Posts Tagged ‘proof of desire is pursuit’

R.C. Sproul: The pursuit of God

December 16, 2017

Psalm 63--8

This morning as I began my day, I learned that R.C. Sproul, beloved theologian, author, pastor, and founder of Ligonier Ministries, passed away earlier this week. Christianity Today commented concerning his influence: “He is responsible for introducing a generation to the authority of Scripture, the sovereignty of God, and the glory of the Gospel of justification by faith, salvation by grace, in Christ alone.”

In a tribute in memory of R.C. Sproul, Daniel Motley listed 20 of his quotes on the Glory of God. One in particular caught my attention and will serve as the Quote of the Day for the blog entry for December 16, 2017:

“The pursuit of God is not a part-time, weekend exercise. If it is, chances are you will experience a part-time, weekend freedom. Abiding requires a kind of staying power. The pursuit is relentless. It hungers and thirsts. It pants as the deer after the mountain brook. It takes the kingdom by storm…The pursuit of God is a pursuit of passion. Indifference will not do. To abide in the Word is to hang on tenaciously. A weak grip will soon slip away. Discipleship requires staying power. We sign up for duration. We do not graduate until heaven.”

In reflecting on the quote, I thought of an experience occurring more than 60 years ago. I recall going on a field trip to the Indiana Dunes State Park, outside of Gary, Indiana, when I was in middle school, what we called “junior high school,” back in the day. Somehow I came across a small stream running through a wooded area. As I followed the creek through the winding woods, I was determined to find the area where the stream began, but as I progressed, the size of the stream remained the same and continued to flow on seemingly endlessly. After about a half an hour, I realized that I needed to get back to area where we supposed to meet before departing on the bus and returning to “the Steel City.” When I arrived at the place where we were to meet, I learned that I was quite late, and that I had delayed their departure.

Although that experience occurred sometime ago, I am still earnestly pursuing God with a passion, with determination to find what I am seeking. R.C. Sproul’s comments also brought to mind this poem:

The Proof of Desire

 My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You

Psalm 63:8a (AMP)

 

The proof of desire is pursuit.

Mike Murdock

 

In each new season may our lives 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 as we savor.

In each new season may our lives abound with fruit.

 

As a seasoned tree is strengthened from leaf to root,

We flow with fullness of joy as we labor,

To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

 

Though we may seek as silver God’s wisdom and truth,

This life swiftly passes, fleeting as a vapor.

In each new season may our lives abound with fruit.

 

We have yearned for God’s presence, even as a 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 each new season may our lives abound with fruit,

To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

The quotation and commentary also make reference to Psalm 63:8 (KJV):

My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

My whole being follows hard after You and clinPgs closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.

This verse is the inspiration for “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee” performed as a medley with “I’m Gonna Love You,” two classic praise and worship compositions of Don Moen of Hosanna! Music.

From milk to solid food: in pursuit

March 20, 2017

The Verse of the Day for March 20, 2017 comes from 1 Peter 2:2-3 (NIV):

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Seven months ago our older daughter and her husband became proud parents of our first grandson, who clearly made them aware of two situations that disturbed his otherwise pleasant disposition: first of all, the need to be fed and secondly, the need to be changed. “For crying out loud,” the baby’s vocal gymnastics was a signal to the mother and to whoever was nearby that “I’m hungry,” and it is time to be fed.

In a similar manner to that of a newborn who expresses a need for nourishment in the natural, so we as believers also desire the “sincere milk of the word” whereby we may grow spiritually. Once an infant is hungry, he or she will make known the need for sustenance and cry out until that hunger is satisfied. The word translated “desire” is translated from the verb meaning to yearn or long for.

As we mature and grow up, having tasted the goodness of the Lord, we find that our appetite changes, or so it should. Hebrews 5:12-14 remind us of the change in diet that should take place:

12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.

13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.

14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

Such is the case with our grandson, who now has teeth and whose diet is changing, as he is now learning to eat solid foods. He is even learning to feed himself as well. Similarly, as mature followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we demonstrate our desire for more of the life-sustaining Word of God, as we pursue spiritual matters and yearn to know the Word of God on a deeper level. The following poem also personalizes our yearning for more of God:

The Proof of Desire

I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding.
Psalm 119:32 (NLT)

The proof of desire is pursuit.
Mike Murdock

In each new season may our lives 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 each new season may our lives abound with fruit.

As a seasoned tree is strengthened from leaf to root,
We flow with fullness of joy as 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 each new season may my life abound with fruit.

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

That we seek to know God’s will no one can dispute,
To follow in the steps of Jesus, our Savior.
In each new season may our lives abound with fruit,
To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

In reflecting upon the pursuit of spiritual matters, I thought of the lyrics of the Don Moen song “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee”

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.”

The Proof of Desire

February 6, 2015

Proverbs 21--21

The Verse of the Day for February 6, 2015 comes from Proverbs 21:21 (New Living Translation):

Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.

Matthew 6:33 (NLT) echoes a similar exhortation to pursue righteousness:

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

These verses bring to mind comments that were made in a previous blog entry related to pursuing wisdom. The post is modified and re-posted below:

In reflecting on the Verse of the Day, an incident came to mind that occurred while I was in basic training, after having been drafted into the U.S. Army back in 1967. At the end of the training period, we were told to prepare for a thorough inspection of our barracks by the Inspector General. I recall that I had received my first pay which I had placed in the bottom of an empty stationery box that I had hidden underneath some of the clothing items that lined my footlocker. In my haste to prepare for the IG inspection, I inadvertently threw what I thought was an empty box into the trash which I later recalled having thrown into the dumpster behind the barracks. We passed the inspection with flying colors and our company performed well on the parade field, being selected as the group with the best formation. As a result we were given a pass to go into the neighboring town for the day.

As I went to get my pay which I had stashed away, I realized that I had thrown my month’s wages into the trash, as I remembered what I had done in preparing my footlocker for inspection. Without hesitation, I walked swiftly to the back of the barracks and climbed into the dumpster. In pursuing the object, I ignored the strange looks and snide comments and inquiries that asked “Johnson, what are you doing? What are you looking for?” I walked over to the area where I recall that I dumped the trash, and I diligently searched for and finally found the box that contained the money that I was looking for.

The Bible urges us to follow after or to pursue wisdom in the same manner that you would seek to find hidden treasures, such as silver or gold. In a similar manner, the object that I was seeking was more valuable to me than the embarrassment or inconvenience that I had to endure in order to obtain it. When I jumped into the dumpster without hesitation, I demonstrated that was I was seeking was valuable enough for me to put forth a serious effort to find. As mature followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we demonstrate our desire for more of the life-sustaining Word of God, as we pursue “righteousness and unfailing love.” The following poem personalizes our yearning for more of God:

The Proof of Desire

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts,

but especially that you may prophesy.

I Corinthians 14:1

 

The proof of desire is pursuit.

Mike Murdock

 

In each new season may our lives 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 each new season may our lives abound with fruit.

 

Seasoned trees are strengthened from the leaf to the root,

As we flow with fullness of joy while we I 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 each new season may our lives abound with fruit.

 

Having yearned for God’s presence, even as a 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 each new season may our lives abound with fruit,

To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

In reflecting upon the pursuit of spiritual matters, I thought of the lyrics of the Don Moen song “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee”

Proof of desire is pursuit

March 20, 2014

milk bottle

The Verse of the Day for March 20, 2014 comes from 1 Peter 2:2-3 KJV:

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

In a similar manner to that of a newborn who expresses a need for nourishment in the natural, so we as believers desire the “sincere milk of the word” whereby we may grow spiritually. Once an infant is hungry, he or she will make known the need for sustenance and cry out until that hunger is satisfied. As we mature and grow up, having tasted the goodness of the Lord, we find that our appetite changes, or so it should. Hebrews 5:12-14 remind us of the change in diet that should take place:

12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.

13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.

14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

As mature followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we demonstrate our desire for more of the life-sustaining Word of God, as we pursue spiritual matters. In the following poem I personalize this yearning for more of God:

The Proof of Desire

     Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts,

     but especially that you may prophesy.

     1 Corinthians 14:1

The proof of desire is pursuit.

 Mike Murdock

In each new season may my life abound with fruit,

As I follow after God and seek His favor,

To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

This passion to please is my relentless pursuit,

As I seek to taste His goodness and to savor.

In each new season may my life abound with fruit.

As a seasoned tree is strengthened from leaf to root,

I flow with fullness of joy as I labor,

To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

Though I may seek as silver His wisdom and truth,

This life swiftly passes, fleeting as a vapor.

In each new season may my life abound with fruit.

I have yearned for God’s presence, even as a youth.

I now forsake all to scale the heights of Mount Tabor,

To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

I ever seek to know God’s will and to do it,

To follow in the steps of Jesus, my Savior.

In each new season may my life abound with fruit,

To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

In reflecting upon the pursuit of spiritual matters, I thought of the lyrics of the Don Moen song “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee.”