Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

seeking the Lord Archive

Friday

2

February 2024

Seeking after Christ

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

"...if you seek him, he will be found of you;" (2 Chronicles 15:2) | Read more about seeking Christ on hopereflected.com

“When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.” (John 6:24)

The day after the miracle of the five loaves and the two fishes, and Jesus walking on the water, we read more about those that had been affected by the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes.  

This group of people realized that Jesus was no longer with them, and neither were His disciples.

In John 6:24, we read that “When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.”

Noticed by His absence

The people recognized that Jesus was not there with them. Someone may say that during Jesus’s earthly ministry His physical presence would be easy to recognize, as would His absence, but this simple phrase “When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there,” is included in this passage for a reason.

Those who had been fed by the five loaves and two fishes just the day before recognized when Jesus wasn’t with them.

As Christians, how much more ought we to have an understanding of Christ’s presence in our life.

Your first thought may be that sometimes it’s extremely hard to understand Christ’s presence in your life, and I would completely agree. Look at the people in John 6; the reason they knew that Christ was absent from them was that they were actively looking for Him. They saw that the boats were gone, they knew that Jesus didn’t go with His disciples, and they knew that He was no longer with them on their side of the sea (v 22).

During the times when we’re missing Christ’s presence in our life, it is very likely due to the fact that we are not actively looking for Him.

Where should we go to seek out Christ?

In such times, we must, like the people, go on the search.

“When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.” (v 24). The people didn’t just say, “Well, Christ isn’t here, guess we’ll just head home now and go back to our old life,” no, they got in a boat and went to the most likely place where they thought He would be.

How does this translate to our present day?

We should go to the places where Christ is most likely to be found – in His church and with His people.

We should seek Him out through the pages of His Word.

“…if ye seek him, he will be found of you;”

2 Chronicles 15:2

It’s important to note as well that seeking after Christ will not always be easy.

For the people in John 6, most of them were poor, and likely didn’t have much experience traveling by sea, but that is exactly what they did to find Jesus. “they also took shipping,” (v 24).

Seeking after Christ is something that will ultimately provide us with comfort, but it will not always be convenient. Rest assured however, that just as Azariah told Asa, “if ye seek him, he will be found of you;” (2 Chronicles 15:2).

When we earnestly seek after Christ, we will find Him.

Originally published as “Seeking after Christ.” Independent Plus. September 15, 2022: 5. Print. Web.

Thursday

14

May 2020

Prepare your heart to seek the Lord: Jehoshaphat

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

“To seek God does not narrow one’s life, rather it brings it to the level of highest possible fulfillment.” (A.W. Tozer) | Seeking the Lord | Hopereflected.com

Nearly five centuries of history are covered throughout the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles, including great detail about the lives of many kings, including Jehoshaphat, King of Judah.

Seeking the Lord

Jehoshaphat, whose name means “Jehovah has judged,” lived a fascinating life. The son of Asa, we read that the Lord was with Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:3). Why was the Lord with Jehoshaphat? Because Jehoshaphat walked in the first ways of David (who we know was a man after God’s own heart), he sought to the Lord, walked in his commandments, and his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord.

After learning about Jehoshaphat’s spiritual strengths, it may be surprising to some to find out that Jehoshaphat made some serious errors in judgment throughout his reign. He formed an alliance with King Ahab of Israel –  one of the most wicked kings in history – which almost cost him his life, and later, Jehoshaphat tried to form an alliance with Israel through the building of a navy with the wicked King Ahaziah. Both of these allegiances failed, and yet we still read that throughout his life, Jehoshaphat did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.

Prepare your heart to seek God

We aren’t the only ones who make mistakes in life; even King Jehoshaphat was human! It is encouraging to know that although we fail, although we falter, we can still do that which is right in the sight of the Lord. After his debacle with King Ahab, Jehoshaphat is rebuked for his mistake by the prophet Jehu, who tells him: “Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.” (2 Chronicles 19:3).

How did Jehoshaphat prepare his heart to seek God? Well, even after his misadventure with Ahab, Jehoshaphat “returned in peace” to Jerusalem (2 Chron. 19:1). Jehoshaphat didn’t stay in Ramothgilead, he returned home, and peacefully at that. When we make mistakes, we must return and repent to the Lord. Preparing our hearts to seek God requires confession, repentance, and honesty.

Seeking the Lord means getting our hearts right

Jehoshaphat also prepared his heart to seek God by taking correction well, and making changes. After his mishap with Ahab, the prophet Jehu admonished Jehoshaphat: “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.” (19:2). When Jehoshaphat heard this rebuke, he didn’t get upset, he didn’t sulk. On the contrary, he made changes! He stayed in Jerusalem, he brought the people back to God, he set godly judges in place, and he sought after the Lord. When we are corrected, what is our reaction? Do we have an attitude of pride, or are we humble in spirit? To get our hearts right, we must be humble. God is close to the humble, but the proud he knows from afar (Psalm 138:6).

Jehoshaphat got restless, and he wandered, but ultimately he prepared his heart to seek God. As Tozer said, “To seek God does not narrow one’s life, rather it brings it to the level of highest possible fulfillment.”

Originally published as “Prepare your heart to seek the Lord: Jehoshaphat” Independent Plus. March 5, 2020: 6. Print. Web.