Sunday, January 8, 2012

Seeking to Savor Christ This Year

We are a couple weeks into the new year: how are those resolutions coming along? If you're like me, you know the areas you need to improve on but don't want to make an actual declaration of your resolution for fear you'll end up like the other 80% of Americans that fail to keep them!

Our resolutions most likely fall into one of three categories: disatisfaction with our bodies, disatisfaction with our money, and disatisfaction of organizing our time; am I correct? Everyone looks at themselves in the mirror and says, "Welp, I need to lose this and this and this, build this up etc" We look in our wallets and say, "I need to save here, invest here, quit spending here," and we pull out our planners and say, "I need to drop this activity, add this activity, go on this vacation and so on."

Christians and Non-believers alike make these resolutions which are fine and dandy but have you ever thought about going to the source of the your disatisfaction rather than just treating these symptoms with your annual resolutions? Read back over these resolutions which one and only one will truly make you satisfied with who you are? If you lose those 10 pounds, will you be satisfied? If you save $5,000-10,000 this year, will you be satisfied? If you add one more activity, club or even Bible study will you be satisfied: feel as though you've accomplished something? No, you're going to move on to your next disatisfaction in life and try to treat another "symptom" of discontentment. Christians not only deal with this in the physical, emotional and mental relam but we carry it into our spiritual lives as well. We think to ourselves, "Man, if I would just get up every morning and spend my 15 minutes in the Word, then I could really feel good about my relationship with Christ," Or "Ok, I'm going to join my 4th Bible study during the week so that I am really super Christian and I'll honor God with how many Bible studies I am in.

I so appreciate one of our teaching pastors at Fellowship Bible for addressing this topic on January 1st and for John Piper's message at the 2012 Passion Conference for bringing such a great word on Salvation through Jesus Christ alone. Our Pastor used the text from Psalm 27:4-8 which says: (provided from

Psalm 27:4-8

English Standard Version (ESV)

4 (A)One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may (B)dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon (C)the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire[a] in his temple.

5 For he will (D)hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will (E)lift me high upon a rock.

6 And now my (F)head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of (G)joy;
(H)I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

7 (I)Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, (J)“Seek[b] my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, LORD, do I seek.”[c]

  1. Psalm 27:4 Or meditate
  2. Psalm 27:8 The command (seek) is addressed to more than one person
  3. Psalm 27:8 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
Cross references:
  1. Psalm 27:4 : [Ps. 26:8; 84:1, 2]
  2. Psalm 27:4 : Ps. 23:6; 65:4; [Luke 2:37]
  3. Psalm 27:4 : Ps. 90:17
  4. Psalm 27:5 : Ps. 31:20; [Ps. 91:1; Job 5:21; Isa. 4:6]
  5. Psalm 27:5 : Ps. 40:2
  6. Psalm 27:6 : Ps. 3:3
  7. Psalm 27:6 : [Num. 10:10]
  8. Psalm 27:6 : Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16
  9. Psalm 27:7 : Ps. 30:10
  10. Psalm 27:8 : Ps. 24:6; 105:4

What a wonderful piece of text, Amen? There's an aspect of us seeking the Lord with the resolve He has given to us. The Bible is clear on examples of this resolve in prayers of people such as Psalm 68:1 (earnestly seeking) or in Jeremiah 29:13 (seeking with the entire heart) and in 1 Chronicles 6:11 (seeking with an urgency). But there is also an aspect of seeking the Lord that should stem from the moment we accepted Christ: seeing and savoring Christ. John Piper addressed this in his 2012 Passion Conference message and from his book "Seeing and Savoring Christ," where he explained the dependency we must have on Christ for Salvation. We don't just "decide", but there's an element of Christ revealing Himself while we're dead in sin and raising us to life. The longings of our heart are therefore only satisfied in Christ and Christ alone. Does this mean you cannot take care of your body? Does this mean you cannot be wise with your money? No! The whole reason for addressing the core of your relationship with Christ is to recognize that HE should be the reason you take care of your body and HE's the reason you seek wisdom in handling money and your time. You should be so focused on savoring the goodness of God's grace through Christ that the fruits of the gift of the Holy Spirit teem love, joy,peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control--all of which the resolutions we discussed fall under. You must also ask the LORD to provide you with the correct mindset: the renewal of your mind: the transformation that only comes from Christ. You cannot "will yourself" to Salvation: it comes ONLY by the gift from Christ's atonement. Christ is most glorified as the giver of Salvation: It's about Him being glorified not on your works to become a better person.
So I encourage you to instead of setting multiple resolutions this year: resolve to seek and savor Christ. Seek Christ through prayer: Seek God's face not and not just his hand: seek his beauty and not just his provision. Seek God through His word and savor it: meditate, ask God to grant you greater desires and longings for His Word. And allow the Fruit that comes from knowing your God cover the areas you feel need to change: your body, mind and emotions should follow the heart that is seeking God.