Acts 3:17 – “Repent and turn back that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
I don’t know about you, but with everything going on in the world today, all of the strife, and anger, and hostilities, and the Presidential election, and what seems like daily shootings, I sure could use some peace and a time of refreshing in my life.
Have you ever wondered where we might get refreshed? I’m not talking about the kind of refreshing that a nice, long, hot shower brings. I am talking about the refreshing and renewing of our souls. The kind of refreshing that allows us to once again have faith in our fellow man and be ready to face the naysayers who choose to attack us for our faith. Where does that kind of refreshing come from?
Well pastors, sermons, and small groups do not refresh people, even though we wish they would. No, this type of refreshing only comes from being present with the Lord.
So we know that God is everywhere, he is what is called “omnipresent”, or present with us absolutely everywhere we go. Yet God chooses not to actually manifest Himself everywhere, meaning He does not always make Himself known to us.
Why is that?
Well not everyone chooses to even want to know God – why would He would to talk with and teach people about Himself to those who could care less? God wants people who want Him.
God tells us in the Bible, “Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you.” If you choose to seek out God with your heart and mind, God will absolutely make Himself known to you. I can easily attest to this myself. There are days when I feel so incredibly near to God that I just want to jump and shout about it. Then there are days when I let problems and the world draw me away from God and I can definitely feel that He has drawn away from me as well.
2 Timothy 2:1 teaches us, “You then my child, be refreshed by the strength of Jesus Christ.” Here is out clue about where we need to start looking if we truly seek refreshing.
God so very much wishes to help you. It is in His very nature to love you and to help you. Why on Earth would you want to live without the assistance that God so willingly wants to give you? If we truly want this help, this refreshing, then we need to be humbly seeking God’s grace on a daily basis.
Let me give you a few things you can do each day to seek the favor and help of God in order to receive His refreshing in your life:
- If you want to be strengthened by God’s grace, then you must eliminate the noise from your life – there are a million things each day striving for your attention and time. You must learn to calm down the noise and the drain on your life. You must make time to daily get alone with God and talk with Him. You can do this in your car while driving. Just turn off the radio and talk with God. God meets you where you are, even the car!
- You must agree to transfer what you learn – hoarding hinders the grace God gives – God will not lavish His grace and favor on people who say, “It stops here with me.” What am I saying here? When you get a bonus at work, is your first thought of how you can use the money to help others, or is your first thought, “How quickly can I spend this on myself?” You can choose to spend it on yourself, but if you do, do not expect much more to come your way. Passionate people who truly love God look to share what they know, what they have, and what they learn with others.
- Focus on your mission – we must endure the hardships in our life in ways that bring glory to God. By this I mean, when hard times come, do you moan and complain and blame God? Do you blame others? Or do you look up and thank God for the opportunity to better yourself through the trial and then believe and trust that God will get you through it? If you do, you will notice like I do that your trials gets easier and they do not last nearly as long. When we focus on God instead of our troubles we have more time for God to refresh us.
- Play by the rules – If you only ever look out for yourself and you cheat others, then by no means should you look to God for help and refreshment. God tells us that we are to serve others before ourselves. Cheating others or using others is no way to get ahead in life. Jesus washed the very feet of the man who would go on to betray Him to His murders. Would you have the guts to do the same? I know it is easy to look around at others and notice that it seems like the people getting ahead in life are those who use others to get ahead. It may appear that way to us now, but trust me, God will have the final say. Play by the rules – the rules say help others before yourself and then God will lavish help and refreshing on you! Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived, God will not be mocked!”
- Ensure you are spending time with God – take time each day to read your Bible and find out what God has to say to you. I know there is a tendency for people to say, “well I go to church and I hear God’s word there”, or “I listen to sermon podcasts all the time.” Folks, hearing God’s Word and actually cracking open your Bible and reading it are two totally different thing.
Preaching should be like those free samples you get in the grocery store – it is just enough to whet your appetite and make you want to go get more for yourself!!
To close tonight, you should be thankful and grateful to God each and every day, the very first thing you do each day. If you do, you can count on God to refresh you and keep you in a state of mind that will keep you ready for whatever comes your way, and He will be there to help you whenever you need it.
Seek God! Speak to God! Help others! See how easy life really is?
Pastor Brad Komgenick