Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Today’s Topic: Seeking God
Today’s Text: Psalm 105:4 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his face continually!
There was one more box. It was out of sight in the back of the storage area in the basement. We knew it was there, but there was no urgent need to go through it. But now the last minute had arrived. We would be leaving on our trip right after the rest of the family left our home after Christmas, and we needed to sort through the stuff in the box. Some of it would become keepsakes for my brother whom we would be seeing as we travelled.
We dragged the box out into the family room and sat down. Piece by piece we removed items from the box and checked for colored stickers that would indicate which brother had chosen that item as their own. Memories started to roll. A few tears started to flow. Each item had some significance in the married life of my mom and dad. Each item had a story connected to it.
Some of the items had a hot pink sticker not associated with one of the boys. That color was used to indicate that it didn’t matter who got the item but that it had to stay in the family somewhere. One such pink-stickered item was a small desk plaque made out of marble. On the front of the plaque is a laser-engraved face of Jesus created by Joe Castillo that is formed out of scenes from His life.
The beard is a scene of Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus, and an ox in the manger.
The angels heralding His birth form the right side of His face.
Jesus hanging on the cross forms the left side of His face.
His forehead and hairline are created with the scene of Jesus kneeling in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.
One side of His nose and both eyes have highlighted crosses in them.
Underneath the picture these words are engraved – Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually.
I remembered seeing that plaque in my parent’s home, but it wasn’t until that moment that the significance of it really struck me. What strength it took for Him to come to earth and leave the glory of God’s presence.
What strength He displayed when He battled all the temptations of sin and self so that He might save us.
What strength He had to keep His heart and mind focused on God’s purpose for His life so that His eyes were always looking forward to the cross.
What strength He had to so passionately pray through the final temptation to run from God’s will that His sweat turned to blood.
What strength it took for Him to endure the beatings, the thorns, and the nails so that He could intentionally shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins.
I knew right then and there that I wanted that plaque on my desk where I would look at that created face of Jesus every day. Not as an idol, but as a constant reminder of my salvation and the strength that is now mine in Christ Jesus my Lord. Strength to endure temptation. Strength to press on towards the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. Strength to endure any and all hardships for the sake of serving my Savior.
As the writer of Hebrews puts it – let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (Hebrews 12:1-4)
So if you come to my office you can see this simple little desk plaque. But be prepared. As we talk about it I will most certainly ask you if you are seeking the face of Jesus. I guarantee I will ask you if you are living in His strength or yours.
As for me, I will seek His face continually and stand in His strength confidently.