Weekly Sabbath Survey
Searching for What !!!?? — 8-13-2016
The Bible says people who search for God will find Him. In every “age” on Earth, people have searched for a lot of things. Money. Power. Love. Something or someone that makes them feel ‘good.’ But every need in all of humanity is met in the One True and Living God. We should search for HIM.
As a young wife, My husband and I were involved in church. He was a deacon, I was treasurer. When our pastor retired, hoping to attract young people, the Board hired a young guy with a wife and a toddler. He was straight out of seminary at Texas Christian University, our denomination’s school. Sure enough, we began gaining young families. This new guy was the total opposite of ‘old school.’ He went into ministry as a vocation so he could help others. There are likely many people who enter the ministry for this reason, or Dad’s a preacher so it’s the family business. But any reason other than Called By God, is just wrong. (All Born Again Believers are called, except not in the Church and Seminary World .)
My husband and I were at an informal party of younger church members in the home of a deacon. The preacher and I were talking about music. I mentioned I liked the satirical songs going around the country music scene at the time. The preacher asked me if I had heard of “Panama Red.” I had not. He said, “Let me show you.” We went over to the record cabinet. He pulled out an LP record. The cover illustration showed the inside of an Old West saloon. In the foreground was a “Wanted” poster featuring a clever cartoon of an outlaw looking guy with snapping eyes, a handlebar mustache, and flowing hair escaping from under a big western hat. Both ‘tache and locks were Fiery Red. He was holding a smoking six-shooter. The title was Searching All the Joints in Town for Panama Red. I laughed and asked what does it mean?
It seems Panama Red was a particularly potent but elusive strain of marijuana. “Joints.” Get it? I did get it. I was still smiling because my face had frozen in place. I nodded, and handed the record back to him, and said, as I turned away, “I’m gonna get a Dr Pepper.” I had a sickening, sinking feeling that our host deacon AND our preacher may have found some Panama Red, or something like it. (These days with the legalizing of such things, it isn’t a big deal. But in 1975, it was HUGE for me.)
Our new young preacher was very progressive. He attracted young people. And, he was ambitious. Soon enough, a large church in Florida sent their pulpit committee to Po-Dunk, Texas to our little church of about 100 members. They made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Or, it could be said, the Lord just moved him out. Our big revival in that little border community kicked into high gear about a year after he left. Our church now had a Spirit-led older pastor at the helm. The young people loved him and the old people got set on their ear! He wasn’t what they expected at ALL. It was the best thing that ever happened! And, it was the worst. Depending on which side you were on. Even the Panama Red deacon got zapped by Jesus!
So, searching for God. If we pursued Him the way we go after other things, we would do well. It takes a strong desire and/or a profound desperation to do it. But when we do, He makes a covenant with us. It is a two-way agreement between God and a people or a person, with an element of “cutting”. As a field is harvested (cut), another crop is sown later. No promise from Him ever goes away (the field) but the crop planted (the situation), may change from one season to the next. One of the oldest covenants in the Bible was when God spoke to Noah after the flood. The old crop of humanity was gone and a new crop would be sown by Noah’s descendants on the same field. (Earth)
God’s covenant was a promise to Noah and every generation that followed. Jesus said, “Many are called but few are chosen.” Here it is: The call goes out over the whole Earth, but only a few will actually accept it. They are “chosen” because they chose to be chosen! Just like in the days of Noah, it is a matter of the heart. It is not a mental decision we make, it is a spiritual COVENANT we choose. God makes the offer and we accept in our heart. So, dear reader, what are you searching for today?
You will seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Copyright May 2016
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