Below are my notes and video of week 2 in our series, Please Touch that goes along with our 40 days of fasting and prayer. The title of this particular sermon is called, “When In Doubt.”
Main Thought: There’s a pattern in our culture and in our humanity that we must fight against. We often RUN FROM God, His house, and His people when things are not so “good,” rather than doing what we’re meant to do and RUN TOWARDS Him and all that He offers us.
-Ps. 34:1 “I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
–That word BLESS means: To recognize, honor, and express great gratitude for WHO He is, it’s setting our mind and heart on HIM.
-Both the Old and New Testaments say SEEKING GOD is a “setting of the mind and heart” on God. It is the conscious fixing or focusing of our mind’s attention and our heart’s affection on God.
-1 Chronicles 22:19 “Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God.”
-Colossians 3:1-2 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
John Piper excerpt.
-Seeking the Lord means seeking his presence. “Presence” is a common translation of the Hebrew word “face.” Literally, we are to seek his “face.” But this is the Hebraic way of having access to God. To be before his face is to be in his presence.
-But aren’t his children always in his presence? Yes and no. Yes in two senses: First, in the sense that God is omnipresent and therefore always near everything and everyone. He holds everything in being. His power is ever-present in sustaining and governing all things. And second, yes, he is always present with his children in the sense of his covenant commitment to always stand by us and work for us and turn everything for our good. “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age …” Matthew 28:20.
-When He’s NOT with us: There is a sense in which God’s presence is not with us always. For this reason, the Bible repeatedly calls us to “seek the Lord . . . seek his presence continually.” God’s manifest, conscious, trusted presence is not our constant experience. There are seasons when we become neglectful of God and give Him no thought and do not put trust in him and we find him “unmanifested” — that is, unperceived as great and beautiful and valuable by the eyes of our hearts. His face — the brightness of his personal character — is hidden behind the curtain of our carnal desires. This condition is always ready to overtake us. That is why we are told to “seek his presence continually.” God calls us to enjoy continual consciousness of his supreme greatness and beauty and worth.
So when should we GO and touch Him?
*When it’s REALLY going GOOD
-This is the place we are most vulnerable as believers, when things are so good and pleasant. Why?
–Seeking God in the good times reminds us that it is HE that is good and me that needs His goodness, not the other way around.
-Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.”
Main TEXT: John 20:24-29 24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” 26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
*WHEN our faith is weak and we are disappointed.
-Thomas is having a weak moment, like so many of us do. But He does something dangerous, he says, “I WON’T BELIEVE UNLESS …”
-Aren’t you thankful for God’s mercy that cares for you and responds to you, even when you make demands on Him? We do this so often!
-It is our natural tendency to complain or be negative when things are hurting me or disappointing me.
*WHEN we’re worried about tomorrow.
-Why is it that Thomas was with Jesus when He said, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today…” (Matthew 6:34) and YET he was still worried?
-We can be with God every single day and hear from heaven, but still worry. Jesus’ solution – you can’t serve two masters!
-God and Money
-God and Worry
-God and Doubt
-God and Hate
-God and Fear
-God and Sickness
-God and Shame
-God and Pride
-When you’re worried, turn it into worship!
-There’s a difference between worrying about tomorrow and preparing for tomorrow. Don’t blame your lack of preparation on your lack of dedication.
*WHEN you’ve got questions because life doesn’t look like you thought it would.
-God is clearly not afraid of our questions. He’s not afraid of our doubts. And neither is this CHURCH! You are entitled to be human and wonder. The problem is when we question without touching. Question without seeking! We can’t stay in a posture of skepticism or we’ve become prideful, arrogant, and ignorant!
-Ultimately, Thomas is incredibly disappointed. You have to get in these guys brains. They were told of a Kingdom, they saw miracles, they thought they were going to become pop stars. But when Jesus died, all the dreams of living significant lives died with Him. They didn’t take Him at His word …
-Here’s what you need to know: Life is a series of things NOT looking like you thought they would or turning out the way you anticipated. Is it possible that Jesus’ may have simply showed up later to Thomas to give Thomas a more powerful moment, to build Thomas’ faith for the future when He wouldn’t be there again?
-Stop running from the church
-Stop running from God’s people
-Stop running from your call
-Stop running from your purpose
-Stop running from obedience
-RUN TO! WHY? God knows EXACTLY what we need, because He knows EXACTLY who we are! Wouldn’t it be better to simply trust Him?