"I'm Looking For..."

The holiday season is upon us and gift giving always seems to be a challenge. You enter a local department store or a store at a shopping mall. You go to the section of the store where you assume the item you are looking for is located. A clerk at the store recognizes this “lost look” on your face and asks, “May I help you?” You respond by saying, “I’m looking for…” You then describe the item you seek. The clerk guides you to the item, you pay for it, and contentedly exit the store.

It would be so great if the same outcome were true in religion. Is everyone leaving this world content and happy from what they have found while living in the world? If so, is it because they found in Jesus the One they needed for salvation, or did they gain the whole world and forfeit their own soul (Mark 8.34-38)?

God’s grace, love, and mercy provide all we need in the “store” of life. His desire is to “make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God who created all things” (Ephesians 3.9). His purpose is easy to see once you are guided by His understandable revelation (Ephesians 3.3-4). God is not going to force a person to ask for help, and neither will He literally ask you, “May I help you?” He does want you to trust in Him (Proverbs 3.5-6) rather than yourself, because your way may seem right, “but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14.12). It is time to put down your pride. Stop wandering around. Ask God for help. He will gladly say, “I will instruct thee and teach thee the way which thou shalt go” (Psalm 32.8). 

The reason some people have a hard time really “finding” God is because they cannot seem to find a “CHRISTIAN.” You know, a person who looks like this, does these things, talks like this, dresses like this, never does this, doesn’t go here…But they are having a hard time finding one. They find a lot of people who talk about their love for Jesus, but fail to find those who walk like they talk. They are looking for those who are living “holy and blameless” (Ephesians 1.4), “living soberly righteously, and godly in this present world” (Titus 2.12), and are “the light of the world” (Matthew 5.14). If the world was “looking for” a Christian, could they find one in you?

There are many “seekers” trying to find a spiritually significant place to land. As the “customers” increase, so do the churches who desire to satisfy the “customers” with softened teaching, self-help, easy-to-swallow messages, and joyful experiences to leave an assembly content like shopping and finding a coat, a couch, or a crock pot. “The customer is always right” seems to be the motto applied by may churches.

What frustrates shoppers most is going into a store and finding out there is no one in the size they need. In life, you will not have any trouble finding the “right church.” There is a “one size fits all” church. Is the one you are looking for the one Christ built (Matthew 16.18)? Jesus put the church together, not man (Matthew 15.13-14). It has only one head (Colossians 1.18), and one standard of authority (2 Timothy 3.16-17). It is a church whose members are Christians only (Acts 11.26), and a church which worships “in spirit and in truth” (John 4.24). Admission into this church is “by the water and the spirit” (John 3.3,5). Its work is preaching the gospel, edifying members, and providing benevolence to needy saints (Philippians 4.14-18; Ephesians 4.1-16; Acts 2.44-46; 4.32-34). Its destiny is heaven, not a renovated earth (2 Timothy 4.6-8; 1 Peter 1.3-7). Have you found that church? If not, you need to look around some more.

Are you sure you know what you are looking for in a church? In life? In marriage? Do you believe happiness can be found? Are you even “looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2.13)? If our sights are set upon the world to find within it all we need, we will find everything to be temporary and often unfulfilling. The world will give us whatever our lusts can imagine, but only heaven brings to the world what we cannot find: Salvation, peace, and hope. Psalm 16.11 says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; in yYour right hand there are pleasures forever.” Jesus told the disciples, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15.11).