SermonSeeing Godís Presence
An all-creatures Bible Message

Seeing Godís Presence
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
6 January 2019
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 72:1-7
Isaiah 60:1-6
Matthew 2:1-12
Ephesians 3:1-12

Seeing Godís presence can and should happen everywhere and every day, but unfortunately it doesnít.
 
Now donít start looking for Godís presence in the physical, because that is only supposed to happen once more in the future, but we can see Him spiritually in the way that the true children of God act and live, just as others should be seeing Godís presence in us.
 
Probably the most obvious traits are in the peacemaking lifestyles of these individuals and in the fact that they donít eat or wear any animals or their by-products; they make peace with both humans and animals, and do everything in their power to help free creation from its present corruption.
 
This is how we all can be seeing Godís presence.
 
With these things in mind, letís take a look at Psalm 72:1-7, a psalm of SolomonÖ

1. Endow the king with your justice, O God,
the royal son with your righteousness.

When Solomon first became king, he asked the Lord for all the correct things, just as we should do, but we also must be willing to live by what we are asking for, and reject the ways of this corrupt world, and as we know, Solomon failed to do this in many situations, which is the problem that most people have.

2. He will judge
your people in righteousness,
your afflicted ones with justice.

This is Solomonís promise to God, just like a lot of the people in the world make, but they usually fall short, and all too often, quite short.

3. The mountains will bring prosperity to the people,
the hills the fruit of righteousness.

This is a promise that no human should even try to make, for only God could accomplish such a task.
 
Humans may want to do things like this, but if they fail to deliver, the people will not be seeing Godís presence in them; instead they will just see the idle presence of this corrupt world.

4. He will defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy;
he will crush the oppressor.

This should include the oppressors of all animals, and Solomon ate all kinds of tortured animals including peacock tongues.
 
Now, if we couple this with the fact that he had over 500 wives and concubines, we come to realize that he is really a self-centered person of this corrupt world, and far from being the savior king of the world that he prayed to be.
 
This is just one example of the problem of seeing Godís presence; it may have been in him in the beginning, but it sure didnít last very long, but it may have come back in his later life.

5. He will endure as
long as the sun,
as long as the moon, through all generations.
 
6. He will be like rain falling on a mown field,
like showers watering the earth.

He sure wasnít these things.

7. In his days the righteous will flourish;
prosperity will abound till the moon is no more.
NIV

This also isnít true, and the tribes of Israel separated from Judah and went their own way.
 
In Isaiah 60:1-6, he talks about the light of the Lord shining upon His people, but most of them never received that light, for they chose to live in the darkness of this world instead of the heavenly will of God.

1."Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

Isaiah is speaking to the children of Israel.

2. See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.

This happened, and it has always happened, but like today, most people ignored the light of the Lord, and this is why most people are not seeing Godís presence.

3. Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Unfortunately, this has not happened, because the light of God could not be seen in the Israelites.

4. "Lift up your eyes and look about you:
All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters are carried on the arm.

This, too, has not happened, but there have probably been some people who looked, but they most likely were not seeing Godís presence.
 
In the meantime we should be groaning with creation while waiting for the children of God to be revealed.

5. Then you will look and be radiant,
your heart will throb and swell with joy;
the wealth on the seas will be brought to you,
to you the riches of the nations will come.

The Wise Men came to the baby Jesus, but they left because of the corrupt and worldly leaders.

6. Herds of camels will cover your land,
young camels of Midian and Ephah.
And all from Sheba will come,
bearing gold and incense
and proclaiming the praise of the LORD.
NIV

Even Isaiah was caught up in the worldly practices of people having their prosperity and wealth tied up in herded animals, which is really part of this corrupt world, because until we truly free creation from its present corruption we will not have peace on earth.
 
In Matthew 2:1-12, we are told about the wise men who came all the way from Babylon to see the Christ child, and also because of their faith they would be seeing Godís presence.

1. After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem

This plainly tells us that these men were not present at Jesusí birth but sometime afterwards.

2. and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
 
3. When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

Herod wasnít looking for his salvation; he was feeling threatened that this child would replace him as king.
 
What Herod didnít realize was that spiritually he had already been replaced.

4. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
 
5. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
 
6. " 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.' "

These religious leaders also knew the truth, but like Herod instead of welcoming Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they only saw Him as a threat to their positions of authority.

7. Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
 
8. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

This was obviously a lie, for all Herod really wanted to do was kill the Christ child.

9. After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
 
10. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
 
11. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

This is further proof that the wise men did not come to the stable where Jesus was born, because when they got there, Jesus was living in a house.

12. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
NIV

These wise men knew the truth and honored it for they were seeing Godís presence.
 
We all need to do the same things.
 
Finally, letís take a look at Ephesians 3:1-12 and consider whether or not we are seeing Godís presence.

1. For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles Ė

Paul believes that everything he is doing is in the heavenly will of God, and wants the people to see the presence of God in himÖ

2. Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you,
 
3. that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.

Paul is referring to the transformation that occurred to him on the road to Damascus, where only Paul was seeing Godís presence, but now he wanted others to see that presence in him and his actions.  

4. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
 
5. which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets.

But today, we believe that it is being made known to the whole world, but only relatively few people are truly opening their spiritual eyes and hearts to receive their own glimpse into the heavenly realm.

6. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

Paul is letting the Ephesians then, and us today, know that God makes no spiritual distinctions between people who have received the Gospel of Christ for themselves.

7. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power.

Paul is letting us know that we can experience the same kinds of grace in our own lives that he experienced.

8. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
 
9. and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

If we discount what seems like a little bragging from Paul, the truth is that each and every one of us can have the same things that Paul received so that there would no longer be a mystery, except for those who have not received Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in their hearts and souls.

10. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,

Unfortunately, from my own experience, these church leaders are usually the hardest people to receive the heavenly truth.

11. according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
12. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
NIV

This is what we all need whether it is new for the first time or a reminder of what we had previously received.
 
We all can be seeing Godís presence.
 
Amen?
 
Amen.

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