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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2009-05-31 "Seeking God's Face"

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          If you want to bond yourself to any living thing, get close to it and spend time looking admiringly at it, speaking in low, soft comforting tones. My son, Larry taught me that with his cat, “Nermal.” He told the cat from its infancy how wonderful it was. His favorite exercise was to cup the little creature’s face in his hands and speak softly to it. Sometimes he could rub its face against his. The little critter adored him and basically thought of himself as another family member.

          The same concept applies to mothers and babies. They spend hours in rapturous adoration of one another. Moms think theirs is the most beautiful baby in the world. Babies think their mommies are wonderful and God-like. It is a mutual admiration society.

          Animal trainers tell me that when this is done early in the animal or person’s life, their natural boundaries are broken down and they can love and be loved. The animal will do anything its adoring owner tells it.

          My wife’s kitty “Tulee” somehow missed the face time and the bonding. She learned to separate an owner from the owner’s hand. She learned to attack the hand as a kitten. Maybe it was the breeder’s rough housing with it or playing too roughly, but somehow the little critter never connected an owner’s hand with their face and person. She either saw the hand of provision or the hand of roughness, but never connected it with the owner’s face.

          Many so-called Christian believers are like that. They can’t see the connection between the Hand of God and the Face of God. They earnestly want His favor and to be on His good side, but get furious when calamity happens to them. They somehow connect God, His Hand, Face and Presence with a geographic building and miss Him altogether. This sermon looks at some of the attributes of God and why we need to seek His Face.


Pastor Phil Roland - Sheepfold Ministries

May 31, 2009



Worship through relationship

Psalm 27:1-15

“Too many so-called Christian believers seek God for what He does, rather than who He is. Technically, they never get to know Him. Perpetually immature, they seek His Hand rather than His face.”                                                          Pastor Phil 


“One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.”  Psalm 27:4


“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,” Philippians 3:10


“Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” Psalm 105:4



          A. Seeking His Rescuing Hand

                        1. Immature approach to God - “Help me, Lord, Help me!”

                        2. Want His rescue for our frequent, self-generated messes

            B. Seeking God’s Prospering Hand

                        1. Seeking what He does - “God bless momma, poppa, sister!”

                        2. Seeking His Hand of favor

            C. Seeking God’s Provisional Hand

                        1. Wanting material stuff

                        2. Seeking His for what He provides

            D. Seeking His Healing Hand

            E. Seeking His Hand of Mercy

            F. Seeking His Hand of Forgiveness and Mercy Psalm 51:1-4

                “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness;                               According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my

                  transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me

                  from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is

                  always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this                      evil in Your sight;”

          G. Sometimes He shows up with His Hand of Discipline – Heb. 12:6

                 “because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes                                     everyone he accepts as a son (or daughter)."



    “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

      But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,

      are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the

      Spirit of the Lord.”                                                                   2 Corinthians 3:17,18


            A. How can we Seek Him? Jeremiah 29:11-14

               ”For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to

                 prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

                Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to

                you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

                 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back                         from captivity.”

                        1. Call upon Him

                        2. Come and Pray to Him

                        3. Seek Him with your whole heart

                        4. You will Find Him

            B. Spend time with God in Praise and Worship

                        1. Let Him know of your Love and Appreciation

                        2. Praise and Worship is the Key that unlocks God’s heart

            C. Come to God just as you are with an Open Heart

                        1. Let Him see what is in your heart

                        2. Allow Him to see it all Good and Bad – Transparency

            D. Look for ways to offer God praise in commonplace things                                          1. Thanks Him for a beautiful sunrise or sunset

                        2. God inhabits/dwells in the praises of His people

            E. Look into His Face, especially His Eyes

                        1. See your own reflection in His Eyes

                        2. Look without fear and see His Love



          A.  FULLNESS OF JOY - Psalm 16:11

                “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness                   of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

          B.  L O V E - Zephaniah 3:17

            “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great                   delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with


          C.  R E S T - Matthew 11:28

            “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you


            D.  P E A C E - John 14:27 – Numbers 6:24-26

            “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the

             world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

            “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine

            upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and

            give you peace.”

          E.  L I G H T - 2 Corinthians 4:6 – Psalm 44:3

            ”For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in                          our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the

             face of Christ.”


            “It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring

            them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face,     for you loved them.””

          F.  V I C T O R Y - Psalm 106:47 – Psalm 47:1

            ”Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may

             give thanks to Your holy name, and triumph (glory) in Your praise.”

            “O CLAP your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of

            triumph and songs of joy!”

          G.  S T R E N G T H - Psalm 29:11

            ”The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people

            with peace.”

          H.  C O M F O R T - 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

            “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of

            compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our    troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we

            ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow

            over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”

          I.  H O P E - Romans 5:1-5

            “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace

            with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained      access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the

            hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,

            because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance,

            character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because

            God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he

            has given us.”

          J.  G R A C E - 2 Corinthians 9:8

            “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all            sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good


          K.  H E A L I N G - Exodus 15:26 – Jeremiah 17:14

            “I am the LORD, who heals you.”

            “Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved,

            for you are the one I praise.”

          L.  FULLNESS OF LIFE - John 10:10 – Prov. 16:15

            ”I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

            “In the light of a king's face is life, and his favor is like a cloud with the

            spring rain.”



Psalm 27:1-15

27:1  The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

2  When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.

3  Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, In this I will be confident.

4  One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.

5  For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

6  And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

7  Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8  When You said, "Seek My face," My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."

9  Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.

10  When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take care of me.

11  Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.

12  Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence.

13  I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.

14  Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!