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 (Manna 20)
Press On To Know The Lord
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Press On To Know the Lord

The fact that the truth has to do with our salvation - eternal life after death - we must study the Word diligently. In our daily lives we seek the betterment of our physical lives. Because we are so busy we often neglect things that has nothing to do with our body but with our spirit. The matters regarding eternal life -life after death - are found in the Bible. God moved about 40 people to write His word. This is the truth that God wants us to preach to the world - the gospel of salvation. This is the will of God. And one who comes into contact with His word will receive illumination. He who understands its teachings is truly a blessed man.

To strive, to press on, is a human activity. The Chinese has a legend of a man called “Kua Fu” who ran after the sun. From dawn to dusk this man followed the path of the sun. Over vales and mountains, over seas and oceans, this man ran after the sun. To him there was no night. It was always day. Soon he became tired and collapsed. Just before he breathed his last, he told the people around him, “It is my life-long ambition to follow the sun and I hope that others will also share my ambition.” Human beings race against time hoping that their lives will be as long as the sun’s. But it is impossible. We may be of royal or noble birth or we may be paupers but in the end we all die. We will not be able to race against time or follow the sun.

If you were to examine history you will find many great and noble men. But where are they now? One day when we lie in the cold earth under stones bearing our names some may remember us but they will ask the same question, “Where is he?” Whether we are willing or not, whether we are aware or not, every one of us must face death. Before that we all strive for many things. We strive for achieve­ment, success, fame, power, and a comfortable life. Like “Kua Fu” we want to race against time. But in the end we will find that we have striven in vain. This is a fact. No matter how long we live -70 or 80 years if we are strong - what we can boast of in this life is toil, labour and sufferings. Then we just fly away, we have done nothing. We are gone and we are just like a shadow.

Another Chinese legend tells of a man called “Peng Tzu” who lived for about 820 years. When he was 20 years old he almost died but the “eight immortals” gave him 100 years each and therefore he lived for about 820 years. When he was 820 years old he was to die but the little devils who were searching for him high and low could not find him. They then decided to wash charcoal in a river. Then an old man came and asked, “Little children, what are you doing?” These little devils replied, “We are trying to wash away the blackness of the charcoal.” Then this old man said, “In my 820 years of life, I have never heard of such nonsense!” Then these little devils said, “You are the one whom we seek.” Even if we can live to 820 years old, there will come a time for us to depart!

The Bible is God’s word and all the more it points clearly to this truth. We must examine ourselves and observe human life. After you have left a country for a few years and then return, people may call you big brother or big sister. The second time you return, people call you uncle or aunty. And when you come back the third time, you may be an older uncle or an older aunty. The fourth time you comeback, you become an old man or an old woman with grey hair, shaky hands and legs. This is a fact. Something unavoidable. You may be strong with great vitality but a few decades more perhaps you also will find your teeth chattering, your eyes dimming and your hair going grey. If we were to view human life in this light it seems to be very sorrowful, really hopeless. And if you were to look at the papers these days, you will find that human life is really dismal. Many are distressed. Many commit suicide. Even in Singa­pore! Why is it that in this small island country where everybody strives to be the best and yet we have people who are so disappointed with life? Because life is toil and suffering. It is emptiness. This is the true picture of human life. A Nobel prize winner’s last words before he took his own life were: “Oh, human life!” In 1)60, in a Taiwanese university, a few young people committed mass suicide. Human life without God is truly empty.

We must not have the wild ambition of “Kua Fu” to strive against time and trying to run after the sun. Birth, old age, sickness and death are human realities. Amongst my classmates, some died in their first or second year in college of liver disease. They left the world without receiving the Word of life. When I look back, I feel sorrowful. So let us seize the opportunity to study human life. Strive, press on, to know God and to understand the problems of human life. When a man finds life in God, receives life from God, his life will be meaningful and valuable unlike that of “Kua Fu”.

Hosea 6:3 says, “Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord, the true God”. We must press on to know Him. His going forth is as sure as the dawn, He will come to us as a shower, as a spring rain that waters the earth. The morning sun gives us warmth, light and hope after the darkness of night. If the world does not have the sunlight of dawn, there will be no sign of life. Because there is light of dawn we begin our day in the morning with liveliness and hope. The dew and spring rain give great joy to those who have been living in areas afflicted with drought. To the Jews, who were the chosen people of God, the light of dawn and the spring rain were something very much desired. The coming of God can be compared to the coming of dawn’s light and the coming of spring rain because it gives us life and hope. The coming of God will nourish our soul which is like dry land. The Bible makes use of these two imageries to tell us of God’s great love and His salvation. If in our lives there is a famine, there is a drought, then we need the rain that God gives. Do you find that your life is bleak and dark? Then you need the salvation of God.

In Luke 1:78-79 the Bible tells us that the tender mercy of God is just like the day that dawns on us so that He may guide those who sit in darkness - those who still have not received the gospel of salvation to lead them out of the shadow of death to the way of peace and life. When a person knows God and believes in the gospel, he will be saved from darkness into light. In this life there will be peace because he has walked out of darkness upon the way of God. Similarly, the Word of God is like the dew and the rain which nourish the ground. Those who have been to the wilderness of Judea will understand this. Travelling from Jerusalem southward towards Jericho and down the slope the land is dry ground. If there is a storm, on the following day, the ground will still be as dry as the day before. There may be some signs of wetness but after a while it will be just as dry. The wilderness of Judea is that dry. It needs continuous rainfall to convert it into a fertile plain.

The prophet Isaiah knew about this. God told him that man needs the Holy Spirit just as the dry ground needs the spring rain. Isaiah 32:15 says that the Spirit of God is poured upon us from on high. The human heart needs nourishment. The autumn and spring rain, and also the light of dawn represent the mercy and tenderness of God. Hosea tells us to press on to know the Lord and we will receive these things. Your life will be transformed. You will walk out of darkness into light. Out of the cold dead world, you will walk into the warmth of the world of life when the Holy Spirit is poured upon you. Your life will be changed. You will be transformed into a spiritual person.

The person whom we want to seek is the only true God, the one who has created all things. God is changeless. Humans are limited by time and space. But God transcends time and space. To I urn the past is the future; and the future is the past. To Him, the past, present and future come together. Religion is not books. Religion is life. It can be experienced. The Bible says that God’s Word is the Word of life. God is someone whom we can seek and can find. Science seeks experiments and verifications. Theories must be proven. Religion transcends science. It penetrates the deepest recesses of the human heart. Religion is something that your heart, your innermost being, your emotion, can experience.

You can experience God when you receive the Holy Spirit. Many today in the church have received the Holy Spirit. If you seek God, you too will receive the Holy Spirit. This is a true and living faith.

How to know God? John 4:23-24 tells us that God is Spirit. We exist in the physical realm. We who are flesh and blood can scarcely understand things in the spiritual realm. How can we know the invisible God?

I Timothy 6:12 says that God exists in unapproachable light. God is beyond the grasp of man. About 6 months ago, an unmanned space ship passed the last planet of the solar system, Uranus. Beyond that we do not know where it is going. The universe keeps on expanding. To go to the edge of universe, it takes about 10 billion light years. if you were to lift up your head to see the stars at night, some of them may be already non-existent. The Bible says that God lives in unapproachable light. How then can we press on to know Him?

First, God became flesh. He came into the world as a human being so that we can see and experience Him. Second, Jesus Christ died on the cross for OUF sake, resurrected and ascended to heaven. After that He sent the Holy Spirit to us. Third, He will come again as the Lord of Judgment. He will reward the good and punish the wicked. Those who believe in the Lord will be received into their eternal home in heaven. So, today, if we want to know God we must look to Jesus and experience the Holy Spirit.

John 1:1-14 tells us that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. This Word, the creative power of God, manifested itself in a form which many can see. Before the Word came into the world it has existed from time immemorial. It is God. When the Word came into the world in human form he became God incarnate. From the very beginning He is the light of life. He is the true light that enlightens every man. He is the light which is above all and gives life to all. He is the light that gives us conscience and the sense of the good. He is the holy light. We know that the world was created through Him and by Him but ironically the world did not accept I Jim. He came to His own people - the Jews - but they did not receive Him. Those who receive Jesus have the right to become children of God.

Eternal life is promised to each and every one of us. John 5:24 says, “Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life, he does not come into judgment but has passed from death to life.” He who hears the words of Jesus Christ and believes in! Jim has eternal life. John 5:25 states, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming and now is when they shall hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” In the eyes of God he who has not been born of water and the Spirit is dead. But if we hear the voice of the Lord and are baptised, we shall receive the Holy Spirit and live!

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