Today’s Scripture Selection: Jeremiah 29:13

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

Have you ever lost something that was so important to you – even if it had little material value – that you thought you would be devastated if you didn’t find it?

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you could almost taste it?

Have you ever had some vague sense that you deeply needed something – even though you couldn’t quite describe what is was?  You just knew, though, that if you had it you would be at peace?

If so – then maybe you can understand something about what people of faith through the ages have desired of God.

Jeremiah, the “weeping” prophet wanted his people to find God in fresh, new, life-giving ways.  And it broke his heart that so often they didn’t seek God wholeheartedly.

And it is that – the wholeheartedly part – that gets at how all of us should seek God’s presence and guidance in our lives.

Other Scriptures put it this way:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” (Proverbs 3:5)

“’Even now,’ declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart with fasting and weeping and mourning.’” (Joel 2:12)

“So it is with you.  Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.” (Galatians 4:18)

But in a way, all these Scriptures touch on the same theme: spiritual earnestness.

It’s what will lead you to God.  It’s what will bless you in ways you never expect.  It’s what will lead you from death to life.

But you have to want it – really want it – wholeheartedly.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I always seek you with an earnest and searching heart.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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