Seeking God: Motive #6

This is the reason of affliction; we are so backward in this work that we need be whipped unto it. ‘I will go and return to my place, saith God; till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face’ (Hos. 5.15). God knows that want is a spur to a lazy creature, and therefore doth God break in upon men, and scourge them as with scorpions, that they may bethink themselves and look after God.

– Thomas Manton, One Hundred and Ninety Sermons on The Hundredth and Nineteenth Psalm, vol. I (Carlisle, PA; The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990), 20.

Seeking God: Motive #5

You have misspent a great deal of time already, and long neglected God, therefore now you should seek him: ‘It is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you’ (Hos. 10.12). It is time, that is, it is not too late, while we are preserved and invited. And again, it is time, that is, it is high time, the business of your lives hath been too long neglected. It is such another expression as, ‘The time past is enough to have wrought the will of the Gentiles,’ etc. (1Peter, 4.3). God hath been too long kept out of his right, and we out of our happiness. The night is coming upon us, and will you not begin your day’s work?

– Thomas Manton, One Hundred and Ninety Sermons on The Hundredth and Nineteenth Psalm, vol. I (Carlisle, PA; The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990), 20.

Seeking God: Motive #4

If you do not sensibly find God, yet comfort [yourself] that [you are] in a seeking way, and in the pursuit of him. God’s people are described ‘to be the generation of them that seek him’ (Psalm 24.6). This is the true mark of God’s chosen people, they make it their business to get the favour of God, and to wrestle through discouragements. It is better to be a seeker than a wanderer. Though we do not feel the love of God, nor have the comfort of a pardon, have no sensible communion with him, yet the choice and bent of the heart is towards him, and you have the character of God’s people upon you. 

– Thomas Manton, One Hundred and Ninety Sermons on The Hundredth and Nineteenth Psalm, vol. I (Carlisle, PA; The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990), 19-20.

Seeking God: Motive #3

It is our benefit to seek God. It is no benefit to God if we do not seek him. The Lord hath no less, though we have less. He that hides himself from the sun doth not impair the light. We derogate nothing from God if we do not seek him. He needed not the creature, he had happiness enough in himself, but we hide ourselves from our own happiness and our present benefit: ‘They shall praise the Lord that seek him’ (Psalm 22.26). You will have cause to bless God before the search be over, God hath passed his word, there are a great many experiences we taste. As they that continue in the pursuit of the philosopher’s stone find out many experiences, which are a satisfaction to their understandings; so one way or other we shall have cause to bless God. The God of Jacob hath openly professed we shall not seek him in vain (Isaiah 65.19). That is, this is a truth God hath written as it were with a sunbeam, that something will come in seeking of God. By seeking him in prayer we carry away a great deal of comfort and strength. As we read of that emperor that sent not away any one sad out of his presence, so neither doth God, there is some comfort to be had in waiting upon him. And as it brings present comfort and satisfaction, so it brings an everlasting reward, ‘He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’ (Heb. 11.6). If you would have the fruit of your holy calling, that which is the result of that religion you do profess, you must diligently seek him; so that in effect we never seek ourselves more than when we seek the Lord. ‘Seek the Lord and [you] shall live’ (Amos 5.6). It is the undoubted way to get eternal life, to live for ever. They that seek not his face here, shall never see his face for ever. With what diligence will men court an outward preferment, which is yet very uncertain? ‘Many seek the ruler’s favour; but every man’s judgment cometh from the Lord’ (Prov. 29.26). What a deal of observance and waiting is there for the ruler’s face and favour, and yet God dispose[s] of every man’s judgment; it is uncertain whether they shall obtain it yea or nay. But now if you seek the face of God, in Heaven you shall live for ever.

– Thomas Manton, One Hundred and Ninety Sermons on The Hundredth and Nineteenth Psalm, vol. I (Carlisle, PA; The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990), 19.

Seeking God: Motive #2

We seek other things that we want with great solicitude and care, and we are cumbered with much serving to obtain the world, and shall anything be sought more than God? We can least spare him. The chiefest good should be sought after with the chiefest care, and chiefest love, and chiefest delight, nothing should be so precious to us as God. It is the greatest baseness that can be, that anything should take up our time, our thoughts, and content us more than God. When we come to God we are earnest for other things. “They howl upon their beds for corn and wine” (Hos. 7.14). If anything be sought from God above God, more than God, and not for God, it is but a brutish cry.

– Thomas Manton, One Hundred and Ninety Sermons on The Hundredth and Nineteenth Psalm, vol. I (Carlisle, PA; The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990), 19.

Seeking God

Motive #1:

[Seeking God] was the end of our creation. We do not live merely to live, but for this end were we sent into the world to seek God. Nature is sensible of it in part by the dissatisfaction it finds in other things, and therefore the apostle describes the Gentiles to be groping and feeling about for God (Acts 17.27). God is the cause of all things, and nature cannot be satisfied without him. We were made for God, and can never enjoy satisfaction until we come to enjoy him; therefore the Psalmist [says], “We are all gone aside, and altogether become filthy” (Psalm 14.3). Nature is out of joint, we are quite out of our way to true happiness. We are seeking that for which we were created when we seek and inquire after God.

– Thomas Manton, One Hundred and Ninety Sermons on The Hundredth and Nineteenth Psalm, Volume I (Carlisle, PA; The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990), 18-19.