Seek His Face
Sermon Summary
This message is the first in a series of messages called Face Time. God desires face time with us and we desperately need the face time with God! Modern technology has given us some amazing ways in which to communicate but even the Apple App, FaceTime, cannot replace the real face time that takes place when two people are sitting beside each other. While we can’t see the actual, physical face of Jesus, we see His face in His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, His love, and His strength in our lives.  We experience each of these things when we seek His face in a personal relationship. The Psalmist wrote two poems about seeking God’s presence and God’s face which are brought together in one song, Psalm 27. In this Psalm we find multiple reasons to seek face time with God: His Light/His Salvation/HisStrength/His Beauty/His Safety/His Shelter/His Mercy/His Answer/His Forgiveness/His Acceptance/His Help/His Wisdom/His Path/His Goodness/His Faithfulness. And we must seek His Face because we face Evil/Enemies/Fear/War.

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Discuss some of the pros and cons of modern communication technology.

2. When a person seeks God, they will discover His light, His salvation and His strength. While there are some people who had a deep faith at a very young age and accepted Jesus as their Savior and have continued to serve Him in their adult life, many others can point back to a specific time in their life, maybe as a teenager or adult, when they realized they were lost and in need of God. Tell us about the first time you remember having real face time with God.
Eph 1:13  And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
Eph 1:14  who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.

3. Face time with God is not just for our salvation, but is also to get to know God better! Getting saved is the first step. Living for God is a daily walk which must include face time with God. Use the following passage to discuss what this daily face time with God can bring into our lives.
Eph 1:15  For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
Eph 1:16  I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Eph 1:17  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Eph 1:18  I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19  and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
Eph 1:20  which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
Eph 1:21  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

4. David had certainly made his share of tragic mistakes and had reason to fear that God might reject his desire to have face time. However, David discovered that God turns no one away who has true sorrow and seeks forgiveness. Have you ever felt God wouldn’t want to have face time with you because of past mistakes? How has God shown you His face of mercy, forgiveness and love?
Psalm 27:7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face! ” 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 helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.

1 John 1:8  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Full Sermon Notes

Such powerful lyrics! "All these pieces broken and scattered, in mercy gathered, mended and whole." And then the chorus...
"Oh I can see You now, Oh I can see the love in Your eyes!"
Let me ask you a question. Have you seen the love in His eyes? Today I'm going to share with you the first of several messages on how you can have face time with God!
Let's pray and ask God to let us have some face time with Him this morning as we study His Word. “Father God I pray this morning that You will allow us to get a glimpse of Your face this morning. That we could get to a place in our spiritual lives where we are able to see the love in Your eyes! If we're going to be the church, the people of God in this dark world, we must first have face time with You! We need so desperately to see the love in Your eyes. Knowledge and experience of that love is the only thing can keep us motivated and strong in this old world of trials and tribulations. Show us and teach us today why we must seek Your face not just on Sundays but every moment of every day! Hide me behind Your Cross and use me as a mouthpiece for Your purposes and I will be quick to give You all the glory! In the Name of Jesus and with the Spirit in which He prayed. Amen!”

We live in a world filled with some of the most technologically amazing ways to communicate. We've come along way from smoke signals, the beating of drums, or the blowing of some kind of horn. Which, by the way, is called a horn, because the sound was originally made by blowing into the horn of some kind of animal. Back in the 1790's, the semaphore was developed. How many of you know what a semaphore is?
"The semaphore consisted of a series of hilltop stations that each had large movable arms to signal letters and numbers and two telescopes with which to see the other stations." Source

Then in the 1830's and 40's, Samuel Morse helped invent the telegraph and morse code. The came the phone in 1876, invented by Alexander Graham Bell and connected by wires, now known as land lines! Now the jump from land lines to wireless, cell phones is a bit to complicated for the purpose of this illustration, but most of you in this room now own a cell phone. And so now we can talk to people all over the world while driving down the interstate at 70 mphs. Something that many people only dreamed of for years. And then there was this futuristic dream, touted at Disney World years ago, that someday we would actually talk on phones and be able to see the person we were talking to in real time. It was going to radically change the way we communicate. And what do you know, along came Skype. You could go on a computer and call someone on another computer on the other side of the world and see the person you were talking to! Not to be outdone, Apple came up with the FaceTime app in which you can actually see the person you're talking to on your mobile phone. Ok, how many in this room use FaceTime as your preferred method of communication? That's what I thought! Not many.

But here's the kicker…not only do people rarely use FaceTime, but a lot of people have even opted to stop talking on the phone and they only text. Now, I use text. Sometimes it's easy just easier to text someone a quick message, like "what time will you be home?" "7:00" "Ok, I'll have Dinner ready!"

But here's a sad truth. With all our amazing technology we've actually not jumped forward, we've actually lost the most important, most powerful, and most meaningful form of communication. And it's not found on a cell phone. I'm talking about real face time, not the app. In fact all the smart phones, I-pods, I-pads, Tablets, computers, and TVs have been used to rob us of face time with our families and have left many people isolated and lonely. Technology is not all bad. I use, use my smart phone, and I love Skyping my son in Japan, and connecting with old friends on Facebook! But Skype can't come close to the joy we have when our Son steps off that plane and we get to hug his neck and spend some real face time. And when I get to see some of my old friends in person and share a meal together,  instead of just seeing them on my timeline feed on Facebook, it's just way better! "Ok Pastor Larry, where are you going with this?"
Are you ready?

God wants some "real face time" with you and you need some "real face time" with God! If each one of us were to be real honest we might not remember the last time we have "real face time" with God! Undistracted, undivided, face to face, heart to heart communication with God! How many of you have ever gotten a text from God? Here's the irony, God has sent us a text about His desire to have some face time with us. And if you have the Bible App you can read our text on your smart phone! Psalm 27. It's two poems put together to form this one Psalm. It is a powerful Psalm from a man who was no stranger to hardship in his life. He had gone down some very tragic paths in his life and had faced the consequences. And as King, David faced constant threats and difficulties. He knew without God's presence in his life he was done for! He yearned to have a deeply personal relationship with God! He was desperate and passionate about having face time with God. Why was face time with God so important to David? Let's find out!

Why Seek His Face?
His Light/His Salvation/His Strength

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

David's light in his times of darkness was his relationship with his Good Shepherd. And he knew his salvation and safety came from his Lord! Yes, David's the one who penned the 23rd Psalm where he said…

Psalm 23:3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

If God is your light and if He has provided salvation for your soul and if He is a stronghold of protection for your life in this world, why would you not want face time with Him? David is about to get real practical and give us a glimpse into his life as a king and why he sought face time with God...

Why Seek His Face?
Because we face: Evil/Enemies/Fear/War

Psalm 27:2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

"Oh, but I'm not a king, so this does't apply to me." Really? You don't face evil? You don't have enemies? You don't have fear? Is there not a spiritual war raging for the lost souls of our world? Is there not a spiritual war raging for your spiritual well being? You may not be a king facing an opposing army, but you certainly have enemies and they are not small, insignificant enemies. They are real, and quite formidable, and even very scary. It may be an addiction, or an obsession. It could be a sickness, temporary or terminal. It could be sadness or depression. It could be a relational issue, or a career problem. It may be financial. It could be a big disappointment or grief over the loss of a loved one. These battles are not imaginary and we all face them!! Listen...

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

So you might be asking this question. If I seek face time with God and put my trust in Him does that mean I'll no longer face struggles, battles, temptations, discouragements, or any kind of troubles? Sorry, but no that's not what that means. But here's what God does. He takes the bad things that come our way and He makes good come from the bad. But we have to let Him do this. Face time with God helps us to see Him at work even in the tough times. Listen to what Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth...

2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
4 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.
5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

And then he wrote a few chapters later...

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 5:1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

Let me put it this way…Nothing can get through to me unless God lets it through. If He let's it through, He's got a purpose and through my face time with God I trust Him. And as I stand on the battle field and see the enemy running toward me, I know if God's not finished with me my enemies like David's will stumble and fall!
And like David I can say "though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear! Though war break out against me, even then I will be confident!" How could he be so confident? Face Time with God! That's how!

In fact David's about to tell us more reasons he sought God's face and this will help explain his confidence...

Why Seek His Face?
His Beauty/His Safety/His Shelter  

Psalm 27:4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.

But Pastor Larry you said the true church is not a building or a place and David's talking about being in the presence of God in a temple and a tabernacle. Let me tell you, David said he wanted to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life! He knew he couldn't live in the physical temple every day! In fact, that's why he mentioned the tabernacle or tent of meeting, which was the portable sanctuary where God met His people when they were traveling and there was not physical temple. Folks, it's a beautiful thing that God is not confined to a building or a tent. As we talked about a few weeks ago, our body is now the temple of The Holy Spirit of God. The curtain that once separated us from being able to have face time with God was torn in two from the top to the bottom to allow us face to face access to God 24/7!
It's about the presence of God! When you face anything, and then you realize God's presence is right there with you, Wow! This happens when you spend face time with God. David wrote another Psalm in which he said this...

Psalm 139:7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

I love it! God's shelter, His tabernacle, His temple, His divine presence goes wherever I go! That's just plain awesome! And David's not through yet…Two more helpings of amazing benefits of face time with God...

Why Seek His Face?
His Mercy/His Answer/
His Forgiveness/His Acceptance/
His Help

Psalm 27:7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face! ” 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 helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.

Did you hear that? Even if your own family forsakes you, God never will! No matter what you've done in life if you seek His face you won't find an angry face or a deaf ear! You'll find a face full of mercy and He will answer you. You will find forgiveness and acceptance. Some of you might be thinking, "Pastor Larry I've sought God's face, but I still don't know what He looks like." Yes you do. When David was talking about seeking the face of God, he wasn't taking about a physical face. I've never seen the physical face of Jesus like the disciples, but I know what God looks like! He looks like mercy! He looks like forgiveness! He looks like love! He looks like acceptance! He looks like the help I've always needed. Peter put it like this...

1 Peter1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade —kept in heaven for you,
5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

But folks, don't think face time with God is only about the salvation of your soul for heaven some day! It's also about saving your life right here on earth. God doesn't want you to waste a single day! Yes we seek His face because we need what He has to give us in this life as well as in the next!

Why Seek His Face?
His Wisdom/His Path/
His Goodness/His Faithfulness

Psalm 27:11 Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.
13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

When we spend face time with God we will discover the wisdom of God, the paths of God, the goodness of God and the faithfulness of God! I don't know about you, but I desperately need these things from God every day.

You know, I love the way David's son, Solomon, put it in a book he contributed to called Proverbs.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Let's pray!!