The One Thing to Ask | Kylen Perry

Kylen Perry // Feb 20, 2024

It's easy to get distracted in a world that demands our attention. This week, Kylen Perry walks us through Psalm 27, where we see David recognize that in order to pursue what matters, we have to give our attention to the One who deserves our focus — and it all starts with one question.

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Hey, it's Porch day. How are we feeling? Yes! I feel similarly. It's so good to be back. I look forward to every single Tuesday, and I'm so glad you chose to be here with us. We also have some very special friends joining us from around the nation. We have Porch.Live locations tuning in, and we want to give a special shout-out to Porch.Live Dayton and Porch.Live Des Moines. We love you guys. Thanks so much for being here with us.

Tonight, we're starting a brand-new series, and it's going to be great. I'm excited about it. To kick things off, I just want to lead off with a story. At the beginning of this year, I found myself in the midst of the most stressful situation I've probably encountered in the last year or so. My car decided to break down very unexpectedly, something I was not planning for at all.

We're good stewards of our finances, so we were saving up for the day when we would buy another one, but my engine failed, so it was time to buy a new vehicle, and I needed to do it quickly, because it was in the middle of our move to Dallas. Whenever you transition, tests, trials…they come a-many. This was one of the many we found ourselves facing.

So, we decided, "Okay. We've got to find a car." I immediately got to work. I needed to find something that was easy on the pocketbook, that was reliable to drive, gently used, no damage at all. I started hunting it down. What you would expect, given that criteria, is that I was probably looking for a nice family sedan, a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic. That's what your mind would naturally run to. My mind is different.

I naturally ran to a 1990 single-cab Ford pickup truck. The heart wants what the heart wants, and that's what I wanted. So I applied myself. I put myself to the test. I went to work trying to hunt down this unicorn of a vehicle. What I found is that I was spending an obsessive amount of time on things like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Autotrader. Anywhere I could look I was looking, because I wanted so desperately to find this truck.

It was the one thing I wanted most of all, yet no matter how hard I looked, I could not find it…at least not one that met the specs I needed. Again, my criteria was I need it to be reliable. I need it to have zero damage. I need something that's somewhere less than 100,000 miles, and it needs to be easy on the pocketbook. There are a lot of trucks out there, but not many that are 34 years old that meet that criteria.

So I wised up. I decided, "Okay. I probably just need to change my search criteria. I need to stop looking for trucks, and I need to start looking for nice family sedans." Within a matter of a couple of days, I found one. I found a 2010 Ford Fusion. Yeah, man. It's okay. Save your pity laugh, pity applause. It met my criteria…66,000 miles. It was cheaper than dirt to buy. I decided, "Okay. Let me test drive the thing. Let me pick it up and get it mechanically inspected. I'll visit with the owner, and we can agree on a price."

It was all but a done deal…that is, until I found this. You can actually cheer for this one, because this met my search criteria. So I bought it. Now, how did I find this? Like, all hope was lost. I had been on the hunt, working the grind, trying to find this thing to no avail, so how did I actually find it in the eleventh hour? I persevered. When other men would have given up and settled for lesser glory, I decided to keep after it. What I found was the one thing I'd been seeking after.

You see, I decided not to settle for just anything, but I persisted in seeking the one thing that was actually worthy of my wanting. Why do I tell you that tonight? Well, first, I really just wanted to show you my new truck. I'm really proud of it, and it is just as amazing as you would expect. Secondly, I share that with you because God has told us, of all of the things we could seek in this life… And there are many things we could seek in this life.

We could seek popularity. We could seek influence, approval, power, success, or advancement. Of all of the things we could seek, God has made it clear that there's one thing worthy of seeking most of all. This is what he has revealed by way of his Word. He has told us there's something that should claim the top spot in our lives, something we should obsess to find. Tonight, he wants to reveal it to you and me. The place he does it is in Psalm 27.

Tonight, we're starting a brand-new series called Essential where we want to unpack what God claims is the most important pursuit in your life. Amidst all of the things in life you could spend your time chasing, God wants to make clear what the one thing you should spend your life chasing is. That's what this series is all about. When you read through the Bible, there are five "one thing" statements that help us realize the one thing that brings everything else into focus. The goal of the series is to simplify your seeking after that which is most important.

So, we see in Psalm 27, starting in verse 4, these words: "One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: 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 inquire in his temple." At the time that David, who is the author of this psalm, is writing out this psalm, most scholars believe David was fleeing through the wilderness from King Saul, which, if you look at the record books, would have dated him somewhere between 22 and 30 years old.

For reference, that would put David, the author of this psalm, in this room. He's your age. He's a young adult. What he just said is something that feels comical to read. He just said, "Hey, there's one thing I'm really after, one thing I'm obsessing to find, one thing I'm asking of God." It feels comical, because who in here would say there's only one thing you want God to help you out with? Nobody.

I asked for more than one thing today from God already, and I'm the guy standing onstage. Not a single one of us between 22 and 30 years old, identifying as young adults, would sit here tonight and say, "Yeah, there's only one thing I really want from God." In the sea of all our busyness, we need God for a lot. We want so much from God because of all it is that we're underneath.

The world is demanding your attention, but hear me on this. Whatever you give your attention to is commanding your life. The world is demanding your attention. "Hey, look over here. Pay attention to me. Pursue this thing instead." Whatever it is you give your attention to is commanding your life.

It's like when you go grocery shopping. (I was thinking about this earlier too. This is the third grocery illustration I've used in three sermons. I need some new material.) When you go grocery shopping, what do you do? You walk in with a list prepared. Why? If you don't have a list, that's the quickest route to spending more money and gaining unwanted weight. Right? Because everything in the store is saying, "Buy me. Pick me up. Put me in the cart." That's everything. It's all window shopping and window dressing.

So, you don't walk in there without a list. That would be foolish. You walk in prepared, because you know, "Everything in the store is going to demand my attention. So, since my attention commands my life, since it drives my decisions, let me determine in advance what my attention should go to, what is actually deserving of my priority."

If that's true, we should do ourselves the service of asking tonight…What is it you're giving your attention away to? David has one thing he's focusing on, but what are the myriad of things, the multitude of things you're actually giving yourself away to, that you're thinking about, that stir up all of the emotions you feel, that leave you sleepless in the evening, that you wake up in the morning already thinking about? What are those things? Those are the things that have already called for your attention.

David is telling us tonight of all of those things, there's one thing that's actually worthy of paying attention to. For him, as he says here in verse 4, it's to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of your life. "So, you're telling me I'm supposed to go to church every single day for the rest of my life?" No. That's not what David is talking about. It sounds like it, because it is religious rhetoric, yet what you need to know is when David talks about the house of the Lord, what he's talking about is the tabernacle in his context. It's where the presence of God dwelt.

David is saying, "The tabernacle where God's presence is…that's where I want to be. I want to give all of myself, my singular focus and my undivided pursuit, to being in that place. That's where I want to be." This is what David is pointing to. He is saying that God's presence is the priority. All David wants is to be near to God. He just wants to be close. He just wants to be close by. That's it. That's what he's pursuing.

What we'll find as we read through this chapter is the guy is in the midst of trouble, hardship, and difficulty. There's adversity all about him. He could ask for so many other things. "Deliverance, God. Save me from my enemies, God." But he doesn't do that. Instead, David says, "God, I want to be near to you. I want to be close to you, God. My proximity… I can't get close enough. I just want to be as tied next to you as possible."

This is the heart of David in this moment. He wants it so badly he starts speaking in extremes. He's that friend who's like, "There's one thing that I ask, and I want it all of the days of my life." Like, "David, why so dramatic, bro? Calm down, man. We get it. You want this, but you don't need to exaggerate." Yet he's not speaking in extremes needlessly.

David speaks in extremes because he has good reason, which he wants to give to you and me. Namely, two reasons for why we should seek the presence of God, why we should increase our proximity to him. They're both in verse 4. Read it with me again. "One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…" Why? "…to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple."

The first reason David wants to draw near to the presence of God is to see God's beauty. The first reason we seek to get as close to God as possible is to see God's beauty. Years ago, I worked for a ministry in College Station, obviously, hand in hand with a bunch of college students. What you find when you work with college students is they are navigating some of the biggest life decisions they will make.

Over the course of a four- or five-year spread, they are making huge decisions, like, "What do I want to do with the rest of my life? Where do I want to live for my first job? What year am I going to graduate and with what degree am I going to do so? Who are going to be my friends, likely the people who may or may not stand in my wedding? Am I going to have a wedding? Am I going to get married? Am I going to meet that person here?"

They're navigating all of these major life decisions, yet there was always one that came up that was most interesting to me. It was the topic of dating. Most of the guys I was mentoring would inevitably come across some young lady they were interested in. Whenever this would happen, when I would find out one of my guys had an interest in a girl, I would spring into action.

I would unload a set of carefully crafted and meticulously perfected questions I had prepared over a long period of time. The first is really simple: "What's her name?" The second: "How do you know her?" Of all of the places, Instagram. That was often the answer I received from these guys. They would tell me, "I met her on Instagram." What are you talking about, you met her on Instagram?

I understand if it's virtual dating, because those people, whether it's a dating app or something other, have romantically self-selected that they're viable and interested; they're looking for suitors, partners. But on Instagram, it's the Wild West, just shooting your shot off, you know, sliding into DMs and trying to see what will actually hit. It doesn't seem like the best strategy, my guy, yet this is what my boys were doing so often. They were finding people they were interested in, and they were just making instinctive moves.

It would always lead me to my third question: "Well, what do you know about her?" This is when the nerves really sank in. You could just see them. They'd kind of squirm in their seat, because, oftentimes, they would come up with some combination of "Well, I mean, she… There's a Bible verse in her bio, and there are photos of her at a coffee shop. It seems like she's got really good friends from the pictures I can see," as if this was a suitable résumé for a romantic pursuit.

That brought me to my fourth and final question: "You just think she's pretty, don't you?" To which often the case was, "Yes." Why do I tell you that? Well, first, because I can't speak to the success rate of sliding into someone's DMs, but what I can say from that experiment is that external beauty may spark your interest, but internal beauty will keep your attention. For my guys… And the same happens for girls if you put the shoe on the other foot.

Many of them walk into the first date so excited, and then they walk out of the first date so disappointed. Why? Why is that the case? Because though they liked what they initially saw, they learned that without character, intrinsic beauty, the relationship had no staying power. Why do I bring that up to us tonight? Because David in this Scripture has seen something in God that not only sparked his interest but kept his attention. He saw in God an intrinsic beauty, a character, a nature, that held him arrested and he couldn't get away from.

So, let me ask you…What makes something beautiful? There's an old saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which simply means beauty is subjective, to which I would agree. I'd say, "Yeah, of course." Beauty is subjective in all areas of life but one: God. God is not subjectively beautiful; he is objectively beautiful. The beauty of God is not determined by what you see of him but how much of him you see. Now, as I say that, here's what I know. I know there are people in the room tonight who hear me say that and have this impulsive skepticism.

You're sitting here, and you've heard me say, "God is objectively beautiful," and you're like, "Man, you must know a different God than I do. The God you've seen is not the same God I've seen, because I'm dealing with past hurts I'm still trying to heal from. I'm carrying around scars the likes of which I never would have inflicted and yet am enduring. I'm working through a pain that cannot seem to be put to rest. So, this God you say is so beautiful… He may be beautiful to you, but he has not been beautiful to me, Kylen."

To you, I would tell you what one of my seminary professors said. I quote. "If God did not allow bad things to happen…" You need to hear that. Not cause them to happen but allow them to happen. "If God did not allow bad things to happen, how much of God would we then not know? For without evil, we do not know God's grace. Without agony, we do not know God's peace. Without despair, we do not know God's joy. Without hurt, we do not know God's healing. Without death, we do not know God's gift of life."

Friends, listen to me. The greatest good in all the world is to see as much of God as possible. But hear me on this. Such sight is impossible without the presence of pain. You cannot see all of him without the presence of pain. I tell you that as someone who has lived through suffering and stands on the other side of it, never wishing to go back, yet so thankful God took me there.

God will lead you into places you would never go to show you things you would never see. He wants to show you as much of himself as possible. That is the greatest good, and he knows that's the case, so he's bringing you into it. What's amazing is David, as we said, is deeply afflicted in this psalm.

If the scholars are right, he is on the run for his life, yet his response is not to distance himself from God; it's to draw near to God. "God, I want to be close to you. That's the one thing I need. I don't need rescue or relief from all of my circumstances. I just need to be near to you, God." That's his response. So, if you're here tonight and that's your place, if you're in that spot, what's your response? David has given you good reason to seek his presence, because God is beautiful.

Not only that. God is also knowable, which is the second reason David gives us that he seeks the presence of God. It's to see the beauty of God, and it's to know God personally. This is the second reason David gives. It says in verse 4 that part of his reason for dwelling in the house of the Lord was to inquire in God's temple. If you go and read the Hebrew, that word for inquire is a word that doesn't just mean to casually know about someone; it means to closely, intimately, personally know someone or something.

David wants to have a face-to-face relationship with God. How do you know someone's face closely? Not by standing across the room from them but by getting near to them. That's what David wants. He knows, "God, I can know you, but the best way for me to increase in that end is to come close by. I can know you, God, and it's that that I want."

Something you should know about me is I have a wildly obsessive personality. I joke all the time if you want to know what I'm interested in, if you want to know what my thought life currently consists of, you should just go to my YouTube page and look at whatever the algorithm is recommending, because they've got me pinned down pretty well.

Typically, because I'm not a mile wide and an inch deep but am very narrow and very deep on the things I'm interested in, you can get an idea of what I'm currently obsessing over. So I looked it up. I'm bringing you in. Don't judge me, but in no particular order, here are the results, those things which currently have my mind's eye.

The first is golf, specifically how not to slice my driver. I'm working on that one. Second, Gordon Ramsay. Do with that what you want. I'm a renaissance man. Third, mid-sized truck reviews, because now I own one. Then lastly… I don't know how to feel about this. You know, this is what happens when it's late in the evening and you find yourself stuck on YouTube, and then you can't get away from it. It's the black hole known as Golden Buzzer moments from America's Got Talent. You've been there.

That's it. That's what my thought life consists of right now. Why do I tell you that? Because that is what I'm inquiring to know. That's what I'm obsessing over. That's what I want to learn as much about as possible. In the same but much more righteous way, David is doing that with God. David's YouTube feed is filled up with only videos of God. He just wants to learn as much as he can about the Lord. He knows, "God, you are knowable. If that's true, then I want to know as much as possible. Who is like you, God? No one is like you, Lord."

Think about it like this. I was processing this idea. If there was someone in the world you could spend every single day for the rest of your life learning about, what would have to be true of them? Don't think too hard. I did it for you. They would have to be the most unpredictable, ever-growing, always-changing personality imaginable. Right? Otherwise, they would get dull and boring. That is not true of God. God is not unpredictable; he's steadfast. God is not always changing; he is unchangeable. God is not always growing; he's already perfect.

God is infinitely deep, inexhaustibly wonderful, and completely perfect. The Scriptures say because that is all true, you can seek to know him. They describe it, the authors in the Scriptures, that God is unsearchable. What does that word mean? Like, "I guess I'll never learn as much about God as possible." No. It means God is one you can never reach the end of, so go get it. Don't look elsewhere. Just keep going. It only ever gets better.

This is what the Scriptures say. Psalm 145:3: "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable." Isaiah 40:28: "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable." Romans 11:33: "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!"

Friends, God is both wildly beautiful and wonderfully knowable, and he's available to us. Does that not do something to you? Does that not stir your heart, stun your gaze, and arrest your whole being? So, say we buy into this. Like, you're here, and all of that resonates with you, each of those reasons. You're in. You're like, "Man, I want to give it a shot." What are the results then? What happens when you do? Well, David tells us. He says this, jumping back to verse 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? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident."

The first result of being near to God is fearlessness. Nearness to God makes you fearless in life. I'll say it again for the people in the back. Nearness to God makes you fearless in life. We know this by our own experience. When you're with someone you trust, your confidence increases. Right? If I went around this room and said, "Hey, don't volunteer yourself, but volunteer a friend of yours who you know has a really good singing voice," we would all point to someone. Right?

We all know someone here that we would say, "Yeah." Like you right there who your friend is totally outing in this moment. How would you feel if I brought you up onto this stage and said, "In this moment, just sing for everybody"? Not so good. Yeah. But what if I told you Hayden and Davy were going to come right out here and sing alongside you? Your nearness to them would make you fearless for this moment.

That's what happens when we walk with God in close proximity. We feel our fearlessness rise, our confidence surge. This is what happens to David. Look at the way he describes it. He says, "The Lord is my light and my salvation and my stronghold." Why does he call God by all of these titles? Like, "David, are you just religiously riffing here? What are you talking about?" No. He says, "When I faced darkness, God was my light. When I faced danger, God was my salvation. When I faced disaster, God was my stronghold."

David knew, "God provided for me in the past, so I can trust him with my future." What's amazing is he not only repeats that he shall not fear, but he does so in the face of escalating circumstances. Did you catch it? If you read through this, in these verses he goes from general evildoers to personal adversaries to an army encamped against him to a war rising about him. "Watch out! Things are getting worse." But David doesn't escalate. He only grows more at ease, because nearness to God makes you fearless in life.

Charles Spurgeon, prince of preachers, once said, "I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages." Friends, listen to me. God has not called you nor me to have a fair-weather faith and live through always easy circumstances. No. Life is not like that. Life is hard. It's difficult. We know it through our own experience or through someone else's, and we also know it by God's Word.

Jesus himself said, "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart; I've overcome the world." You will, as you walk with God, have a battle-tested faith, but what you'll find is the same thing David found. You'll find, "No matter what trouble comes, I'm safe because I'm right beside you, Lord. I'm immovable. I'm anchored. I will not be shaken." This was David's approach, and it can be yours too. We see David continues in verses 5-6, and he brings us to our second result.

"For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord."

"And now my head shall be lifted up…" Let me ask you… What causes your head to hang low? Yeah. Thank you. The Bible would say something very similar to those two things of shame and doubt. It would point, as you study the entire body of Scripture, that the two things that cause our eyes to drop and our heads to hang are fear of circumstances…doubt that God is good, problems at work, ruined relationship, betrayal from friends, reputation on the rocks.

Fear of circumstances will cause your head to hang, and so will shame from sin, that you really are that bad and never will get any better. This is what causes our heads to hang. And do you know what happens when your head hangs low? You lose sight. You lose focus of the one thing you should keep your gaze fixed upon. You stop focusing on what matters, and you start focusing on what doesn't.

You will hear me say this often, but for tonight, this is the first time you've heard it. All of life is either a drawing near or a drifting away from God…all of life. There's no neutral option. There's never a neutral decision. Everything you do…the way you walked in, the music you listen to, the way you walk out, the way you talk to your neighbor, the things you're thinking…all of it will either draw you in or drift you away from God.

The reason that's the case is we have an Enemy who hates us. He hates you. He doesn't want you to be close to God. He'll do everything in his power to distract your attention, divert your affections, and ultimately distance you from the one who loves you. So, friends, we have to be vigilant. We have to hold fast and stay steady to the fact that God is the one we should hold on to, not simply because with him we're fearless, but in so doing (the second result), we become joyful.

David is sitting here, saying, "I don't need to cower in fear. I don't care how many foes or enemies or rivals I have that are out against me. God has lifted me high upon a rock. I don't need to hide in shame, because God has lifted my head. I can rejoice. I can offer in his tents with shouts of joy." This is what David is pointing to. He is saying the intensity of your joy depends on your proximity to God. The intensity of your joy, how hot you burn with gladness, depends on your proximity to God.

Psalm 16:11. We read this a few weeks ago. Put this verse to memory. It says, "You, God, make known to me the path of life. In your presence, as close to you as possible, is not just joy but the fullness thereof. At your right hand, God, are pleasures forevermore." If this is not sufficient reason to draw near to God, I don't know what is, yet for many of us, while we might agree with this in theory, our lives would play advocate against us. They would instead suggest we are trusting in something else to give us the satisfaction we seek.

Here's what you need to know. When it comes to joy, you have two options in your pursuit. You can seek after it or you can search for it. What's the difference? Seeking implies you know where to find it. Searching implies you don't know where to begin. Some of us have been searching for joy. We've looked in all manner of places. If we're honest with ourselves, we know we've looked away from God and to other things in the hope that "That thing will give me the satisfaction I seek."

So, what's it for you? Is it approval from a guy, even if it means reducing yourself in ways that belittle your self-worth? Is it acceptance from your coworkers, even if it means you have to compromise in order to be let in? Is it piling on the good works because you're so desperate to be identified as a good person, yet it burns you out and leaves you wasted?

Is it some sort of coping mechanism, some kind of addiction you find yourself running back to time and time again…food, drugs, substances, alcohol, pornography…you name it? Is it something that has a foothold in your life? What is it? What is it you're running to in the hope that joy might be underneath there?

Listen. I've looked. It is found nowhere else but him. There is joy nowhere else but him. Sure, you may find something that scratches the itch. You may find something that ultimately curbs some little sense of satisfaction. You may find something that helps you to sleep better in the evening, but you will wake up the next morning and feel just as empty as the night before.

This is what the world is offering you. This is what the Enemy is deceiving you with. This Word, his Word, has come to tell you tonight the truth. "You can search the whole world, and no joy you'll find, or you can seek it in me, and I'll give it in abundance." Will you seek after it with him? Everything else in comparison, knowing God is the giver of every good and perfect gift, is rubbish in contest. He is better. He's better.

He's better than whatever it is you find some sick sense of satisfaction or gratification in. I remember when I was in college struggling with a porn addiction, telling God, "I like this more than I like you." That was the most freeing honesty I could have given him in that moment, to look at him and say, "God, I do want this more, but I know I shouldn't. I want to want you. Will you stir that up in me, God, please?"

God is better. He's deserving of desire. He's worthy of wanting, and tonight he is prompting your pursuit, because in him you're going to find everything, and more, that you could ever want. So, where do you start? You start where I did, in the corner booth of a Taco Bell at 11:30 p.m. as an 18-year-old. It was there that I sat across the table from a friend who spoke of the God we've been talking about. Not the God I knew, but a God who transcended my wildest imagination and confronted my personal presumptions of him.

It was there that everything changed, because it was there, as I saw someone genuinely walking with God, that I wanted it for myself. I do not stand here tonight as someone saying, "Hey, follow me." That will never be the message I preach from this platform, but I will always stand from this stage and look at you and say, "Follow him, because in him is everything you could ever desire." Are you walking with him? Do you know him? Tonight he's bidding you to come close.

This can be frustrating to you or it can be fascinating to you. You could come tonight and say, "Just give me some directions, man. What am I supposed to do?" Or you could just receive the desire that the Holy Spirit wants to prompt within. I don't want to move forward quickly to the next step. "How do I do all of this?" That's what this series is for. Tonight, I just want us to feel the fascination of a God who is more beautiful than we've known and more knowable than we dared to dream, and I want us to seek him.

What you should know is we only can seek God because he first sought after us. There is a God worthy of wanting, but what's crazy is he pursued a people unworthy of wanting. All the story of the Scriptures is saying God wanted to dwell amongst us. He wanted to be present with you, and now the invitation through Jesus is on the table, saying, "Come and be present with me. Come and experience my goodness." Yet what we know from the Bible is that no one sought after God…none, not one…yet God, looking upon a people unworthy, unbefitting of his love, chose to love us instead.

So, this presence we've talked about all evening, the presence of God, became manifest in the person of Jesus. The God from up there became the God down here, walking amongst us in a way that would not have turned your eye, with no beauty or form or majesty that you would regard him at all, yet was so beautiful intrinsically it changed the world and motivated people to follow him and learn from him, seek to know him, and in so doing become like him.

This God, a God who came to be with you and me, didn't just come in the form of Jesus for the 33 years he lived here, but he came to give his life that we might be with him for all eternity where he is today. Jesus, the Son of God, laid down his perfect life, beautiful life, for the sake of a world that was not worthy.

He was hung upon a Roman execution rack, and in so doing, he absorbed the consequence of all our sin. After being laid to rest, dead in the ground, he rose forth from the grave, saying, "I not only came to be with you; I came to get you to bring you where I now am." Do you know him? He has come to seek after you. The question is…Will you seek after him in return? Let me pray for us.

God, there is none like you. God, we say again there is none like you, not in heaven nor on earth nor beneath the earth. You and you alone stand supreme. You and you alone stand distinct. You and you alone, God, are ultimately significant, transcendent, omnipotent, and worthy of our pursuit. God, none of us could arise to the standard we needed to be connected to you, so what you did is lowered yourself to fulfill that standard, to live the life we could not and die the death we deserve, that all the sin we were so weighted beneath might be paid for.

Then rising forth, God, you extended an invitation. "Come get me. Come follow me. Choose me. Come close to me and see within me that beauty which you'll find nowhere else. Find within me that knowledge which you'll know nowhere else, and receive a kind of joy this world will never offer." Lord, we rejoice in the fact that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. We love you. Thank you, God, for the gift of your pursuit. We respond in that pursuit now. It's in Jesus' name, amen.