The Divine Pursuit

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Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, Ps 23:6 (HCSB)

Christianity is the only religion where God pursues man.

“The truth is that the various religions of the world—whether Islam, Buddhism, atheism, or any of the others— place the responsibility for humankind’s survival and growth directly upon human beings. They must pursue God, knowledge, or whatever is essential to obtaining their salvation.”  Shawn Brace

It is intensely moving to realize that God has sought me all my life.   It is a story of divine pursuit, of orchestrating my life to have encounters with Him, of dramatic rescue from the slimy pit of my wayward folly.

GOD PUTS FORTH GREAT EFFORT ON OUR BEHALF.

Throughout history, God put forth effort to bless man, initiating, pursuing a relationship with him.

  • “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; . . .  and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.  Gen. 12
  • The Lord will grant you that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated…The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to…The Lord will establish you as his holy people…The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity…The Lord will open the heavens to send rain on your land…The Lord will make you the head, not the tail.”  Deut 28
  • For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him  2 Chron 16:9
  • You did not choose me, but I chose you  John 15:16
  • The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.  Acts 2:39

The pursuit is indefatigable, a passionate expression of love:

  • The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  Jer 31:3
  • “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day”  Ez 34:11-12
  • I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.  Hos 11:4
  • If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  Matt 18:12

The pursuit is the most faithful thing we can imagine:

  •  I will never leave you or forsake you. . . Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:5,9
  • If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me”  Ps 139:7-10
  • For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

He pursued us through pain, though humiliation, through fire and water, through death:

  • Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,. . . But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.  Isa 53:3, 5
  • I am the good shepherd:  the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.  John 10:11
  • But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8
  • But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  Eph 2:13
  • he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross.  Phil 2:7-8

And once he has us, He continues to put forth effort on our behalf, fiercely protecting us: 

  • I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.  John 10:29
  • If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  John 15:7

It is the best romance there is.  I could go on and on, but I will close by sharing the chorus of a song I wrote:

Oh, Lamb of God, my knight you are,

You gave all you had to rescue me,

You set out to gain the jewel of your heart

And now we are one eternally

 

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