Skip to main content

Mutual pursuit

This past weekend I was privileged to be a part of a Discipleship Now (DNOW) weekend with the youth group of Franklin Heights Baptist Church. One of my dearest friends is the youth pastor for Franklin Heights and about a month ago he asked if I would like to come with them and help chaperon and lead some of the sessions. I was excited from the first moment because I had heard of DNOW weekends but had never been a part of one. Needless to say, my excitement was far less than I would find out it should have been. The blessings began even on the trip to Myrtle Beach as a rode with Justin Lucas, another youth pastor from Trading Ford Baptist Church. We spent the entire (what turned out to be) 5 hour trip to the beach discussing every spiritual matter under the sun and if I had turned around and gone straight home the blessing would have been manifold.

The theme for the weekend was a study from Student Life Ministry called "Live Love" and it was a wonderful study of Jesus' command for us to love one another and how that should be the defining characteristic of our identity as Christians. We spent hours sharing and discussing how love is lived out in our lives and how it runs contrary to the ways of the world. The depth of some of the student's spiritual life was so encouraging to me and it was capped off with a joint worship service on Saturday evening where some of the youth were asked to give some devotional thoughts to the group. It was during this worship time that some of the adult leaders, including myself, were asked to give testimony. Something struck me as I was sharing how God has been so good and faithful to me that I would like to share with you and perhaps expand upon.

What I realized that evening was this: although there have been many times in my life when I was not seeking God's face and pursuing His will for my life, He has always pursued me. One of the passages that we looked at this weekend was John 15. While there is much about Jesus' command for us to love one another the way that He has loved us there is also this in verse 16, "You did not choose Me but I chose you and appointed you that  you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain..."  My question to the group, and to you, was and is this; did you realize that the God of the universe who created the planets and stars, the oceans and mountains, picked you to be His? If we are believers in Jesus Christ we have been divinely appointed to be His children and heirs to His kingdom. This should leave us dumbfounded and speechless at the perfect and amazing will of God our Father.

If you are like me there have been far too many times in your life when you were not following the path that of God's will and have turned your eyes from His wonderful face. Even in those times when we are not pursuing God, He is always there and we are always in His hand as John 10:28-30 tells us. Now, this does not let us off the proverbial "hook" of following God' will or searching after His plan for our lives. The Bible is replete with admonitions to us to pursue righteousness and seek God's face. However, even when we don't He does not so easily let us stray. In Isaiah 62 we have a prophecy about the glory of Zion and God's people and in verse 12  it says that they will be called, "Sought out, and city not forsaken." In 1 Samuel 13:14 it tells us that God sought out a man after His own heart. Even though the list of places that we are told to seek after God far outweighs the evidence that He seeks after us, it is clear that He will not let His chosen ones slip quietly away from Him. In fact, I would say that God pursuing us should be the exception to the rule rather than the norm. It is His will that would would passionately chase after Him but He does not leave us high and dry when we stray from His path.

By any earthly standard I should have used up my measure of grace long ago, and many of you may feel the same way. However, we serve a God who does not work within the earthly grace economy. We serve a God whose limitless grace is always ready to welcome us back to Himself. This does not mean that we take God's grace for granted or test the limits of His patience because we know that He can tell the Holy Spirit to cease striving with us at any moment. In fact, Paul asks the Roman Christians is grace is any reason to continue in sin. His answer is one of my favorites, "By no means!" However, we can take comfort in the fact that if we are His then He will draw us lovingly back to Himself. Furthermore, the Bible tells us that if we draw near to Him, He is faithful to draw near to us. That is a promise from God's Word and as such we can take it to the bank.

Godspeed,
Christian

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Characteristics of a Godly Watchman Pt. 1: Vigilance

Most everyone has heard an alarm go off. It may be something as mundane as the alarm clock every morning that tells us it is time to get up and get ready for work, or it may be something as frightening as a fire alarm. No matter what the specific purpose of the alarm they all share one common theme: they are meant to alert people and warn them of impending danger.

In Joel 2:1 the Lord commands the prophet to; Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountainbecause the day of the Lord is coming. That is, God’s judgment is coming upon Israel for their sinfulness. Further along in the chapter, in verse 15, Joel is again commanded to blow a trumpet but this time it is to call the assembly of the people together so that they can, consecrate a fast. This tells us two important things about the role, or the duty, of the prophet of God. First, it tells us that the prophet is to act as an alarm to warn the people of God’s coming judgment. Secondly, the prophet is also to be the mo…

A Letter to Christian Girls.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Tonight my wife has been asked to speak to a group of Christian girls on the issues of dating, purity, relationships, etc. As part of that, the youth pastor of this church asked if I would write a letter to the group of young women from a guy's point of view. Now, I can't say as I remember ever having written a letter to a group of teenage girls but I do have some pretty strong feelings about the way our culture has portrayed love, marriage and particularly women. So, what I would like to do in this post is reproduce for you some of this letter. I may add some here and subtract some there but I want this to be my letter to all the Christian, young ladies out there.



What I want to do, through this letter, is share some things from a “guys” point of view because it’s no secret that we see things a little differently than you ladies do. You may think that all we think about …

My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter?

Have you ever seen that bumper sticker? The one that says "My boss is a Jewish carpenter." I certainly have and generally when I see it I quietly agree with the driver and take the encouragement that comes with seeing a fellow soldier in the Lord's army. Just this evening, though, I had a thought as I was driving home from Bible study. "Should Jesus be my boss?" Now before you go casting judgment on the thought let me explain what I mean. I propose that instead if being a "boss" we should be looking at God and Christ as "Master." I'll explain by looking at some differences in the idea of boss and master.

Difference #1: Why were you hired?

When an individual is hired for a job by an employer it is for a specific reason. Perhaps a particular skill, talent or level of education qualifies someone for a particular job. The employer hires the person that is the most qualified to fulfill the task. Granted, this is the way it is supposed to work. …