“Have you ever been pursued?” What a strange way to start a conversation I thought. Pursued … a cop because I was speeding? … no, I don’t speed. An animal during a hike? … don’t think so. My wife? … I think I was the pursuer!
“What do you mean?” I asked. He paused for a moment, a serious look came over his face. His voice became quieter. “Has God ever pursued you?”
I soon came to realize that this was not a strange conversation starter, but that this man was on a profound Quest. God was knocking, calling, pursuing … this guy was looking for answers. His life had not been easy. He had made a decision for Christ a few years back, but continued to struggle with life in general. We shared, he talked of his struggles, and it was evident he had not moved much past his decision. His faith was still in its infancy. But God was in pursuit of this young man.
My encounter with this man will not be unfamiliar to many of you. Maybe you have encountered similar conversations but they may start with “Who is this God you speak of?” Or “Who is this Jesus you proclaim to follow?” Does this fill you with excitement or fear? How do we answer?
Maybe you relate to my friend. God, why are you pursuing me? I’m nothing. I’ve asked myself, “God, what do you want with me?”
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he (Jesus) rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Do we truly grasp the love of God, do we understand that He desires a relationship with us, that He wants us to come ALIVE to Him and the plans He has for us? Our world is broken and captive, we as people are broken and held captive by sin and desires of self. But God sent His Son to set us free! Are you being pursued, or are you the pursuer?
Our cover of this publication is revealing one of the sign posts of our journey, to know Him and make Him known.
When we surrender our lives to Jesus, and say “I will follow you” He leads us in an entirely new journey. What a journey He has in store for us! Let’s get to know HIM and His promises! It’s TIME!
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11 (NIV)
Our journey starts there. As followers of Jesus, who we are and what we do flows from our relationship with Christ. We need to rely on the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to give us a hunger for, an understanding of, and the opportunity to experience and share of the Love of God with others. We are called to be Disciple Makers, Matthew 28:18-20. We are called to make Him known.
The vast majority of our Nation is headed for a Christ-less eternity. That’s NOT OK! The fastest growing segment of the population is the “religiously unaffiliated”. In 2016, 39% of those under 30 years of age identified this way. These people are resistant to religion, but are longing for the gospel. They are looking for meaning and relationship. They look at people that claim to follow Jesus and then measure whether they want to know more, NOT by what those Jesus followers say about God. They want to know “what’s the difference?” They are looking for people who are honest about who they are as individuals, to show their flaws and their fears, and want to share how Jesus makes a difference in their lives. In other words, transparency, vulnerability, authenticity, and honesty, are what most people desire to see and hear from us before they choose to give any validity to our message.
“To know God and make Him known … by making myself known”.
This happens in relationship. Letting yourself be known isn’t comfortable, it isn’t accomplished in a few minutes, and is always humbling, but it’s worth it.
God made Himself known through His Son – not just by what His Son taught, but just as importantly, by the way He lived His life on a day-in, day-out basis. When Jesus called the 12 disciples, he asked them to drop everything and follow Him. They did, and they began the ultimate discipleship training program. Together they did life. Jesus trained them, lived with them, ate with them and ministered with them. He was transparent, vulnerable, and authentic with his disciples and all those with whom he came in contact. Will we do the same?
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Let’s challenge each other to take this posture of surrender. As fully devoted followers of Jesus, willingly, take the risks in our families, with our friends, in our schools, in our workplace, in our neighbourhoods, in our churches, in our nation.
It’s time … To know God and make Him known!
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
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.
I pray 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 his holy people,