Friday, October 11, 2013

October 11, 2013 … God’s Pursuit

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 284

Devotional Song: Go to this link -  Please take the time to meditate on this poignant song, sung by the group, Phillips, Craig, and Dean, the song being He’ll Do Whatever It Takes, … reminding us of the extent of God’s pursuit of those He has chosen for His plans and purposes.

Highlight meditation passage – Acts 9: 7-8 : [“The bigger they are the harder they fall.”]  
7 The men with Saul stood speechless with surprise, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice, but they saw no one! 8 As Saul picked himself up off the ground, he found that he was blind.
Highlight reading study of Acts, Chapter 9: Go to this link … 

 Reference Passage #1: Luke 9: 23 … [Yes, harder for some to deny self than others.] … [NLT] …  
23 Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow Me.

  Reference Passage #2: Romans 8: 28-29 … [In the lives of those God loves, He’ll do whatever it takes to bring them to His purposes.] … [NLT] …  
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like his Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters. 

 Reference Passage #3: Romans 12: 1-2 … [Sometimes it’s harder for some to become “living sacrifices”] … [NLT] …  
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.

My Journal for Today: You’ve probably heard the old saying, “The bigger they are the harder they fall.” Well that old one certain fits the conversion of Saul of Tarsus to the New Testament giant, The Apostle Paul, which we read about in Acts, Chapter 9, linked above. God has been referred to as “The Hound of Heaven;” and the story of Saul of Tarsus being blinded on the road to Damascus so that he could ultimately see and follow Christ as His Lord is a good example of what Phillips, Craig, and Dean sing about in one of their best songs, linked above.

I love that song because I really identify with Saul’s conversion story and because the song sings about a life which was much like mine, … back about 30+ years ago. In those days I was a hard-headed “agnostic,” doing all I could to tear the faith away from any Christian who was willing to witness to me. I was almost literally a “devil’s advocate.” But the “Hound of Heaven” was after me; and God’s patience and relentless persistence to bring me into His family was really quite remarkable (at least to me, in retrospect). He put up with many of my personal affronts and years of habitual sinful behavior to wrestle me and break my will on April 13th, 1983. The events of that day were really amazing and much too long for my blog today; but on my way to work that day, God used a set of miraculous circumstances to break my willfulness much as He did with Saul/Paul on that fateful road to Damascus.

 If God is after you, as the song above sings, “He’ll do whatever it takes” to bring you to Himself. And you probably remember Jesus’ call to discipleship in Luke 9: 23, copied above. But, generally it is harder for some to come around to yield to His pursuits and purposes and deny themselves than others. Even some converted Christians have trouble surrendering to the truth of Romans 8: 28 and Chapter 12, verses 1-2. They just find it so difficult to see that God will put these strong-headed ones through a gauntlet of circumstances to get them to a place where they’re willing to be “living sacrifices” for the Lord’s glory.

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely, like Paul did, already responded to God’s pursuit in saving your soul; but perhaps you’ve been resistant to God’s sanctifying pursuits, where He desires to see you surrender to HIS will and HIS way, following HIS word.

How about it, fellow Christian? Do you see that God is going to pursue you until you just simply won’t yield to His service; and then dear one, He will likely take you home. So, if you’ve been saved, I’ll pray below that all of us Christians just surrender to God’s pursuit and give it all over and follow Him.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, if there’s anything in my life, or the lives of others who read here, which is resisting your leadership, break us so that we will follow You. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online blog entitled Today God Is First [TGIF], authored by Os Hillman. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read Hillman’s TGIF blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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