August 17, 2018
Prevenient Pursuit and Grace
Few people enter the world in a totally random way. Beginning in childhood, almost everyone has thoughts about having children, how many kids, boys or girls, how to parent them, will they spank, whether they will get an apartment or house with extra bedrooms. We plan a nursery; think about using daycare or having one parent stay home. We wonder how we will afford kids. We even plan sexual activity long before the pregnancy even starts. Most kids aren’t perfectly planned, but some forethought really does happen.
Like the prospective parents above, the work of God is present in our lives “before” we are born. In fact, millennia beforehand, God knew who we were going to be. He was preparing the circumstances that would have the most influence and impact on us. Why? To show us our need for Him and to be part of His plan for others. He is with us from the moment we are conceived. And if we choose to be with Him during this lifetime, which is the biggest decision we make, we are with Him thru this life and then forever.
The word prevenient means “to come before.” Think about this for a moment: God has always been there, planning for us, and waiting for us, in anticipation of the loving relationship He desires to have specifically with each one of us. God pursues this relationship … He actively “courts” us, continually showering us with buckets of blessings, love and grace. It’s unassuming … and never forced.
God is always wooing us, hoping we will accept His no-brainer, amazing offer. His offer is free to us, and saves us so much pain and struggle in this world. He offers an incredible, eternal life in heaven after this life. We were planned millions of years ago, and then conceived to have this beautiful romance with God. Without it we will always feel an emptiness when we turn to ungodly substitutes that tease us and mimic what we are missing. Why we turn the other way is bewildering and sad. Satan is great at putting other harmful options at our fingertips, tricking us to grab them as he feeds on our near-sighted, me-centered need for instant gratification.
Today, look at what you are pursuing instead of God. With what hollow and harmful substitutes do you let Satan entice you? To what are you turning for your needs … to soothe you … to bring you comfort … to help you escape your troubles? Anything other than God Himself, or what He provides, is a dangerous counterfeit and, if you do it often, it becomes an addiction. Know that the Lord is seeking you, and has been for thousands of years. Are you ready to receive the love and gifts He offers? When you do, you will be both humbled and empowered beyond your dreams. Whether you respond to God’s pursuit of you by pursuing Him back, or instead, you pursue counterfeit wastes-of-time paths to destruction is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father, I come to You with a humble, yet thankful heart. It’s always so amazing to know that in spite of my wrong choices, Your love and grace continue to flow to me. What an awesome thought: You have been there waiting for me since before I was born … waiting with Your ever-present offer of a personal romance with me. I thank You for the love You give me. My Lord and God, please help me seek You as You seek me. I know now that my acceptance of You changes everything. You said “yes” to me at creation and again at the cross where Your only Son died for my sins. I say “yes” to You, Lord. I say “yes” to the greatest gift anyone could imagine. I pray this surrounded by Your grace and mercy and through Your Son Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39