Passionate Pursuit

I just love those little nuggets God gives us as we read through His Word. In our Bible study, we spend a year memorizing one passage of Scripture to share with the rest of the group at our last meeting of the year. In the past, I have been on top of it. I learned my verse each week and practiced, practiced, practiced. This year, however, I've been a big old slacker! Shame on me. Honestly, I just kept forgetting. How pathetic is that? So, with just a few weeks left until the big day, I finally decided I should put forth some serious effort and finish well.

Our passage this year is Genesis 3:1-19. It's kind of interesting because it's a narrative. We're just memorizing a story from Scripture, which seems like it would be easy enough. Easy enough, that is, for someone whose brain cells have not been greatly diminished by over eight years of pregnancy and parenting. (This excuse would be great if only every other woman in my group didn't have, on average, four kids of their own.) As I was trying to pound the words into my feeble brain, something sweet just jumped out at me from the familiar passage.

How does the Holy Spirit do that? It's just so cool! How can I read something that I've read dozens of times before and suddenly see something fresh?

Honestly, it's kind of a depressing part of Scripture. It's basically where everything about humanity goes down the tubes. We've made it three chapters into the existence of the world, and we're already making a mess of things. We open with the evil deceiver, followed by bone-headed humans, and closed with some not-so-fun curses from Almighty God. Not exactly encouraging words for the day. But tucked right in the middle of all the unhappy mess is this beautiful nugget:

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

I love it. Here we have the LORD God asking a mere man where he is. Do you not think the LORD God knows exactly where the naughty couple is hiding? Is he not aware that the fall of man has just occurred? I think we can safely say He's on top of things. So, why the question? Well, it certainly gives the man a chance to fess up. God asks us to confess our sins before Him. We have to acknowledge our wrong before we/He can make it right.

But reading it this time, I was impacted by the fact that God sought them out. He didn't come in a thundercloud and scream for them to report front and center. He didn't shake the earth and strike them dead. He called to them. "Where are you? I'm looking for you. I want to talk to you." God seeks us out. We hear a lot of talk about people seeking God, but if He didn't first seek us, we would not ever be able to find Him. We've all made a mess of our lives and we all try to hide from God, but He comes gently seeking us out of love. He comes seeking a relationship with His fallen creation. Sure, there are consequences to follow, but there is love and hope as well. We are pursued by a kind and loving Savior who just wants us to find restoration in Him. What an amazing God we have. Just in all His ways, yet full of astounding, pursuing grace.

Romans 5: 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.


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