The proof of our love is in our passion that is demonstrated in our pursuit. Who are we seeking? Who are we longing to be with? With whom are we spending our time, talent and treasure with? Who is in our hearts? What are we passionate about?
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21 NKJV)
“The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (Matthew 6:21 MSG)
In our normal way of thinking, who would desire to die for someone not worthy to die for? No one! We all have been programmed to only get GOOD when we DO GOOD, to get bad when we do bad. It all boils down to what we deserve to have because of what we have done. This is the reason why our minds get boggled when we hear the GOOD NEWS all because it is not about what we have done, are doing or will be doing. It is all because of what Jesus has done, is doing and is going to do. It is the kind of news that is too good to be true and all we need to do is BELIEVE and RECEIVE.
I believe the most powerful pursuit one could ever experience is our Heavenly Father’s Who demonstrated His passion and love through Jesus Christ. How He longs for us to know Him, acknowledge Him and trust Him. How He showed Himself strong and mighty yet full of love and compassion, mercy and grace. Unmerited favor is His way.
Imagine with me on this that right after man fell in the Garden of Eden, what was God’s first question? “Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). Asking this question speaks of pursuit and the demonstration of His solution to the fall began.
Because He isn’t bound by time, He knew you and I before the foundation of the world. He fearfully and wonderfully made us (Psalm 139:14). Our frame was not hidden from Him, when we were being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth (Psalm 139:15). His thoughts of us are overwhelmingly beyond comprehension. Talk about pursuit, there’s nothing like His because of His passionate love that burns for us.
“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.” (Psalm 139:17-18)
He never sleeps nor slumbers (Psalm 121:4). He cares for us affectionately and cares about us watchfully (1 Peter 5:7 AMPC). We are the apple of His eye that whoever touches us touches the very core and center of His eye. (Zechariah 2:8) Hmmmm … try poking someone’s eye and you will find out how sensitive and delicate it is. Then you’ll know that’s how precious we are to Him that whoever hurts us hurts His eye more that you and I could ever dare think or imagine. He sees us of great worth and His mind is full of us.
This Holy Week, there were a few verses that I was meditating on but this stood out the most. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)”. He didn’t wait for us to straighten out and walk righteously for Him to lavish us with His love. He knew that it was next to impossible for us to be upright left on our own. We were bound, blind and hopeless. He knew that there was no other way for us to be made righteous apart from the power of the Blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. The shedding of the blameless, unblemished, untainted and pure blood of Jesus as the perfect sacrifice done by the Perfect High Priest, Himself, was the only acceptable way for us to be reconciled back into His loving arms. If there was any other way, then it would be an absolute cruelty for the Father to allow His son to be crucified.
JESUS is The Way, The Truth and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Many call God “God”, but only through Jesus Christ in which we are privileged and honored to call God “our Father”. That speaks of RELATIONSHIP! That speaks of PURSUIT, Him pursuing us! He made a way where there seemed to be no way.
I watched once again the movie, “The Passion of the Christ”, and one thing that struck me most this time was when Jesus was beaten and flogged where the soldiers used the leather whip, embedded with sharpened pieces of bone and metal to break open the flesh and cut through muscle and sinew all the way to the bone. It was done repeatedly until his body was beyond recognition. But in the midst of it all, though He almost couldn’t get up and stand any longer, He still pushed Himself up to pay for ALL our sin, sickness, disease (dis-ease), lack, poverty and death (our being separated from our Heavenly Father) by the power of His love. It was His love for you and me that enabled Him to endure such agony, for the JOY that was set before Him, us being restored and reconciled back to our Heavenly Father, He did it all. JOY was His weapon of strength seeing you and I one with Them. He saw us WORTHY to suffer and die for. He never was intimidated if we will even consider believing what He has done. He just did it because of love. Love is unstoppable.
His unconditional love outrightly forgave those who did all beatings to Him for their “innocence” or unawareness of Who He is. They heard about Him but their unbelief blinded them to the truth, but through the eyes of His love, He saw things differently. He never took it against those who spat on Him, whipped Him, struck Him and crucified Him. He willingly took everything upon Himself because it was the will of the Father Who saw us WORTHY OF IT ALL. Love indeed doesn’t take anything against anyone who does us wrong. “It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out (1 Corinthians 13:5-6)”. Love always wins. Ouchhhhh …. and Jesus demonstrated it powerfully when He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
He forgave us. He paid for us. He suffered for us. He died for us. He Who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus Who is One with the Father was separated from Him when He was forsaken because He became sin for us so NOTHING AND NO ONE CAN EVER SEPARATE you and I from HIS LOVE no longer. That is a passionate pursuit.
After 3 days, HE AROSE from the dead, swallowed up death and made its sting powerless. The grave couldn’t hold Him and the same exceeding greatness of His power Who raised Him from dead and seated Him at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly realms, far above ALL principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which to come, He deposited inside of us. The Holy Spirit Who searches all things and knows all things NOW abides in us FOREVER Who quickens our mortal bodies, guides us into all truth, leads us in the path of righteousness and graces us to live a victorious life. That is pursuit to the uttermost.
King Jesus became Man so that the sons of men will reign in life as kings.
The Son of God became the Son of man so that the sons of men will become sons and daughter of the Most High God!
This is the true essence of Divine Exchange.
“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (John 10:10 AMP)
All the benefits of the finished work of Jesus Christ have been made available. He prepared a feast for us to partake. And as we keep tasting, eating, drinking and seeing how good our Daddy God is, it creates our own pursuit of Him.
Look at the first question after Jesus rose from the dead. Mind you, this happened in the garden (John 19:41). “Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” ( John 20:15)
Mary Magdalene powerfully experienced the love of God through Christ Who is the exact representation of the Father when she was forgiven. Truly, those who are forgiven much, love much. Because of her life’s total transformation by the love of the Father, her response was to SEEK HIM.
God is always the initiator of everything and we are the privileged recipients. We love because He FIRST loved us. We pursue Him because He first pursued us. We cannot give what we do not have. He deposited His Spirit in us so we can respond back to Him and overflow to others what He has done to us.
[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the riches measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for pursuing me unceasingly until I couldn’t run away any longer from you because of my sin, shame, guilt and condemnation. Thank You, that while I was still a wayward sinner, You gave Your Son Jesus to die for me so NOW I can boldly come before Your throne of grace to find mercy and grace in time of need. Thank You for calling me by name and wooing me back into Your embrace where love, joy and peace is found. Your love pursuit indeed is irresistible, unstoppable and steadfast. Amen!
Photo Credit: Binky Tolegida