|https://imgssl.constantcontact.com/letters/images/sys/S.gif" class="CToWUd" data-bit="iit" />|
The Difference Maker and his Work in the World.
Listen to this podcast here: https://www.pastorwoman.net/podcast/episode/45f1c8b2/is-god-pursuin...
Many who read or listen to these Morning Briefings are on a first-name basis with God. Are you?
Maybe long ago your mama bought you a Bible, told you about Jesus, and took you to church to learn more. That was me. For as long as I remember, I loved Jesus.
From the Bible, I grew up learning about God, myself, the world as it is and the world as it ought to be. The older I got, the more sense the Bible made and the more applicable I have found its contents to my life. Some of you have a similar story.
Others who read (or listen) are members of what I would call the “not-yet-convinced” club when it comes to faith in God, trusting in Jesus Christ. It is to this group I wish to speak today. Has it ever occurred to you that God is pursuing you? Truth: He is always at work drawing people into relationship with himself.
That started when we were created. Think--every human being has a God-shaped hole that only He can fill. Blaise Pascal so eloquently wrote about this back in 1670, saying, “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God himself.”1
At the Areopagus in Greece, Paul described to the Athenians how God “had made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’ as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’”2
Augustine so aptly stated, “Our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.3
So while God is pursuing mankind, man is searching too. He is searching for meaning—oft times, looking everywhere but to God… seeking pleasure, something, anything to sate and quiet the restlessness within! But does he miss the subtle beckoning of God?
Hmmm…how does God draw us to himself? This is the work of the Difference Maker, the Holy Spirit. At the end of his earthly time, Jesus was talking to his disciples of the coming Holy Spirit, and he said, when he [the Spirit] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.4 And he does not leave us there--no, the Holy Spirit then draws us to Jesus, who alone can save us from our sins… as Jesus explained, Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.5
God the Holy Spirit has tried to get your attention in various ways—perhaps it was through a college roommate who ‘found God’. Maybe it was when you ran into your ‘stoner’ friend who was no longer a stoner, but totally cleaned up and changed; yes, he too had found God.
Or maybe it was or is your own messed-up life. Like you started drinking quite a bit in college, and once school was over, it had become a way of life. Problem is, with the drinking came a lot of bad choices… you used people, you hurt them . . . like how did you become ‘that girl’? It was in that moment, at that very time, the Holy Spirit brought God to mind. Following him would change things, but—hey, you didn’t want to change too much, so God? Maybe not--at least not now, anyway.
These were attempts by the Holy Spirit to say, ‘hey, there is a better way—a person to follow who will remove your guilt, a God-given purpose and an eternity to pursue.’ Oh, by the way, here is another chance to consider that God loves you and wants to make a difference in your life!’
Here is some corroboration right off the press:
“‘Miracle’: Muslim Men in Gaza Seek Christ
after over 200 Dream of Jesus on Same Night.”6
But of course, then I remember what God promised: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”7
The Holy Spirit of God is in pursuit. And that is a great thing.
Listen: "Fresh Wind" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LRqPaBCRVs
Holy Spirit #6
1 - Blaise Pascal, Pensées VII
2 – Acts 17.26-28
3 - Augustine of Hippo (354–430), in Confessions
4 – John 16.7
5 – from John 6.44-45
6 – several sources including: https://ground.news/article/miracle-muslim-men-in-gaza-seek-christ-...