Friday, January 11
Pursuing the One who has Pursued Us
With the understanding that God is love, now consider the fact that God’s love is both a personal love and a pursuing love. First, consider the personal love of God. We see an illustration of God’s personal love from His own words to Israel:
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)
The original intent of this statement was to show the love that God had for His people through the tender imagery of a mother toward her nursing child. God often referenced Himself as the covenant initiating Father; without conflict or contradiction with this imagery, the Scriptures present a very endearing and personal example of His love: a symbolism of the personal attention and attachment from a mother for a child. He loves you and cares for you with more personal attention than could ever be understood by human minds or explained in human terms. If you track the development of God’s covenant expression of love throughout history, this is what you will always discover: God’s love is a personal love.
Second, consider the pursuing love of God. We understand this expression of God’s love through the teachings of Jesus: a particular parable illustrates this as Jesus compared the Father’s love (and His own mission) with a shepherd that would leave the 99 sheep to look for the one that was lost. These words of Christ came in response to the Pharisees and Scribes grumbling about Jesus receiving sinners. This parable contrasts the grumbling of the religious elite with Heaven rejoicing over one sinner who repents. The significance of God in Christ personally pursuing us is unmistakably endorsed by Jesus. Jesus further illustrated God’s love in the parable of the prodigal (wayward) son. “When the wayward son was a long way off,” the Scriptures explain, “his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him, and he ran to him and embraced him.” Jesus describes the Father’s love as a compassionate love that runs after those who have strayed.
So, we have these two facts of the love of God: He loves us personally, and He pursues us. What is our response?