Pursued by Love. Why I am a Christian, part 24

Pursued by Love. Why I am a Christian, part 24

My mom and myself

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20 (NASB)

Saul of Tarsus had been educated by the most renowned Jewish teacher in all of Israel: Gamalial (See Acts 22:3) . Saul became zealous for the law, and he immediately renounced Jesus' claim to be the Messiah. It didn't make sense to him that the Messiah would be rejected by his own people. And besides, didn't the Scriptures say: "For he that is hanged is a curse of God." Deuteronomy 21:23b (Darby)? As a result, Saul decided that Jesus was an impostor, and he immediately set out after the followers of Christ, persecuting them with vengeance.

There were things, nonetheless, that made him wonder. He was there when Stephen was stoned, for example (see Acts 7) , and Stephen's voice still echoed in his ears: "And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, 'Lord, do not charge them with this sin.' And when he had said this, he fell asleep." Acts 7:59-60 (NKJV). Even in the midst of being stone, Stephen didn't complain! In fact, he appeared to be…excited! No, Saul couldn't get Stephen out of his mind.

Nonetheless, he continued to persecute the followers of Christ, until one day, while on the road to persecute more of Christ's followers, something happened to Saul: "And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' So I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'" Acts 26:14-18 (NKJV)

This changed his life. He saw Jesus in all his glory, and the words Jesus said: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' Acts 26:14 (NKJV) rang in his ears. After all, being compared to a recalcitrant young colt fighting against everything around him isn't exactly…flattering!

It's amazing that Jesus went after Saul, who later took the name "Paul". Even though he was a murderer, Jesus pursuit him like a young man in love pursues a lovely damsel. And when Saul stopped fighting back and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour, not only was he forgiven, but he also began experiencing the most wonderful relationship possible in this world: Getting to know Jesus.

His story is not unique. In the 4th century, Augustine of Hippo led a promiscuous life, enslaved by all his passions. Still, something was tugging at his heart. He felt drawn to learning about Christianity. Finally, he went to his garden and cried out: "How long, O Lord?"

Suddenly he heard the voice of a young person chanting over and over "Pick up and read. Pick up and read…" He immediately found a Bible and opened it on Romans 13:13-14: "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." (NKJV) Amazed, he gave his life to Jesus.

There are many more examples. You are invited to explore what C.S. Lewis experienced fpr example. Jesus was pursuing them, and everyone else as well. Out of His unfailing love, He keeps on pursuing everyone who is "kicking against the goads."

I, too, was pursued. When I was young, around 5 years old, I remember saying out loud: "I love you, God." And I truly did. Still, a few years later, I experienced temptations that led me to a bitter experience. Only when I pleaded to my Father was I made free, and since then, I have been following my Father with all of my heart.

There are many who have experienced the pursuit of the Lover of our soul. I am certain that all of you reading this devotional were also pursuit by our loving Father. Take the time today to remember how He pursued you. Remember how much He wants you to be victorious, for through Him you will overcome: "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NKJV)!

After all, our Heavenly Father is crazy about us!

Rob Chaffart To contact us click here

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