Two Alabama State Trooper Patrol cars were in hot pursuit of a Camaro heading east towards Georgia on I-90. When the suspect crossed the Georgia line, the first trooper pulled over immediately. The rookie Trooper pulled over right behind him and asked, “Sarge, why’d you stop?” “You dumb rookie,” replied the Sarge. “He’s in Georgia now. They’re an hour ahead of us, so we’ll never catch him.”
Have you ever felt pursued? Very often it’s not a good thing, but sometimes it is!
5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed. 6 “He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 “But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
God pursued Israel with prophet after prophet after prophet. But instead of listening to the prophets, God’s “servants,” the religious leadership and authorities (the tenants) mistreated them and had stubbornly refused to listen. Time after time and again they were imprisoned or killed by: Elijah had to flee for his life, Micaiah was thrown into prison, Zechariah was executed, Uriah was killed, Jeremiah was thrown into prison and John the Baptist was behead — and there are more.
God pursued Israel then with His own Son, Jesus!
I want to note two important things here: One is that while Jesus was telling this parable to these religious authorities, and HE KNEW what was to come, that they would indeed Kill Him. Yet He walked there anyway. Why? Because HE IS GOD, in the flesh, and He came to die for our sins — because He loves us!
The second thing that I want to note is that God continues to pursue us — because He loves us. The question is, when he sends someone with a word for you from Him, do you reject the message?
One time I wrote a devotional and mentioned a friend of mine, a relapsed drug addict friend, and how we found a car for her as an answer to prayer (Thank you Heather!). I believe finding that car was a response to a breakthrough in my friend’s growing faith. I had not heard from her for a couple of years and had lost track of where she was. Out of the blue, soon after writing that devotional, I got a call from a counselor friend of mine, Sam, asking if he could give my number to this young friend. She was back in rehab and wanted to talk to me. I called her and we had the greatest conversation that day. I told her about writing her story in the devotional and we both got goosebumps when we recalled how God had answered her prayers. I can only say that God has kept pursuing my friend and has not given up.
Soon after our conversation that day, I went to the rehab facility and took her a bus ticket so she could partake in their job program. We talked and talked and talked…..and there is another part of the story……She told me that she had been doubting her faith. I told her that doubts are natural (remember the man asking Jesus to help him with his unbelief?) that Jesus loves her and is still pursuing her. She laughed and said she knew that He does, two or three times out of the blue in the last couple of weeks, random people that she didn’t know had talked to her about God. Again, we both had goosebumps.
Is Jesus pursuing you? I am a pastor — He still pursues me. He still reveals Himself to me and lets me know that He is there. Don’t reject His love, embrace it! Do me a favor, keep praying for my friend. Keep praying for me. I will keep praying for you!
~ By Jan Puterbaugh, Associate pastor