God’s Saving Initiative

Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ``Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" And he said, ``Who are You, Lord?" And He said, ``I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do." The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Acts 9:1-9

In other religions, worshippers pursue their god. In Christianity, however, it’s God who takes the initiative. This is obvious in the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (later known as Paul). Far from seeking the Messiah, the future apostle was actually persecuting Jesus by hunting and imprisoning Christians. The Lord was the one who sought Paul, opened his mind to believe, and transformed his life forever.

All throughout the Word of God, we see His active pursuit of sinners. Consider Adam and Eve, who, instead of seeking the Lord for forgiveness of their sin, tried to hide from Him in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:8-21 reveals that it was God who called out to them—He promised a redeemer through the woman’s offspring and covered the shame of their guilt with animal skins (which was also the first blood sacrifice).

Similarly, when Christ came to earth, He’s the one who took the initiative in choosing disciples. In fact, the same can be said about the Lord drawing every one of us who has trusted in Him for salvation (John 15:16). And now the Savior has allowed us to participate in His pursuit of sinners by proclaiming the gospel and imploring people to believe and be saved. Are you living out that calling? God pursues a relationship with us, even when we run from Him.

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