April 29, Saturday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on April 16, 2016, is provided by Pastor Yohan Lee.  He is a friend of AMI who in the past has served as a staff at several AMI churches.  He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA).

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Being Pursued”

Acts 17:24-27 (NIV)

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Seventy-five percent of the time, whenever single people from our church come over to talk or share a meal, my wife and I will ask them about boys or girls. Of course, this talk slowly evolves (or devolves) into us playing matchmakers.  But sometimes our guests get a little uncomfortable and will ask why this topic interests us so.  My wife will typically explain it like this: “It’s been several years since I’ve been single, but I still remember how it felt starting a relationship.  You go out on fun dates and he is always trying to impress you.  All the while, you are constantly wondering how into you he is.  You feel this odd combination of adrenaline, insecurity, anxiety, and euphoria, all at the same time.  It’s both the fun and exhausting part of dating, and in many ways, I am living vicariously through you because I miss that feeling.”  

On another note, the other day my wife looks at me and says, “It’s been awhile since we went out, just you and me.  I would like to go out on a date.”  

The point of my sharing these seemingly unrelated events is not for you to think that I am having marriage difficulties or that my wife wishes she were single again; but rather to show that my wife still wants to be dated and pursued (by me).  When she talks to other girls about dating, she remembers fondly what it was like when I was trying to impress her and didn’t whine about spending money on her.  When she tells me plainly, “Let’s go out!” it’s with the understanding that I will pick a better place than In-and-Out and won’t whine about spending money on her.  All joking aside, my wife and I have been through a lot in our seven years of marriage— kids, illnesses, death of my mom, a cross-country move, many highs, and a few lows.  I’d like to believe that we love each other more now than on our wedding day.  And although I am an outstanding husband, truth be told, there are times when she feels underappreciated and taken for granted, and so would like to be pursued.  

Our passage today is interesting because Paul insinuates that God also wants to be pursued or found by the people He created.  He gave us life and breath; He created mankind and set nations in place.  Why?  He hopes that this would cause some to search for and eventually find Him (v. 27).  Now, I want to be careful not to paint an inaccurate picture of our God.  Let’s be perfectly clear—God does not need anything from us (v. 25) and certainly not our affections; He does not have insecurity issues.  Yet He does want to be pursued, and He does not want to be underappreciated.  Honestly, don’t we sometimes take for granted that God is close?  So much so that we stop trying to “impress” Him?  This morning, ask yourself: “Do I still pursue God like I once did? Or, have I put my relationship with Him on autopilot?”  If it’s the latter, let’s go back to those dating years when we wouldn’t count the cost or the hours we spent with our beloved. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, renew my love and affection for You.  Forgive me if I’ve taken our relationship for granted.  Help me to fall in love with You all over again. Amen. 

Bible Reading for TodayJoel 1 & Amos 1