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Tag Archives: the true nature of God

Who is Chasing Who?

The book definition of chase is to pursue in order to catch or catch up with. Children grow up chasing neighbors in games like Hide-n-Go Seek or tag. After going through puberty, teenagers begin chasing members of the opposite sex, hoping to find true love. Upon graduating from high school, careers, dreams and goals are laid out with aspirations to find success. Along the way, God comes into the picture, planting people, road blocks and spiritual seeds into our lives. However, two first century encounters reveal the true nature of God via Jesus who chases lost souls.

The Samaritan woman said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan [and a] woman, for a drink?—For the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans— 10 Jesus answered her, If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water, John 4:9-10.

The first begins in the city of Samaria, often bypassed by Jews. When you dig into the Jewish culture, woman and children are treated with little respect. Jewish father’s were only allowed to speak to their daughter’s in public, not even their wives. Feeling stifled with this man made rule, Jesus places himself at a well in the middle of the day, waiting to minister to those who would come. Jesus uses this opportunity to introduce the concept of living water. This topic of conversation creates a spiritual thirst in a woman who spent a lifetime chasing after love without finding it.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost, ” Luke 19:7-10.

During a visit to Jericho, another city with a tarnished past, Jesus reaches out to one of the most hated individuals in town. A tax collector name Zacchaeus treats Jesus’ like a rock star, hoping to get his attention. Hearing stories of healings, miracles and his vast wisdom, Zacchaeus was eager to ask Jesus a number of unanswered questions about life. Moved by the presence and words of Jesus, Zacchaeus is convicted to get right with God. At the end of this conversation, a first century doctor unveils Jesus purpose for coming, “to seek and to save the lost.” While you may not be currently running after God, Jesus is chasing after you, seeing great potential within. As soon as individuals come to their senses, the lost get found.

by Jay Mankus

When People Expect More From God

Human nature has a way of making people feel more important than they actually are.  Whether you are talking about self-confidence, egos or pride, these traits can blind you from reality.  While Facebook uses terms like status as a way to express yourself, Jesus relied on stories to insure that first century citizens did not misconstrue God’s nature.

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius,” Matthew 20:9-10.

In the parable of the Workers in the Field, Jesus reveals a reality about heaven.  Just because you have been a faithful follower for months, years or decades does not mean your reward will be greater than those who came to faith later in life.  Rather, eternal life is what God promises to those who trust in the Lord.  Sure, the Bible does mention crowns bestowed upon those who faithfully serve God while on earth, but this should be like icing on a cake.

When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.  ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day,’ Matthew 20:11-12.

Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of equating earthly terms with eternity.  Thus, individuals are unable to comprehend the true nature of God.  Subsequently, people grumble like the passage above, disappointed when their expectations for God are no met.  Several of the thirty plus parables recorded in the Bible were spoken to realign human misconceptions with an accurate perception of heaven.  The next time you expect more from God, take some time to read the parables of Jesus so you won’t set yourself up for disappointment in the future.

by Jay Mankus

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