Pursuing the Offender
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. —Colossians 1:13
In 1981, a Minnesota radio station broadcast a story about a stolen car in California. Apparently, the police had staged an intense search for the vehicle and the car thief - but not because the car was stolen. Rather, the owner of the car had left a box of crackers in the front seat of the car; crackers that had been laced with poison to be used as bait to attract and kill rats. The person was being pursued, not primarily to catch the offender for his/her wrongdoing, but in order to save the offender's life.
I can't help but think about how this story illustrates God's pursuit of sinners like you and I. Whenever we sin - whether against others or ourselves; whether by doing things we shouldn't do or not doing things we should - ultimately we offend God. And the Offended pursues the offender - not in order to punish, but to rescue!
Certainly, there have been times in my own life where I have avoided God because I am conscious (and frankly, embarrassed) of my sin. I have fled His presence, fearful of His wrath. Whenever I have done this, I eventually look back and regret the choice to run from the only One who could bring healing to my soul. God's pursuit is about saving, healing and restoration, not punishment.
The next time (today, perhaps?) you sin against God and you feel the urge to flee, I encourage you to turn instead, and run to the One who pursues in order to rescue. Take to heart the promise of the Scripture, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9.)
1. Reflect on a recent or current circumstance in your life when you've tried to run away from God. How has running helped or hurt your spiritual life?
2. If necessary, make the decision to stop running away from God today! Turn back and let God catch you! Pray, and act upon the promise of 1 John 1:9.