First, let me apologize for not writing for some time. I have been busy settling into my new ministry. As I get into more of a routine, I will begin posting more regularly (probably 1 or 2 times per week).
I have been reading through the book Basic Christianity by John Stott, which I am considering for use in a new member’s class. As I read the opening chapter, I found some very good thoughts from Stott that I wanted to share. We often talk of religion as mankind’s search for God. However, in Basic Christianity, Stott tells us that the Christian worldview has a different perspective. He writes:
…Before man stirs himself to seek God, God has sought man. In the Bible, we do not see man groping after God; we see God reaching after man.
…The Bible reveals a God who, long before it even occurs to man to turn to him, while man is still lost in darkness and sunk in sin, takes the initiative, rises from his throne, lays aside his glory, and stoops to seek until he finds him.
…He has taken the initiative in creation, bringing the world into existence. …He has taken the initiative in revelation, making known to mankind both his nature and his will. …He has taken the initiative in salvation,coming in Jesus Christ to set men and women free from their sins…
…God has created. God has spoken. God has acted. These statements of God’s initiative in three different spheres form the summary of the religion of the Bible.
Is this how you think of the God of the Bible and Christianity? Is it about God’s efforts to reach down to us, or is Christianity our effort to find God?
The site looks updated and very nice. Makes me want to read more as it is easier to read. (And Mark will be glad for the spell check feature). Actually, so am I!
Also, I am thankful God is reaching for me, because I know I would not be seeking Him without His drawing. So easy to get distracted with the daily tasks that must be done.
Yeah, I decided it was time to update the look of the site. I was never really happy with the other layout, but I did like that it was able to display a lot of information in the sidebar area. Most of that is now in the footer of this new layout.
Thanks for your comment and for pointing out the spell check feature. I was not even aware of that!
We obviously see God working overtime to “reach out” (by the way — what does that mean? We use metaphor there and the answer is difficult — just to love us? to please us? to make us not insult him?).
We also see many images of man searching for God. We have a bleeding woman grabbing the hem of Jesus’ robe, a king who sings and pursues with all he’s got and disciples of Jesus who were looking for something better. In all of these cases, though, God comes first. Jesus shows up in town. He asks the disciples to follow him. And David is drawn to God’s wisdom and grace.
They both happen, certainly. But by far all the real work has been done by God.