Pursue… Dioko - “to follow in haste to find something, run after, pursue…figuratively, pursue, strive for, seek after, aspire to something.”
Make it your goal to improve on these three virtues in your life.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NKJV) See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
Pursue Unity in the Spirit
Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit.
Christmas is right around the corner. As parents, we often ask our children what the one thing is that they’d like as a present. One year when a friend of our asked Shiloh what she’d like for a gift…she said she wanted a pillow pet. He got her a more affordable knock-off brand pillow pet and she pointed out to him that it was in fact not a pillow pet as soon as she opened it.
Let me ask you this, if you could ask for one thing from the Lord, what would you request?
What was it that Solomon asked for?
1 Kings 3:5-12 (NIV) 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. 7 “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.
Beautiful Collision: This is when prayer with pure/godly motives and wisdom collide.
How do I know what is considered good by God’s standards?
How do I become unified in the Spirit with others?
Ask for and pursue Wisdom! Ask for and pursue godly discernment!
Every Spring Break my family and I are ready to be somewhere that’s warmer…whether it’s AZ or Gulf Shores. There’s just something about soaking in the sun.
When we’re in Iowa during those cold months, I look forward to some warm/comfort food and or beverages. Nothing like a warm bowl of Cream of Wheat, or Tapioca. Or a nice hot coffee.
That which makes us feel warm is so refreshing.
Today we’re going to discuss the idea of Pursuing Love.
-“the quality of warm regard for and interest in another, esteem, affection, regard, love…of human love…without indication of the person who is the object of interest.” (BAGD, p. 6).
- Warm / fuzzy feelings.
- BAGD Lexicon Pursue Definition on p. 254.
Dioko - “to follow in haste to find something, run after, pursue…figuratively, pursue, strive for, seek after, aspire to something.”
Love’s close companion.
- Faith. Pistis...as a Christian virtue, is often coupled with agape [love]…(BAGD 818-820).
1 Timothy 6:11 (NKJV) But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (NKJV).
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
ADD to your FAITH
- 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV) 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith…love.
Go after it…Pursue it.
Godly love is to be pursued.
Genuine love is revealing.
Beautiful collision... obedience and genuine love collide.
Christ showed you the greatest example of what love looks like. Now who is it that you’re pouring your love, confidence and ambition into? Are you willing to lay your life down for others? Sacrificing and putting their needs before your own. What’s the x-ray of your hearts going to reveal today?
The next virtue/characteristic that we ought to seek to pursue it PEACE.
Beautiful Collision: When all that happens within our daily lives and peace collide.
2 Timothy 2:22 (NKJV) Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (NKJV).
Pursue- BAGD Lexicon Definition on p. 254.
Pursue Righteousness…Righteousness defined:
So here is the Human Responsibility…
Listen and Look
Life and Lusciousness
God Loathes and Loves
Now, let’s consider the close relation between righteousness and faith.
BAGD Lexicon Definition on p. 254.
Collision: Genuine Faith and Righteous Works (Upright Living).
Pursue (in the weeks ahead we’ll be looking at specific characteristics that God wants us to pursue).
What does the word pursue mean?
“When the world trade center was bombed in 2001 President Bush used a
phrase that is commonly used by politicians, ‘stay the course.’ He said we would ‘stay the course’ in our fight against terror. To stay the course is ‘to stand firm in pursuing a goal or course of action, to persevere in the face of whatever challenges or obstacles one may encounter.’” From Sermon Central
Another definition for pursue that comes from the KJV Dictionary states… “To follow as an example; to imitate.” https://av1611.com/kjbp/kjv-dictionary/pursue.html
Who can we turn to for an understanding of what it means to pursue?
Can mankind be PURSUERS as well?
When pursuing takes place there is often a meeting or a collision. The collision for this section is…
Collision: The Sinner and Salvation in God.
He’ll continue in hot pursuit after you, and what’s beautiful is when the two collide on their way to each other. Remember, He’s always in pursuit after you.
"City On Our Knees (Live)" Lyrics
If you gotta start somewhere why not here
If you gotta start sometime why not now
If we gotta start somewhere I say here
If we gotta start sometime I say now
Through the fog there is hope in the distance
From cathedrals to third world missions
Love will fall to the earth like a crashing wave
Tonight's the night
For the sinners and the saints
Two worlds collide in a beautiful display
It's all love tonight
When we step across the line
We can sail across the sea
To a city with one king
A city on our knees…
For the sinners and the saints
Two worlds collide
In a glorious display
Cuz its all love tonight
When we step across the line
Now reciprocate that pursuing lifestyle…He’s pursuing you…how can you pursue Him? By…
Pursuing His Word
The collision for this section is…
Collision: When your eyes and God’s Word meet.
Challenge: Pursue God and His Word. Rest in the fact that He’s pursuing you each and every day.
In our previous times together -- in this Acknowledging the Extent series -- we have looked at…
Today’s Title: Acknowledging the extent of the Centurion and the Crowd’s faith, Part 5.
Matthew 8:10-13 (NKJV) 10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.
The extent of the Centurion’s faith.
Two Blind Men Healed
27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” 28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.” 31 But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country.
Arcangues (pronounced ar-KONG) (foaled March 12, 1988–October 2006) was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He won the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan, Prix du Prince d'Orange, Prix Eugène Adam and John Henry Handicap, but is most famous for winning the 1993 Breeders' Cup Classic as a tremendous longshot, a victory that has been called one of the biggest upsets in horse racing history… Despite big wins…Bettors sent the horse off at odds of 133–1 in the richest of the Breeders' Cup races. Under last-minute jockey Jerry Bailey, the horse caught Bertrando in the home stretch to score the biggest upset in Breeders' Cup history. His $269.20 payoff for a $2 wager remains a Breeders' Cup record. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcangues_(horse)
Just imagine the arrogance of the other horse racers prior to this race. Strolling up and down the rows of stalls believing that their horse was the best…why even allow this Arcangues in the race…don’t they understand the odds are against him. Believing that their odds were better because of their name or history.
Keep Arcangues in mind as we talk about a longshot in the eyes of this crowd in Matthew 8.
Notice how Christ redirects His focus from the Centurion and now to the Crowd.
The extent of the Crowd’s faith.
Those in the crowd following Jesus might have only wanted to see a miracle and or want to find one wrong thing with Jesus’ ministry that they could accuse Him of. They might have been involved in ministry themselves but in it for the wrong reasons…attention, money, fame, etc.
- For the Centurion, Christ was MARVELLED by his Faith.
- For the crowd following, Christ was unable to find anyone, not even in all of Israel (keep in mind that the Centurion was a Gentile/Roman), who had the kind of faith this Centurion had. They would have put all kinds of bets on their own faith…only to come to find that the longshot, the underdog, stole the show.
Let me ask you this, what would Jesus say concerning your faith if He too turned around to address the crowds who have been following you?
- Would He consider your faith small? Or Big?
- Would He say “Go…let it be done for you”? or “Depart from Me I never knew you”?
- Have you come to Jesus, placed all your faith in Him, and sought forgiveness and or healing from Him? Would you be willing to do that today?
7 Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. 2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. 3 So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, 5 “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”
6 Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. 7 Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
9 When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter