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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Weekend Quote

For those of you who hang around East Hills, you may know that this weekend we launched a new sermon series called, "Detours." We want to look at how God uses the unexpected roads in our lives to shape us for our good and His glory.

At the conclusion of this weekend's message, I read a quote without attributing a source. Here is the full quote (with a few extra paragraphs) by Simon Tugwell in his work Prayer.

"Another picture that our Lord loves to us is that of the shepherd who goes out to look for the sheep that is lost. So long as we imagine that it is we who have to look for God, then we must often lost heart But it is the other way about: He is looking for us. And so we can afford to recognize that very often we are not looking for God; far from it, we are in full flight from Him, in high rebellion against Him. And He knows that and has taken it into account He has followed us into our own darkness; there where we thought finally to escape Him, we run straight into His arms. 

So we do not have to erect a false piety for ourselves, to give us hope of salvation. Our hope is in His determination to save us. And He will not give in!

This should free us from that crippling anxiety which prevents any real growth, giving us room to do whatever we can do, to accept the small but genuine responsibilities that we do have. Our part is not to shoulder the whole burden of our salvation, the initiative and the program are not in our hands: our part is to consent, to learn how to love Him in return whose love came to us so freely while we were quite uninterested in Him.

We can let ourselves off that desperate question, Am I in the right place? Have I done the right thing? Of course, we must sometimes acknowledge sins and mistakes and we must try to learn from them; but we should not foster the kind of worry that leads to despair. God’s providence means that wherever we have got to, whatever we have done, that is precisely where the road to heaven begins. However many cues we have missed, however many wrong turnings we have taken, however unnecessarily we may have complicated our journey, the road still beckons, and the Lord still waits to be gracious to us.”

May you journey with the knowledge that God pursues you even when you run from Him...


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