After watching this video, put on this song in the background: Jesus Culture- You Won’t Relent. It’s worth it.
What’s up, guys! Please watch this video, and don’t skip over it. I know that everyone has rocked out to the David Crowder version of the song on their radio, Pandora, or iPod at least 3,000, times, but it’s necessary. I know that we touched base on this a little bit in last week’s devotion, Grace Upon Grace, but I think that Jesus wants to more fully show you how crazy he is in love with you. In fact, check this out.
A few short years ago, I read a book called Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. This book was, in no less terms, girly. But it was necessary. Let me give you the short version of the plot. This dude, named Michael Hosea, lives in the 1800′s, in a gambling town (equivalent in geographical location and persona to Las Vegas) called Pair-a-Dice. He’s walking down the street one day, and sees a woman, and just melts. He thinks that she is the most beautiful thing he’s ever laid eyes on. One problem, she walks into the town brothel. And his heart drops. This girl that he just saw and is absolutely crazy about already, is a prostitute. What is he going to do now? He does what any self-respecting man in love with a prostitute would do. He pays for time with her. When he gets into her room, she expects him to be like every other man, except he’s a tad bit more muscular and taller. He does not, to her surprise, make any moves towards her to have sex. Instead, he asks her name. He asks how she is. He wants to get to know her. A few times paying to talk to her later, and a few chapters later, Michael Hosea, muscular christian guy that he is, when another man has enough money to pay for Angel (Michael’s lady), and Michael hears him beating her, he breaks down the wall and gives the abusive man a taste of his own medicine. With Angel passing out, Michael puts a wedding band on her. Next time she wakes, she is on his wagon on the way to “their” new house.
Time after time, she ran back to her life of prostitution. Time after time, Michael rescued her, picked her up, and carried her back home. Finally, one day she runs, and in her heart she feels something different. She wants Michael to come after her. But she doesn’t feel worthy. So she runs somewhere different than she’s ran before. But he pursues her. He finds her in California, and he again rescues again. And she falls in love. His relentless pursuit finally has melted her heart of stone, and she has finally fallen in love. Despite the times that she ran away, he still patiently, loving, and passionately went after his wife.
Do you see the picture? It doesn’t matter. It does not matter. IT DOES NOT MATTER how far you run, how rebellious you are, how dirty you feel. Jesus will pursue you. He will come after you and rescue you. And-check this out- as a result of his relentless pursuit, your hardened, dirty heart melts. It’s made new, and you finally fall in love.
Jesus did something crazy for you. You’ve heard of it before. He died for you. He died for a prostitute named Chris Prather (Literally? no. Spiritually? Yes. but this just makes it personal). I’ve been unfaithful to the love of my life for far too long. Have you? Let’s let Jesus melt our heart of stone and let’s run into His beautiful embrace, and let’s get crazy to tell Jesus that we love him, TOO.
This week, try praying like this:
Jesus, you love me. I see it. I can understand that you love me. But why? Why would you choose to pursue unconditionally love me? It’s crazy, but I’m not complaining. I don’t want to ask anything of you right now, but I do want to just tell you that I thank you for the way that you have pursued me, and now that I understand that, I can breathe a sigh of relief. Because you released me from rules, and moral codes, and laws, and what-not-to-do’s. I realize that because of how much you love me, that you accept me just as i am, and you just want to spend time with you. So I’ll give you that time this week, because you deserve it. I love you, too, Jesus. Amen.