December 14, 2023
And he was preaching and saying, “After me, One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. I baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:7-8)
The great theme of the whole Bible is God’s relentless pursuit of us. Since our creation, God has made it clear that He desires to be with us and that we were made to be with Him. Each stroke of the God-inspired biblical writers’ pens reveals this amazing truth.
He came to our First Parents in the Garden, and they enjoyed His presence until God’s great enemy tempted them, and they succumbed.
He surrounded us with His presence in nature. Every bird, flower, and star is a manifestation of His presence. He spoke throughout the Old Testament days so we could hear Him. He came and dwelt in power with those who feared and loved Him. He made Himself known through a temple and then a tabernacle. He made promises of His presence through a covenant. He called a people and gave them every opportunity to enjoy Him. The patriarchs walked with Him, and the prophets spoke for Him as He called people to Himself.
And then, in the greatest evidence of His desire, He left heaven in the person of His Son and came to dwell with us. We experienced Him in a new, physical way. Our eyes saw Him, our ears heard him, and our hands touched Him. And as we saw Jesus, we saw the Father, full of grace and truth.
John the Baptist came announcing Him in the opening chapter of Mark’s gospel. “One is coming,” he proclaimed. “And He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” John’s announcement indicated Christ’s physical presence but also foretold what would happen after Jesus left. Christ’s coming in human flesh joined us, but His coming in the Spirit would indwell us! And in brief order, all those who believed in Him would join Him in heaven, never to be separated again from His presence.
He has come! Every moment of human history should overwhelm us with the love of Father, Son, and Spirit as He pursues us, desiring that we should know Him and be with Him. The greatest story in history is this pursuit, and the greatest tragedy is our rejection of His pursuing love.
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