When the goodness and kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy. Titus 3:4-5
According to Genesis 3:9, the first thing God asked Adam and Eve after they sinned was, “Where are you?” Adam and Eve were hiding and had covered themselves with fig leaves. They were now separated from their walks with God in the cool of the evening and were probably filled with shame. But God called them out. He went looking for them.
That’s what God does for all of us. He’s that kind of God. In John 1:38-39 Jesus did the same thing. John the Baptist had just announced to his followers, “Behold the Lamb of God!” Andrew and John were there and it was their first meeting with Jesus. Jesus asked them, “What are you seeking?” They asked where He was staying and He said, “Come and you will see.” Jesus invited them to get to know Him, and He wanted to get to know them.
You might think that if it was you standing there, Jesus wouldn’t have invited you over. Not you. Check out Luke 19 and the story of Zacchaeus. He was a tax collector, which was synonymous with crook and outcast. Jesus was passing through Jericho and everyone wanted to see Him. There was such a crowd that Zacchaeus had to climb a tree to get a view. Out of the entire crowd of people, Jesus looked up to Zacchaeus, called him by name, and told Zacchaeus that He wanted to go to his house. Zacchaeus was looking for Jesus and Jesus was looking for him.
Luke 19:10 sums it all up: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Our power verse says the same thing. The goodness and kindness of God appeared in the form of Jesus and He saved us. He came looking for us. Do you suppose it was a coincidence in John 4 that Jesus just happened to run into the woman at the well? I think Jesus went at that time and sent the disciples to town to look for food because He was looking for her. In 2 Chronicles 16:9 it says that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro, looking to support those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. I would say to those who are calling out to Him. When we call out to God in our desperacy and loneliness, contempt and hunger, He finds us. God sends someone to point you to Him.
Because of God’s goodness, kindness and mercy, He keeps calling to us, “Where are you?” when we sin and hide. We might be hiding in work, in shopping, in partying, or in obscurity. But God calls us out. He doesn’t want us to be covered with fig leaves, our own way of taking care of the consequences of our sin. He wants us to be covered by his provision, the blood of Jesus. When we think God doesn’t see us, or know our name, or know what we’ve been through, He does. And He picks us out of the crowd and announces, “I’m coming to your house, so get out of that tree.”
One more Biblical example. Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples and he blew it when Jesus needed him the most. Peter denied that he knew Jesus when Jesus was arrested and facing the kangaroo courts. Peter said, “I don’t know Him.” Now Jesus has risen and Peter has to face his denial. Jesus didn’t wait for Peter to come to Him to fess up. I’m guessing Peter didn’t even know how to fix it and wondered if Jesus could ever use such a coward.
Not so. In John 21 we find the opposite. Peter and the guys were out fishing, most likely wondering what their lives were going to look like now. They see a guy on the shore and He says, “Cast the net on the right side,” and boom! They catch 153 fish after getting blanked the whole night. Peter was the first to shout, “It’s Jesus!” Peter ran through the waist deep water to get to Him. And there was a breakfast of fish waiting for them, their favorite.
Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. He asked three times. It was through that dialogue that Jesus restored Peter and told him, “Feed my sheep.” In other words, “I’ve got a plan for you. I’m not benching you. I love you.”
It’s the kindness, goodness and mercy of God at work in your life to enable you to call out to Him. He’s calling out to you. He has saved you, and you can rejoice. Not only that, but you can tell others. Psalm 40:9-10 reads, I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as You know, O Lord. I have not hidden Your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness from the great congregation.
*Photo from the Brook Network