As a child I loved baseball. It was my life! My team growing up in San Diego (pre-Padres Major League days) was the Yankees. They were the team we watched every Saturday on television. My favorite player was Mickey Mantle, and my dream was to be like The Mick, becoming a switch hitter (which I did for a while, until I learned that I could hit a curveball better righthanded), and eventually hitting the winning home run in the World Series…for the Yankees of course! Well, baseball was pretty good to me, providing a University scholarship, but I have yet to even see a World Series game live (and really, “World Series” is just the National League vs the American League!).
Anyway, from my early days, I was a dreamer of great things (at least I thought they were great), which I think to a small extent comes from our Father in heaven. His dream envisioned the ending from the beginning, as all great dreams do. From the foundation of the world, God determined to provide a way of salvation, the forgiveness of sins, an eternal destiny and home with him, for all mankind to enjoy, and he included all of us in his plan. Of course, mainly he included the Trinity in the planning, which culminated in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
Thus, in pursuing this discussion, it is germane to begin with the ending, which was not the end but a new beginning; the finished work of Christ. All that was accomplished by Christ on the cross, his death, burial, resurrection, ascension and enthronement is essential, and relates to our pursuit of maturity in Christ.
When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit. John 19:30
Before discussing what was and was not finished by Christ on the cross, a bit of definition regarding words related to “pursue” will be helpful. My overall premise is that we have things to pursue, but we are to do so from a place of rest, we run from and to, not to and froe, pursuing the ideas and principles of the Kingdom of God.
The word “pursue” (dioko) is defined as to run swiftly in order to catch; to press forward.
A derivative of that is to earnestly desire (such as the best gifts), as seen in 1 Corinthians 14:1. Another is to desire—to burn with zeal; to desire earnestly; to be zealous in pursuit of. Also, we can use the words “to know,” such as the Father or Son in terms of intimacy; to seek, such as in the Kingdom; to desire to eat (fellowship); also to strive or compete (2 Timothy 2:5, 24).
Finally, there are synonyms: quest, search, follow, stalk, go after, chase, trace, strive, reach for, strive after, press, tug, drive, endeavor, struggle, labor, press. I do like this quote, that I wish I could find the reference to:
Faith is the pursuit of all God has promised us.
And the just—that is all of us who are in Christ—are to live by our faith. So, we know there are certainly things we are to pursue in the Lord after our wonderful salvation. What we should and shouldn’t be running after is to follow, and of course, whatever we are to run after, it must be with patience, for the race set before us, with our eyes fixed on Jesus (see Hebrews 12:13).
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