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Relentless Pursuit

Friday, January 13, 2012


"God's Love for the Outsider, Including the Outsider in All of Us"
No matter how many times we fail, God will never fail us.
He knows our frailty and loves us still,
pursuing us relentlessly as a lover his beloved.

~ Robert Waldron

Frontispiece quote

Prologue – Leaving Home

Chapter 1 – The Pursuit

Chapter 2 – The Pursuer

Chapter 3 – The Nature of the Pursuit

Chapter 4 – The Part of Us That Is Lost

Chapter 5 – God’s Passion for the Outsider

Chapter 6 - God’s Provision for the Outsider

Chapter 7 – Jesus’ Mission to the Outsider

Chapter 8 – God’s Mandate to the Insider

Chapter 9 – The Part of Me That Was Found

Epilogue – Coming Home

Appendix – “The Hound of Heaven”

Wholehearted Thanks
Leaving Home
This pursuit of the whole mankind and of the Jewish folk in particular is
but a larger manifestation of God’s way with each individual soul.

Francis Peter Le Buffe


The Bible from start to finish is the story of God’s pursuit of the outsider---the foreigner, the stranger, the outcast. From Adam and Eve outside the garden of Eden . . . to Hagar outside the camp of Abraham . . . to Lazarus outside the gate of the rich man. From corner prostitutes to colonized lepers to common thieves. From the down-and-out to the demon-possessed, the Bible is filled with outsiders who were pursued—and transformed—by God’s relentless love.

The pursuit of the whole of humankind is but a larger manifestation of God’s way with the individual soul. But God doesn’t stop his pursuit when he brings us safely to the fold. He continues to keep watch over us to see when a part of us wanders from him, however small the part or seemingly inconsequential. That part may be a thought that breaks from the flock in search of greener pastures, however forbidden; more plentiful waters, however dangerous. It may be a part of us that is prone to wander, perhaps not far or for long but far enough and long enough not to hear the Shepherd’s voice when he calls. It may be a part of us that strays one famished night without realizing it, going from one patch of grass to another to another until, finally lifting its head, it sees it is lost. Or it may be a part that feels angry at the flock, even betrayed by it, and, in a headstrong moment, bolts to be free from it.

Even those of us who consider ourselves insiders feel like outsiders at some time or another. Some feel that way all the time. At work and at social gatherings. In their church even. Or in their marriage. Each of us, or at least a part of each of us, feels on the outside, looking in. The estranged teenager, perhaps. The self-conscious sibling. The abandoned mate. The returning visitor that no one remembers, Sunday after awkward Sunday. The man in the wheelchair who people nod to and smile at but don’t talk to or shake hands with. The pregnant teenager. The purple-haired boy plugged into his iPod, with sinister-looking tattoos and almost tribal body piercings. Those who are in chronic pain, who are out of work, who are widowed, orphaned, people who are single parents, struggling to keep the electricity on. The down and out, the mentally ill, living in the littered alleys off of cold and indifferent streets. People who are lonely and depressed. People who are disabled, who are elderly, those living on the tattered margins of society. People who are holed up in some sagging tenement, surrounded by decay, dying of cancer, AIDS, or some other ravenous disease.

This book is about the heart of God and the lengths to which it goes to find ours, to bundle it up in his arms, and to carry it home. It is written from the perspective of the lost sheep. As such, it is not a book for the 99 that are safe as much as it is for the one that is not. It is surely not the whole of who you are, that lost part, or the whole of who I am, but it is a real part.
That this lost part is pursued by God reveals our worth.

That it is relentlessly pursued reveals how much.

Ken Gire is the author of more than 20 books, including The Divine Embrace, Windows of the Soul: Experiencing God in New Ways, The Work of His Hands : The Agony and Ecstasy of Being Conformed to the Image of Christ, the Moments With the Savior Series, and the Reflective Living Series. Two of his books have been awarded a Gold Medallion. A full-time writer and speaker, Ken is the founder of Reflective Living, a nonprofit ministry devoted to helping people learn how to slow down and live more reflective lives so they can experience life more deeply, especially life with God and other people.

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