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Must people seek God before he seeks them? (Jeremiah 29:13)

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 

Jeremiah 29:13

ESV - 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Clarify Share Report Asked September 15 2019 Mini Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that the initiative is on God's side. If He did not reveal Himself, nothing that we could do would allow us to find Him. However, at the same time, He can only make Himself known to people whose mind and character are in the right condition. That is why He spoke of people having to seek Him with all their heart.

To me, that explains how different people can look at the same set of facts and draw varying conclusions from them. For example, some people (such as Paul noted in Romans 1:20) can look at the complexity and order of the universe as a clear witness that God gave of His existence and His involvement in its creation, while other people see nothing more than a set of equations or predictable phenomena, and go no further than that.

In the same way, some people can read the gospels, and (even with the accounts of the miracles that Jesus performed) see Him as nothing more than a great human teacher, while others see God's ultimate revelation of Himself in human flesh. 

As C. S. Lewis said, it's like looking at the stars through a cracked or dirty telescope lens. The stars are the same, but the instrument accounts for the difference in the observations, and for any errors in conclusions that are drawn from those observations.

September 17 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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Internet image Ben Jones Jones
The only times God commanded anyone to "seek Him" is in the OT. The Hebrews, who are those He had chosen already, were to choose Him over other gods. In the NT Paul tells us that "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Romans 3:11&12. Us seeking God would be something that is "good" and as we just saw "there is none that doeth good." Jesus said in John 15:16 "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." And again in John 15:19 "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."

Eph 1:4 makes it VERY clear Who chose whom, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."

September 20 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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