walk in the word
Forgiveness, God’s Character, Reassurance of Faith, Your Walk With God
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate.
I meet people every day who are living far from home. I don’t mean geographically, though that may also be the case. I mean far away from the Lord and from the people who love them. They’re on the run.
Such was the case with the guy in Luke 15 whom we know as the prodigal son.; He was far from home, far from his dad, living a far different life than God intended for him.
You know the story. You may even know someone like him. You might even be him—living far from the close relationship you once had with the Lord. So, long after waking up to the reality of life in a distant country, what keeps you—or any of us—from returning to the Lord?
I think a big issue many people face is: What kind of reception will I get? I’ve heard people say one of three things.
1. God will be angry. Do you think you can come waltzing back in here after the way you’ve been living and expect everything to be fine? Maybe your dad or mom was like that—but God isn’t. When we return to the Lord, He welcomes us back with open arms—every time.
2. God will be anxious. Where have you been? I’ve been worried sick about you.(As if God was ever worried about anything!)
3. God won’t care. You come into the room and He barely looks up from the newspaper. Oh, you’re back. Fine. Throw your things in the corner. Again, this is not what God is about.
In his wildest imagination, the runaway son never would have dreamt how his father would respond. Luke 15:20 says that when the father saw him coming down the road, he ran towards him. (It’s the only time in Scripture that God is pictured as running.) The father didn’t just wait for him—he ran to him and threw his arms around him, fell on his neck and kissed him.
Do you see why God put this story in His Word? When we are convicted of our sin and sense our need to return to the Lord, we won’t ever have to wonder, How will God respond?
Jesus must have loved that story too, since He used it to illustrate the kindness of His Father. Turn around and head home. You don’t have to wonder how you will be received.
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