I’m sure we have all read the story of the “Prodigal Son.” We have probably heard it taught from every viewpoint and every angle, and I’m sure I don’t have any “new” revelations on the story, but I’ve been thinking about the Prodigal lately.
I was thinking about how after all his “wine, whiskey, and wild, wild living.” he suddenly came to the realization that he really screwed things up. So he decides to go home. Now, this is what I was thinking about: What finally brought him to this realization? I believe the prodigal son (see Luke 15) came home because of his history with his father. Hang in there with me . . . He knew his father’s character, and apparently, he had received a lot of love, support, and encouragement from him. If not, why would he return to a man who would have been angry and vengeful, who would beat him and make him pay back every cent he squandered? I mean if things were that bad at home, I don’t care how bad it was on the streets, he wouldn’t go home, right?
The prodigal surely knew that if he returned he wouldn’t be upbraided or condemned for his sins. He probably thought, “I know my father loves me. He won’t throw my sin in my face. He’ll take me back.” When you have that kind of history, you can always go back home.
Remember how the prodigal’s father showered him with acceptance and love? The prodigal intended to offer a heartfelt confession to his dad because he rehearsed it all the way home. Yet when he faced his father, he didn’t even get a chance to confess. His father interrupted him by running up to him and embracing him.
I am brought to tears every time I hear Benny Hester’s song, “When God Ran“:
I knew I’d broken His heart
I wondered if
Things could ever be the same,
Then one night,
I remembered His love for me
And down that dusty road, ahead I could see
It’s the only time,
the only time I ever saw Him run
Was when He ran to me,
Took me in His arms, held my head to His chest
And said, “My son’s come home again”.
Looked in my face, wiped the tears from my eyes
With forgiveness in His voice
He said, “Son, do you know I still love you?”
“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). The father was so overjoyed his son was back, he covered him with kisses, saying, “I love you, son.”
The father did all of this before his son could complete his confession. The returning son was able to blurt out the beginning of his speech, but his father didn’t wait for him to finish. To him, the young man’s sin had already been settled. The father’s only response was to issue an order to his servants: “Put a robe on my son and rings on his fingers. Prepare a feast, because we are going to celebrate. Everyone rejoice, for my son is home!”
This is what I want you to think about: Sin wasn’t the issue to this father. The only issue on his mind was love. He wanted his boy to know he was accepted, even before he could utter a confession. And that is the point God wants to make to you right now: His love is greater than all our sins. “God’s kindness leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4).
That my beloved friend, sitting there in front of your computer, is the greatest gift available to you. Rejoice and be at peace. He isn’t holding anything against you. He has made peace with you already. Accept it and go home . . .
Oh Father, I do receive your acceptance. I came before you broken and in need and you have crowned me with a royal crown, clothed me with a royal robe and embraced me with your overwhelming love. Thank you, Father. Thank you
“No my child, I thank you for finally accepting my love for you. I have long awaited your joy and happiness. You have wallowed in your fear of me long enough. Welcome home. I love you and accept you as you are.”
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.