As you know, I love to discuss the story of the “Recovered Son.” Oh, you know it as the “Prodigal son,” but I like to see things for the positive—after the crisis—point of view. There are two parts I love about that story. First is when the father greets him, saying “Hurry! Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let’s celebrate with a feast” (Luke 15:22-23).
Now that messed with the prodigal son, because He needed what Paul called a “renewed mind.” I love reading these words of the parable: “’Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to have a feast! (Luke 15:22-23).
In the mind of the son, all he knew was condemnation and guilt, which is something Satan used to flood his mind. There is nothing new about that. Even today, many children of the Lord feel the same way. Our Father rejoices and throws His Loving arms around us! Yet, we still think humility means telling Him how bad we have been. We love to dig up our past sins, instead of trusting his expressions of love — which one of my friends appropriately describes as: infinitely inexhaustible. I love that! Our Father is trying to show us the depth and width and breadth of His Love while all we can think about is our guilt and shame. We presume he is angry with us and that we have sinned worse than anyone else. In our mind, He is waiting to pound some sense into us. Now maybe we do deserve that, but our Father is moved by His love for us and is reaching out to bring healing and restoration.
So instead on focusing on the “Prodigal son,” let’s look at what happens to the “Recovered” son. When the servants brought out the best robe in the house and put it on the son, it represented his being clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Now interestingly, that robe was either signifying the father’s personal robe or it was a ceremonial robe for an honored guest. When the son wore that robe, it symbolized how you and I have been brought into union with the God of Creation, the Almighty God! When the father put a ring on the boy’s finger, it was probably a signet ring which indicated sonship and authority and signified our union with Christ! Finally, he put shoes on the boy’s feet, which represents our being fitted with the gospel of the peace of Christ! What you may not understand is that a slave walked barefoot, and an honored son wore the finest shoes.
My point is that this loving father was showing his son: “Get rid of those rags of flesh, those shreds of self-effort to please me. Let me show you how I see you. You are coming into my house and into my presence as a new, recreated, royal child. You are not coming as a beggar or a slave, but as my son, who delights me! Now, enter in with boldness and assurance.” Now you can easily blow that off as being meaningless and just empty words. But if you do, you are cheating yourself. He is calling you to live as His Son, so quite walking around like a beggar and a slave.
All of those same conditions describes us today! We have to renew our thinking about how our Father receives us into His presence. “Since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the Holy of Holies by the power and virtue in the blood of Jesus, by this new and living way which He initiated and dedicated and opened for us through the separating, that is, through His flesh . . . Let us all come forward and draw near with honest and sincere hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith — by leaning the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness — having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19-20, 22).
Oh please, don’t just casually read those words. Take the time to consider what each word means for you, in your daily life and living conditions. Let them grow in your spirit. Allow them to renew your thinking and allow them to change who you are and the way you act and think.
I am as serious as a heart attack. In those verses above, there is a word used here that comes from a root meaning “an emancipated slave.” It means that they are no longer being under the law of sin and death but under the rule of grace. In short, it is by the love of the Father — by his mercy alone — that we are qualified to go into His presence. And in case you were wondering, here is the only qualification: “. . . giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:12-13).
(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. However, you can also find these messages at: Thought For The Day https://thinkingtoday.wordpress.com/)