“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 NLT
After reading this scripture, what stood out to me was that for the father to have seen him a long way off, means that he was actively looking for him. He knew he’d be back. He was filled with compassion and ran, humbling and exposing himself, but he didn’t care because his son was home. Also, he brings the FINEST robe and the ring. To me, these two items represent him being a SON. Lastly, the first son is not the only one far from the father in this story, the second son is caught up in rules and actions and has missed the relationship entirely. He was trying to EARN his sonship.
We are all sinners, and have all fallen short, whether it is by running away as the first son does, or being caught up in works and missing the relationship as the second son does. We need to recognize the compassion of our Father. It didn’t matter how far the son strayed, the father was eagerly waiting for him to come home. Embarrassed and exposed himself to run to his lost son. Then he restored him to sonship. Except our Father has even more love for us. He humbled himself in the form of Jesus, was embarrassed, exposed, and humiliated on the cross. We aren’t stuck like the second son trying to earn salvation. God is there the very moment our heart turns back to him and we are welcomed back RIGHT AWAY! What in your life has you feeling like you went too far to earn grace?
Lord, we recognize that we have run from You, and fallen short of Your standard. We thank You so much for Your never-ending love that allowed a way for us to come back to You. I pray we never forget that You are a compassionate God, that you are there the moment we turn to You and we don’t have to work to become better before we can come to You. We pray against all these things that the devil tries to use to disqualify us from being Your children. We pray that we may know we are never more than one step from You, and we can never be too far gone.
Gabe Larson, Connection Group Leader Apprentice
White Oak Campus