A couple weeks ago, I was at the ONE college service at Church of the Highlands, and the message really spoke to me.
The speaker read through the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11-32). We all know the story: The younger of two sons begs for his inheritance early, leaves town, squanders all his money on “foolish living,” and realized what a mess his life was when he was jealous of the pigs he was feeding.
The son knows that the only thing he could possibly do is return home. He plans to beg his father for forgiveness in the hopes that his father will let him work as a servant.
I’m sure we’ve all had times when we messed up and practiced our speech before we admitted our mistakes to our parents (or whoever). It’s never fun to admit when we mess up. We normally expect a typical “I told you so” or “You should have listened.”
Well, the son never expected what actually happened.
So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him.
Before the son could even finish his plea to work as a servant, the father was throwing him a welcome home party! In that moment, the Father was so overjoyed by his son’s return that he was not even concerned about the lost monetary value.
In this parable, we are the son and God is the Father. When we are still far away from God, He is already running towards us. We feel so guilty that we are afraid to ask for anything from God, while He is so overjoyed when we come to Him that He gives us more than we could ever expect.
God’s more-than-enough love satisfies our less-than-enough expectations.
Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God can do “immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.” He doesn’t want us to be covered in shame and guilt when we mess up; we should never feel too ashamed to return to the Father.
Isbell pointed out that “God’s love was never meant to make sense. It was meant to change lives.”
In the story, it doesn’t make sense to us why the Father so openly received his son who had thrown away all his money. It would make more sense if he gave him a lecture or talked about the consequences of his actions. But God’s love for you is so strong that He sent His Son to die on a cross for our mistakes, and that doesn’t make sense either.
I just want to encourage you today to return to the Father. Spend some time with Him in
worship, prayer, or reading the Word. You can’t even imagine how great His love for you is!