This is the second part of the post from two weeks ago, which showed us two things –
1) Followers of Jesus Christ look for cheap imitations of love in the wrong places when they neglect to dwell upon God’s immense love for them.
2) The repentant sinner returning to God the Father, has failed to find happiness in the things he or she treasured apart from Christ.
Remember the picture of the wayward son, wasted and finally walking home, dreading the moment when he would meet his dad?
You know, here is dismay. This is the worst kind of letdown, when you let yourself down. Doesn’t that happen every time we fool ourselves by embracing what we know our dear heavenly Father hates?
Photo Credit – Graziano Turesso, CC
You wish you were never here. You don’t wanna pray because your prayers seem pretty much useless. You are alive, but what is the point? You have battled this problem for the 980th time.
You are a Christ-follower. But will not God hate you for what you have done?
At least you know you hate yourself.
If this describes the condition of the wayward son returning to his Father, do you remember the Father’s response in Jesus’ story?
He came running, falls on his son, hugs him and kisses him all over! What on earth?
What does Jesus mean when he gives us this expression of unbelievable love? Boggles you? Maybe the wayward son was given that kind of welcome, but not you? Here are words from Charles Spurgeon, on the heavenly Father –
“What a sight for a father’s eye! He is filthy, as though he had been rolling in the mire; and his beautiful clothing has long ago lost its fine colors, and hangs about him in wretched rags. The father does not turn away and try to forget him, he fixes his full gaze upon him.
Sinner, you know that God sees you this morning; sitting in this house you are observed of the God of heaven. There is not a desire in your heart unread of Him, nor a tear in your eye which He does not observe.
I tell you He has seen your midnight sins, He has heard your cursings and your blasphemies, and yet He has loved you notwithstanding all that you have done. You could hardly have been a worse rebel against Him, and yet He has noted you in His book of love, and determined to save you, and the eye of His love has followed you whithersoever you have gone. ”1
Spurgeon goes on to explain that “God will never give a Judas-kiss, and betray those whom He embraces. There is no hypocrisy with God; He never kisses those for whom He has no love.”2
You see, God’s love never stopped toward you. You are DEEPLY LOVED in Christ, even when you are in sin, dear Christian. And why is that?
Is it not because of that cross where Jesus died for your sins? Is that not where you placed your hopes of new and true life? Thank God you are not abandoned because of Jesus’ death on your behalf! Thank God there is new life, right in the midst of your sin!
Further, “this much kissing meant MUCH FORGIVENESS. The prodigal had many sins to confess; but before he came to the details of them, his father had forgiven him…some suppose that after we are forgiven we are never to confess; but, oh, beloved, it is then that we confess most truly, because we know the guilt of sin most really!”3
That’s right. Open up, let us speak to our Lord. Speak your sins to Christ!
Let us renounce these cheap imitations that hold residence deep inside and go Homeward-bound, begging for true change.
Oh, blessed words! “He has determined to save you”!
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” – Romans 2:4, New Living Translation.
1,2,3 – http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/spurgeon-sermons/read/articles/the-prodigals-reception-13634.html