Monday, November 27, 2017

The Fathers Response

The Fathers Response
November 27, 2017
Luke 15:20 ". . . But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."

The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever. While we know that, the meaning gets lost in our daily lives sometimes.  The good thing about the Lord is that despite us forgetting about His perfect character, despite our flaws and daily mistakes, He is still the same and responds to us the exact same every time. Consider the prodigal son. You may not be the prodigal son, but you and I have played his role many times, even daily in the small things. We forsake the household of the Father and do what we want, when we want, and how we want, only to end up regretting it. But the response of the Father is the exact same every time; it is perfect.

Recall in the story about the prodigal, how the Father responded. When the son realized the error of his ways, and how bad it was, he simply headed back home to the household of his Father. The Father had not spoken to him, knew nothing about his poor choice of adventures, knew nothing of the status of his money or the condition of his situation. All the Father knew at that point was that his son was coming home. Upon hearing that his son was approaching, the Father rejoiced; He was so glad He would be embracing His son soon. The anticipation was thick, with being united with his son, and so He ran to meet him. Then he saw him in the far off distance. For all the Father knew, the son could have just been coming home for a visit, to brag about his adventures and wild success, but as the two came close, the Father soon saw the condition of his son. The Father, just by looking at his son while he approached, could see that His son was returning with bruises and stories of regret. It didn't matter to the Father; He ran to hug him anyway.

The bruises and the story of regret did not change the Father's love for His son. All He cared about was that His son came home. The son instantly told his Father of his regret and the Father simply continued rejoicing that His son came home. Not only did His son come home, but His son came home and wanted to stay, wanted to forsake his poor choice of adventures. The Father's response was perfect, welcoming, forgiving, and rejoicing. That response started when He saw His son in the far off distance coming home, long before the stories of regret. His character was so perfect, the Father had forgiveness in his heart even as His son approached, even before He knew how bad it was. It didn't matter; all the mattered was that His son was home.

None of this is a shock to any of us. We have read the story of the prodigal many times. We know the Father is full of forgiveness and will welcome us home; we know what His response is going to be when we decide to head back to His household. We know His response will be perfect. And how do we repay the Lord's forgiveness? By playing the part of the prodigal yet again. We may not forsake our Father for months on end, traveling the world while rolling in our filth and sin, but we certainly take day trips. You and I take brief jaunts away from the Father's house, not wandering far, but far enough to revel in our little sin for a few hours or days. We know the Father's response will be perfect, and in response to Him we end up abusing His forgiveness on a daily basis with our gossiping lips, our self serving attitude, our complaining and defiant actions, and our lack of respect for the Father. The ironic thing is that the Lord knows this about our character, the propensity to play the role of the prodigal, and yet He is still full of forgiveness and mercy, and grace. His response is still perfect. He will still run to see you, being filled with compassion and forgiveness.

How many day trips have you taken lately, away from the Father's house?

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Malachi 3:6, Luke 15, Heb 13:8

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