One of the most well-loved of Jesus' parables is found in Luke chapter fifteen. What a perfect illustration of our Heavenly Father's great love for us! "A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry." Luke 15:11-24
How much like that prodigal son we are, for "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) All have broken our Redeemer's Great Heart of Love just as the son in this story broke his father's heart. Indeed, we have broken our Loving Creator's heart even more than did he. God so loved us that He gave Himself, His Most Precious Gift, for us that we might be saved and dwell with Him forever more. Yet, how often we spurn His Love turning away from His Great Provision. How often we take His Great Love for granted. How many times we go our own way, do our own thing with scarcely a thought Heavenward, scarcely a feeling of remorse. Moreover, we are as helpless to cleanse ourselves as was the prodigal when he was caring for the pigs. We can do nothing to save ourselves. "We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." "The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment." Isaiah 64:6; 1:6
The love of God, how great it is! It is beyond comprehension! It is beyond measure! The Great King of the Universe, the Creator of all, loves us so much more than we can even begin to understand. His love far surpasses the love of a mother for her precious babe. He assures us, "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." (Isaiah 49:15,16) Think of it! Our Loving Creator is longsuffering toward us, not willing that we should perish, but that we should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Day after day, He yearns over us, watching with intense desire for us to make our first faltering steps toward Home. Indeed, He runs toward us with arms outstretched ready to embrace us, to welcome us, to lead us to His Glorious Kingdom. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:9,10; 3:1)
Let us give ourselves to the One Who gave Himself for us. What are we giving Him?---a weak, erring, self-centered person who is totally unworthy of His salvation. Yet, despite of what we are, despite what we have done, He offers us complete forgiveness, perfect cleansing from our sins, perfect restoration into His fellowship. Blessed Redeemer! "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well." (Isa 1:18, 16,17). Let us "praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." (Ps 107: 8,9). Let us serve Him always with our whole heart and soul and mind and being from this day forth and forevermore.
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