A Prodigal Returned
And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
Recently, in a place I frequent, I was blessed to witness a beautiful moment. A man, who had been without his son for a while due to various circumstances, was reunited with him. The son, a full grown man, came in to where I was sitting and approached his father. The light on this father’s face was precious as he welcomed his troubled boy with a smile and an embrace.
I love how the Lord reveals truth to me in everyday life. My spirit leaped as the Lord began to remind me of His mercy. In a world of distraction and opposition, something I often see is well-meaning and good-hearted Christians falling into condemnation because of mistakes they have made. These are people who truly love God, but miss the mark on occasion or even often. Have you ever missed the mark?
God is good and just but most of all He is a loving Father. In fact, He is the best of them. Scripture tells us in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This means more to us than we can even realize. The reason we sometimes fail to understand God’s forgiveness is because we have not yet learned to forgive on our own. The one that we, as good-hearted Christians, fail to forgive most often is ourselves. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” God is not condemning you and you shouldn’t either.
What I always suggest to people, is to do a little test. If I find myself upset with me, I ask a few questions. Am I in blatant sin that I am convicted about? Am I in God’s will for my life? Am I seeking Him the best I know how? The first can be the most deceiving but is fairly easy to deal with. Don’t go nitpicking and digging trying to drum up some hidden failure. God doesn’t, so don’t you either! If you are in God’s will the best you know how (which includes faithful church attendance with prayer and Word time), and following His plan for your life the best you know how, then you can be assured God’s Spirit will let you know of adjustments that need to be made.
In simplicity, follow Psalm 37:3, “trust God and do good”. This walk is not hard but we do need help. We cannot do it alone. We need God, we need a church, and we need a pastor. Find out about God’s grace and live for Him. True freedom in life is always found right there. You will live blessed, exhibiting God’s fruit and you will even be able to help someone else along the way.
It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.