30th , 31st January
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.”
How do you think God sees you? Do you think he looks at you and sees a sinful person and is disgusted by the sight of you? Or do you think He sees someone who has been forgiven and whose identity is a ‘child of God’.
The story of the prodigal son is a fantastic illustration of our relationship with God the Father. Let’s explore. As the son approaches the house after returning from his sinful rebellion (and notice the text says a long way off), the father, filled with love and compassion runs towards his son. He then embraces his son and kisses him to show his love and compassion for his son. The father did not stand with arms crossed, with a stern and serious face waiting for his son to beg for his forgiveness. Nor was there any delay is showering his love towards the son. He literally flung himself over his son.
So often we do picture God, sitting on His great throne, with burning eyes of fire, and an angry looking facial expression showing complete disgust and anger at our sin. Then the view of ourself is flat on our face, like a person who is begging for forgiveness, crawling towards the throne of God, knowing we are too sinful to get there. Yet if we look at Jesus’ depiction of the Father in His parable of the prodigal son, we see the opposite picture. A father who is running towards his son, even though his son had just squandered his inheritance.
So it is the same with God our Father. He runs towards us, a sinful people, YET forgiven, accepted and loved by His loving and compassionate heart. Let us not get confused, God does hate sin and His judgement towards sin is just and right. Yet just as the son acknowledged he had done wrong to his father, so it is with us when we repent and acknowledge our wrongdoings.
Imagine this next time you think of God’s throne room; God the Father jumping off His throne, running towards you, picking you up and embracing you with His loving arms: the loving arms of a God that is so in love with His child.