Luke 15:20 – And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way of, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
He saw his son and ran to him.
This is what happens when the prodigal comes home. The prodigal wished his dad was dead, took his money and spent it all away on sin and extravagance. Yet his father does not bring any of this up with his son. He welcomes him home with love and joy.
This is how God loves us through his Son, Jesus Christ. He forgives us for our sins and gives us salvation instead. In the parable of the prodigal son, it is like the father has been waiting for this moment and is ready to celebrate. In the same way, Jesus tells us there is a celebration in heaven over one sinner who repents.
I think we know it is God’s will to save, but we often underestimate how much joy it brings him. We could see the father taking his son back perhaps with some conditions or after a penalty period. But instead we see the father running out to his son, kissing him and killing the fattened calf so that all can come to the party of his son’s homecoming. Jesus tells us that the angels rejoice this same way when one sinner repents. And angels only rejoice when God does.
You might be familiar with Zephaniah 3:17 because it says that God is mighty save. But that verse also says, “He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” What an awesome picture of God singing over all of his sons and daughters that he has saved!
Let us be careful that we do not underestimate the love of God. It is intimate in that he is now our “Abba” or our “Daddy” (Romans 8:15). It is permanent in that nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus (Romans 8:35-39). As Christians, there is nothing in this life we can have more confidence in than the fact that God loves us!
Last Saturday night at Revival: Winter Edition we had an awesome night of considering how wonderful the Father’s love is for us. We had an extended, passionate time of worship and several students professed faith in Jesus Christ. I know that it is a night many of us will not forget. We sang praises to our God. He sang over us. Here is the sermon from that night: The Father.
Luke 15:24 – ‘For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
Sat, Feb 11, 2012
by Bobby Blakey