The BEST story ever!

waitingfatherWhen I sat down in seat 7D, I looked forward to a quiet flight home. It was late in the day and I was worn out after a weekend full of activity and emotion. But, God had different plans. The lady next to me was friendly and engaged me in conversation.  In a few moments she started to talk about the hurt in her heart, a loss that was breaking her, and filling her with anger. She wondered if a person could change, if God cared, how she could move forward with her life. When someone asks me questions like I know that the Lord has created another opportunity for me to do what I love best – to talk about the amazing love of my Abba, the grace of Jesus.

I told her the story from Luke’s Gospel, chapter 15, Jesus’ parables about lost things! The best of those ‘lost’ stories is that one that we often refer to as the story of the Prodigal Son. The young man lost his sense, lost his way, lost his fortune, and lost his love for family! He was in terrible shape, to all appearance beyond hope.  But, there was a Waiting Father at home whose love remained strong.  When the son hit bottom, a good Jewish boy taking care of pigs, the memory of the Father’s house pulled at his heart until he said, “I will go home to my father!”  Jesus tells us that this man thought he was unloved but hoped to make a deal just to be near the old home place. “Dad, I’ve been a real fool, unworthy. Can I just work for you?”

When I told my new friend the rest of the story, my voice was filled with emotion. I am always moved when I say these words because they are an expression of a love so rare, but so longed for. “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20, NLT)  There it is – the story of every person. We took the life God invested in us, went off to do our own thing, then hoped that we could make a deal with God to regain His favor. But, He will not play that game. Instead, “immense in mercy” He reaches out to us, fully forgiving, loving, and brings us back into His family.  The Enemy of God whispers the Lie to lost ones – “God does not care for you.  He’s abandoned the search.   You’re abandoned, alone – and you’re so lost, you can never go home!”  Don’t believe it!  The Waiting Father and the Searching Spirit are looking for the lost.   The love of heaven beckons us to turn toward home and guides us back to the Way.  John overflows with amazement when he explains- “This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” (1 John 4:9-10, MSG)

Christian, have you wandered or wavered again?  Maybe worse than that, you have willfully chosen to break away from the way you know God has for you?
“Go home today!”
Tell Him you’re sorry, own the failure without excuse and He’ll embrace you again.

Friend, maybe you’re reading this from a place of loneliness or even despair, feeling very lost!   You don’t have to live that way.  Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you, to guide you home, and let God love you to wholeness.    Here’s a word from the Word –  Read it prayerfully, carefully. Rejoice in the wonder of the amazing grace that found you!

“It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin.
You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live.
You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience.
We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat.

It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us.
Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us.
He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us!” (Ephesians 2:1-5, The Message)

______

This Is Amazing Grace

 Who breaks the power of sin and darkness?
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger?
The King of Glory, the King above all kings. 

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder?
Who leaves us breathless in awe and wonder?
The King of Glory, the King above all kings.

 (Yeah) (Oh) This is amazing grace.
This is unfailing love,
That You would take my place,
That You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life
That I would be set free.
Oh Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.

 Who brings our chaos back into order?
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter?
The King of Glory, the King of Glory.

 Who rules the nations with truth and justice?
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance?
The King of Glory, the King above all kings.

 Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.

Jeremy Riddle | Josh Farro | Phil Wickham
© 2012 Phil Wickham Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)
CCLI License # 810055

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