A Parable of the Father's Love
"There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set offfor a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I anno longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
The son said to him 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate."
We all view God through different sets of filters which distort our perceptionof Him. Some people see God as harsh, cruel, heartless dictator who puts heavy and unreasonable laws onto His people. Others see God as distant and reserved, not caring about the circumstances of our lives and our suffering. Still others see God as vengeful and unforgiving, looking to exact punishment for every wrong we have done.
A Foolish Son
But the Bible shows us a different view of God. In the Parable of the Father’s Love in Luke 15, we see the heart of a father toward his foolish son. His son takes his inheritance and wastes it on wild living. Now he finds himself at rock bottom, eating garbage meant for swine. He yearns to be back home, yet fears what his father will do to him if he returns.
We all find ourselves in the place of the alienated son. We have all failed to some degree in trying to live our lives according to God’s standards. We have done what we thought was right, only tofind that it is not enough. Weend up feeling separated from our Heavenly Father and His love and acceptance. We are afraid to come to God because we fear His wrath and punishment.
The Father’s Love
In this parable, Jesus shows us a God who is loving, caring, gracious, generous and forgiving. Even after the son has squandered his father’s inheritance, his father welcomes him home with open arms when he returns. Before the father even knows what his son is going to say, he runs to him and reinstates him back into the family.
This is God’s attitude toward each of us. No matter what we have done, no matter how much we have blown it, we can still turn and come to Him. As w e take that first step back to Him, God then runs to us to embrace us and shower us with His love and forgiveness.
Do you feel separated from the love of God? Do you yearn to find rest from the running and striving in your life? Your heavenly Father is waiting for you to come to Him. All it takes is for you to turn from you r own ways and present your life to Him. The price for your sin has been paid by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As you accept His sacrifice, you receive forgiveness and new life through Jesus Christ.
The Father is waiting to run to you. Why don’t you turn to Him today?
We’d Like to Help
If you would like more information about the love of the Father and new life in Jesus Christ, we would love to talk with you. You can write, call or email us at the following address:
Vineyard Christian Fellowship
870 First Avenue
West Haven, CT 06516