Read His Words Before Ours!
I’d heard the story of the Prodigal Son my whole life, but, honestly, I really didn’t like it. Sure, it was a nice story, but it was completely irrelevant to me.
I didn’t have a concrete example of what a father’s love looked like, at least not the kind represented by the tale Jesus told. My dad didn’t run to me, stand up for me, or go out on a limb for me….and in my mind, he didn’t need to, I was strong enough on my own.
I was the oldest son.
I was the hard worker behind the scenes, never getting noticed.
I was the over-achiever always hoping for a good word, but never receiving it.
I was the one giving 120%, but never being enough for “dad” going “all-out” for me.
And then, when the “prodigal” actually showed up, which in my case was anyone who caught my dad’s attention instead of me, I was the jealous one.
They got the party, but I was the one who worked hard.
They got the love, but I was the one who was deserving.
They had foolishly spent everything, while I carefully horded every cent, never asking for anything.
And grace was lavished on the Prodigal?!
Yeah, I wasn’t really a fan of the story.
Until, I understood that, yes, the story was about me….more than I realized.
The truth is that Jesus told the story of the prodigal son to a bunch of Pharisees, caught up in all that they had accomplished,
all they could boast about,
all they were deserving of,
all their pride from never asking for a thing, but rather depending on themselves.
I was the Pharisee.
This story was told for me.
To point me to True Love and show me how much I had been missing because I was too caught up in looking at all my work.
For the boy who returned home, freedom was found when fake came off.
Redemption and true relationship was available to both sons, but only one had the realization that he was dirt poor without the inheritance of love.
As Are We, Sisters!
Dirt poor without Jesus’ love.
No good deeds.
No mask of artificial awesomeness.
Standing in the middle of a pig field was as disgraceful as you could get for a good Jew who couldn’t touch pork, let alone stand in the same field as live bacon and feed them slop. But that’s exactly where that young man stood as he stared in the face of his own brokenness and utter disgrace against his father.
His body caked in mud.
His heart rotten with the cost of sin he could never repay.
He knew he was unworthy.
He knew he deserved nothing.
Can you see yourself standing with him?
Face to face with your own sin?
I know it’s uncomfortable.
I know it isn’t pretty.
But, like the boy in our story, unless we hold in our hands the ugliness of our sin and take in the magnitude of how far away we are from a holy God, we can’t see His forgiveness as the grand gift that it really is.
The rich inheritance God offers us isn’t valuable.
Again, like that wayward son, take your broken, take the knowledge of “not enough”, and
run home, Beloved, run home!
The Father’s inheritance awaits.
His grace awaits.
His wealthy goodness and richest love awaits.
HE waits, with arms open wide.
He hasn’t been holding out on you, but maybe, just maybe, you’ve been living without the inheritance and freedom He has already adopted you with because you haven’t been willing to accept it.
Stop trying to hold on to all you can do on your own because, let’s face it, it’s pig slop compared to what Jesus can do in you. Stop looking down at the grace given to others because you feel they don’t deserve it.
Remember that neither of you deserve it.
Instead, reach out for the inheritance that’s right in front of you.
The unconditional, unfathomable love of a Father God.
A love that forgives everything.
A love that allows you to love others the way you have been loved.
That’s true, lasting inheritance.
That’s worth running home for.
Yes, the story of the prodigal son was about me.
It’s about you too.
But it wasn’t for my shame or to feed my arrogance.
This story points to the heart of a good Daddy who loves deeper than I could possibly ever know. A love I want to remember to wrap myself up in every single day because my God has blessed me with an inheritance that can never be earned or lost.
It’s a gift!
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