Friday, February 21, 2014

Grace Unimaginable.

Anonymous: So, the Prodigal Son, I get the story and its meaning, but what would happen if the son ran away again once he'd been welcomed back? I've had my prodigal son experience, but I've mucked up and run away again... more than once. Will God still want me back, or have I used up all the grace and all my chances? And how would I go about approaching God again? I don't think he'll be very happy if I do, but I so desperately wish I knew how to maintain a relationship with him :(

First of all, let me tell you without hesitation that you are desired and cherished by your Creator, no matter what you’ve done or how far you have run.

As I read this, I can’t help but see my own thoughts from several years ago at a time when I was feeling completely forsaken and drenched in the consequences of my own mistakes and shame.

An earthly father might not give third and fourth and fifth chances, but this Father isn’t bound by our limitations.  He is the Creator of grace and mercy.  There is a reason He sent His Son for us, and it certainly wasn’t to give conditional love.  Isaiah 30:18 says, “The Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion.”  And a few chapters later, in 43:25, He says, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
One of my favorite songs goes like this: “I could run away, but You would never leave. You would always stay right by my side.”

I have run from God.  I have returned wondering if there was any way His forgiveness could reach as far as I had fallen, but it does.

The good news about God’s love is beautifully simple.

God is holy and righteous and just. We’re all sinners and separated from God because of our mistakes and the brokenness of our hearts. (Romans 3:23)

Despite everything we are, we are loved endlessly by God. (Ephesians 2:3-5; Lamentations 3:22)

Because of His great love for us, God sent His only Son Jesus to die and take the place for our sins, to provide atonement. (Romans 3:24-25, John 3:16)

If you have faith, He will save you by His grace. (Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9, Titus 3:4-7, Ephesians 2:8-9)
Repentance and desire to know the Lord shines so clearly in your words.  He knows your heart and His grace extends beyond all borders.  Do not be afraid to approach Him.  He desires for you to seek Him!  And He loves you so, so much.  His love is bigger than the worst mistake you have ever made.

Deuteronomy 4:29-31 says, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.  When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey Him.  For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you.”

I don’t know how to articulate enough how much the Lord desires to have a relationship with you.  You don’t have to enter His presence perfect or with your life all together.  Come to Him as you are, in humility and in tears and in rags.  He desires to be with you, just as you are, and He looks at you with love.

"I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’  I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’" -Hosea 2:23

You have not used up all the grace that is offered.  You are so very loved.  God wants you back, and like the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son, He welcomes you back with open arms.

"And I pray that you... may have power... to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." -Ephesians 3:17-19

I was asked this question via my ask box on tumblr.

Two years ago: Where two or three gather and Oh, Happy Day!
Three years ago: I don't have enough thumbs for this.

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