November 18, 2020
“I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” – Luke 15:10
Most of us are probably fairly familiar with the parable of the prodigal son. If not, take a moment right now and read Luke 15:11-24. When we read that story, we usually think about our moment of salvation; the moment where we realize our wretchedness and first come to the Father asking for forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Repentance and forgiveness are definitely the major themes of this story, but I think there may be more here than we realize. I think it is important that this is a son that leaves and returns. He is not being adopted into the family; he is already a member of it. I think this story is just as much about our sins once we belong to God; after we have been brought into his family.
Why is that important? When we sin and ask for forgiveness it is difficult to picture God rejoicing at our return. We think, “surely he is going to be angry with me for a little while? Surely he’ll chastise me or at least give me the cold shoulder for a few days?” These ideas are lies from our enemy. If Satan can convince us that our relationship with God is still broken even after we have asked for forgiveness, then he can continue to keep us separated from our Father. These thoughts then keep us from asking for forgiveness in the future because we are convinced it accomplishes very little in our damaged relationship with God. Do not believe these lies! When we have realized the depth of our sin and our desperate situation, we can always return to the Father knowing that he has been anxiously watching the horizon, excited for our return. He runs to meet us, throws his arms around us saying, “I am so glad you have come back to me!”
Heavenly Father forgive for placing worldly ideas of forgiveness on You. Bind our enemy from driving a wedge into our relationship. When we realize our sin and turn to You for forgiveness, let us always see the picture of the prodigal son and his loving Father.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon