"But While He Was A Long Way Off"
We need to be reminded often that we don’t need to achieve perfection to be loved by our Heavenly Father. We have been gifted with the Holy Spirit to be able to call God “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). “Abba,” is the Hebrew equivalent to “daddy,” which conveys a sense of vulnerability, innocence, and love. That is how we are encouraged to approach God, as a loving and caring father. Earthly fathers can often fail at loving unconditionally and with grace, but God never fails to do so. In Luke 15 Jesus leaves us with a beautiful picture of the love of our Daddy Father. We find Jesus surrounded by sinners, and the “perfect people” are gossiping about how he is spending time with dirty and sketchy people. Jesus then goes on to tell the story of the Prodigal Son, which I encourage you to take a minute to read (Luke 15:11-32). In the story we are told of a son who has abandoned and disgraced his family, but after coming upon hard times decides to try to go home and work like a servant for 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” (Luke 15:20). The son was about as far from perfection as you could get, and he had not even gotten all the way back to his father. Neither of those things stopped the father from dropping everything he was doing and run to embrace his son whom he loved unconditionally. That is how much your Daddy Father loves you. You, me, and everyone else has disgraced ourselves and our family because of our sin, but that does not stop our Daddy. We don’t even have to make it all the way back to Him before He runs to us. It does not matter what we have done, or how far we have yet to go. He is overjoyed to see His children returning. My prayer for you is that you don’t think you are unloved by God because you have done too much wrong or that you still have a long way to go to get home. He is waiting for you, and while you are still a long way off He is going to run to you and wrap you up in His arms. Jacob Bancroft EndFragment