Today, we are going to bask in the glory that is God, our good, good Father. Isn’t it incredible that this God we have, the creator of heaven and earth, has chosen, first and foremost, to be a father?! He could have literally picked any role He wanted to, and yet He chose to be a father.
He’s OUR father. That doesn’t just mean you and I, or the just people we congregate with on Sundays, if that’s something we do. It means ALL believers of ALL time, past, current, and future! He is the Father to all of us! When Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father…” he was connecting all believers together with Himself in three syllables. (Jesus didn’t say, “Say, My Father,” but rather the 1st person plural, “our”). Here’s a little tidbit for you: Until Jesus taught us how to pray, God was only “Father” in the Old Testament. The “our” was introduced by Jesus.
There’s something to understand about our Father’s love though: it doesn’t force itself on us. We can choose to walk in the light with Him or not. If he compelled us to love Him, that wouldn’t be very remarkable at all. That would be a dictatorship as opposed to a reciprocal relationship and would take the beauty out of knowing Him. His love is there for the taking if we choose it. Remember the sun metaphor? God’s love does not depend on our repentance. It is there before we repent. The father invited the son into the party before he apologized, and Christ dies while we were still sinners.
Consider this quote from Arthur Freeman:
The father loves each son and gives each the freedom to be what he can, but he cannot give them freedom they will not take nor adequately understand. The father seems to realize, beyond the customs of his society, the need of his sons to be themselves. But he also knows their need for his love and a home. How their stories will be completed is up to them. The fact that the parable is not completed makes it certain that the father’s love is not dependent upon an appropriate completion of the story. The father’s love is only dependent on himself and remains part of his character.Arthur Freeman
So here we have a situation where we can accept God’s love or reject it. We know neither how the younger son fared at the celebration nor how he lived with his father after his return. We also do not know whether the elder son ever reconciled himself with his brother, his father, or himself. But we do know that the father was merciful. By knowing this and not the rest from what Jesus tells us here, we have further proof that God’s mercy is extended whether or not we are ready to accept it.
So what does all this mean for us? There’s a very specific call to action for those who desire to apply this particular teaching to their lives. Are you here for it? Let’s discuss tomorrow.
Did you know I created a worship playlist just for this series?!
Celebrate a good, good Father who is always calling and welcoming his children home!
Previous posts from the Prodigal Series
Miss one? I got you covered! All teachings from this series are found here.