|Series Theme: God's Love for You|
Title: 2. He's out looking for You!
series that considers some of the basic things that the Bible
We also considered the cost to the Father and Son of being parted to bring about the possibility of your forgiveness for Sin.
Finally we considered that because of these things, and because the Bible tells us, we know that God is FOR us, completely for us!
A Two Part Equation
God's activity + your activity = your Christian life
second part is our activity:
Yet that is all past history if you are a Christian, and we now want to focus on the future. The future also involves both God and us.
From God's side we find He wants to continually protect, provide and guide, because He's for us (and we'll see more of that in the third page).
A Story Jesus Told
In it he portrayed a son who abused his father, wished him dead, took his property, and left him.
Such, in a sense, is a picture of the human race that, frequently, wishes that God was dead, takes the world for its own use and turns its back on God.
Although that may be a picture of the human race, the response of the son has to then become the response of each individual.
Individually we must come to the realisation of our state, repent and seek God the Father. While away from the father, the son could not enjoy the fruits of sonship, could not enjoy the father's love.
For yes, Jesus shows us in the story something of the father's love in its various forms.
of the Father's Love
There is an aspect of love called 'respect' that allows people to be the sovereign individual that they are, even with their folly!
God respects you and allows you the choice to decide how you will live, what you will do.
He knows the son is stupid, he knows what he's been through, he knows he must have run out of resources, he knows all these things, and his heart is filled with compassion.
If you're not sure what 'compassion' means, it means "pity aroused by the distress of others, with the desire to help them"; it is a response of love. The love of this father had never diminished, even when the son was away from him.
He is not concerned to blame the son, not concerned to correct his thinking, not concerned to make sure he won't do it again, he's just concerned to bless him! Yes, please note this carefully - He is more concerned to reinstate the son than he is to condemn him for his past folly!
Yes, it is expressed in different ways (allowing the son to go, waiting for the son to work through his folly, watching for his return, encouraging his return, celebrating his return and reassuring him on his return) but it is still the same unchanging love.
4. Struggling with our Guilt or Sin?
Sometimes we feel so bad about ourselves we feel there is no way that God could love or accept us. Think on a bit more.
He is a wonderful young son, and he grows up to be the apple of your eye. He is intelligent and good to have around. Your heart is strong for him.
Then supposing he falls into bad company, supposing he starts taking drugs and becomes addicted. What will you feel?
There may be some of us who are more concerned about what others think and we might be thinking, "What ought I to be feeling, what would others think about this?"
If we belong to a legalistic, hard-hearted, critical community, we'll know who they will blame.
Indeed now, if there was anything I could do to get him out of this slavery I would do it, for my heart is a heart of love for him, my heart is full of anguish and compassion for him.
Hates Sin but Loves You
What have we been saying throughout? Even though you may not understand the circumstances, even though you may not understand why God doesn't seem to be turning up with the things you think you need, He still loves you, He's still all out for you.
I Feel So Guilty!
That is very natural and God wants us to learn from these feelings so that we can try and avoid it happening again. But what we want to major on here, is how God feels about you.
If you feel, like the prodigal son part way through the story, that you're out in the wilderness "feeding pigs", you need to know the Father is out looking for signs of your return.
And if you've come to the point of acceptance that you've blown it, yet can't quite believe that God could love you, then hear the story again - and remember Jesus was making a point - and remember the Father's heart just longs for your return and He's more concerned to bless you than to chide you.
Power of this Story
Your human father probably got it wrong, perhaps very badly, and perhaps you feel you don't know what real father-love is.
Well look at the story again, see the different expressions of the father's love in the story, and remember Jesus was picturing the love of His Heavenly Father, God.
That is how God the Father is. That's why this story is so powerful because it portrays the wonder of God's love, perhaps more than any other story that Jesus told, and that's what God feels about YOU.
That's real father-love, even if you've never experienced it in your relationship with your own earthly father.
to the Story
That is the starting point of a new day.
Our future Christian life comes as God pours out His love to us and we receive it.
He's waiting to bless and bless you again, but He can't do that if you refuse Him, if you refuse to believe the truth of His love for you.