Posted: 08 Jan 2011 12:00 AM PST
Jesus told the parable of a father who showed his son unconditional love (Luke 15:11-24). This father was patient, slow to anger, and quick to forgive. When the son asked for his inheritance, the father gave it to him. When the son left, the father let him go, knowing that he could not keep his son against his will.
Even though the father’s heart was breaking over his son’s rebellion, he never gave up loving him. While he longed for his son’s return, he did not change his convictions to suit his son’s behavior.
Eventually, the son’s sinful actions caught up with him. He lost all of his inheritance and out of desperation had to do the only work available—feeding pigs! Suddenly, a thought came to the son: He could go home. He knew his father had an abiding love for him. Still, he would have to make a decision to repent.
Even from a distance, the father saw his son returning and ran to meet him. Instead of belittling the son, the father threw open his arms, welcoming him home with love and forgiveness.
God is our heavenly Father. We all have sinned against Him. However, when we come to Him with a repentant heart, He welcomes us. If the prodigal son had sent someone to speak to his father on his behalf, he may not have been forgiven. He had to ask for his father’s forgiveness himself.
The father of the wayward son was caring, compassionate, patient, long-suffering, slow to anger, and quick to forgive. How much more does our heavenly Father demonstrate these characteristics toward us!
If you have wandered away from God and find yourself alone, “feeding the pigs,” remember that you can go home. Don’t delay; God is waiting for your return.How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1).