The Father’s extravagant love

Matt Whitacre   -  

Have you ever done something stupid?

*raising my own hand* 🙋‍♂️

You get mad over nothing, you don’t follow through on something you said you would do, you say a few words in traffic while you’re running late for work that you wish you could take back… We’ve all been there. And we promise ourselves that we will NEVER let it happen again. And then… it happens again, and again, and again. And it seems like God will never forgive you.

It’s so easy to let our failures and our mistakes build up until they become, to us, the definition of ourselves. I’m sure the prodigal son was at this same point too (Luke 15).


I loved pastor’s sermon last weekend about the prodigal father (If you missed it, you can watch it HERE). He talked about how there was a father with two sons. One of them went rogue by every definition of the word. He decided to completely forsake the life, the security, and the love that his father had for him. He completely ruined his life by the choices he made. He could not stop messing up! But the amazing thing is, when he finally DID come to his senses, when he decided to return home and ask his father for forgiveness, the father responds in a way that I think takes everyone by surprise!

Take a peak at the passage from Luke 15 below…

17 But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”

Isn’t that amazing? I never really understood how a father could respond like this—if I’m being honest, I never really understood how God could receive ME like this. Every time I mess up, every time I sin, every time I fail, God is always waiting for me to return to Him with open arms!

Recently Lindsey and I had our first baby girl (her name is Reagan and she is AMAZING). From the first time I held her, I gained a new perspective of God. If I, as an imperfect human father, could love her as much as I do, how much more does my Heavenly father love me? It is astonishing the love you feel for your child—but there is no word in any language that can describe the magnitude of God’s love for us.

So yes, it is discouraging when we mess up—and it should be to a degree! But take solace in knowing that God will always be ready to receive you and forgive you, and continue loving you and giving you His best!

And while God’s intention is not for us to keep on sinning… His grace? His grace is enough to wash away any burden we could ever carry.

It’s just like me to give up on myself and define myself by my failures, but it’s just like God to forgive me, love me, and receive me as SO loved again and again.


“Run to the Father” is a song by Cody Carnes that has ministered to me and a few of our other worship leaders in our times of failure and defeat. I’ve linked it below and I pray it can minister to you as well!

 

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