Close

Unconditional Love

Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Humanity tends to project its own faulty habits onto God. Consider how God’s love is often seen: Many people assume we must barter, plead, or try hard to earn the Lord’s favor. But as the Prodigal Son learned, the Father’s love is unconditional.
The wayward boy returned home, not expecting to be loved as before; all he hoped for was a place among the family’s servants. Imagine the son’s delight at his dad’s greeting of a hug and a celebration. The boy’s actions surely didn’t merit an outpouring of affection, but Jesus’ parable is all about a Father who doesn’t give people what they deserve.
A love based on conduct would keep people wondering, Have I done enough? Instead, God cares for you simply because you’re you, and He expects nothing in return. Consider the Prodigal’s life after his homecoming party. He didn’t move into the servants’ quarters and go to work. He was reinstated to his place as the second son of a wealthy man, with all of the privilege that entails.
In the same way, believers are the Lord’s cherished children.
2 Corinthians 6:18 says: “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
When God looks at His loved ones, He doesn’t focus on their past failures, faults, or sins. He sees the heirs to His kingdom, men and women who love Him and desire to spend eternity in His presence.
No matter how far we may wander from the Lord’s perfect will for our lives, we are always welcome back. The Bible teaches that God’s love cannot be lost, regardless of sin or poor decisions (though we may have to live with the consequences). Our Father’s arms are always open.
by Denise McDowell

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *