I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had a thought that might encourage someone so I decided to send it out. May you ever be encouraged by the love of God.
It has been my personal experience and my experience in counseling that many people have difficulty really believing that God loves them. This is often because of their past. They may have done things that they feel make them unworthy to receive God’s love. Though they are Christians they have not fully appropriated the work of the cross. They still carry the burdens of self-condemnation, guilt, shame, and regret. I was thinking about this as I prepared my Sunday message and the prodigal son came to mind. We have all heard it preached various and sundry ways, but I felt the Lord was giving me a fresh application. Think about this for a moment; the prodigal son spent his inheritance in riotous living. He consumed his living with harlots and on a life of debauchery. As wicked as he had been, living totally contrary to the things he had been taught, he finally came to his senses and returned home content to be just a servant in his father’s home. When the father saw him, he ran and embraced him even before he could speak his prerehearsed speech of repentance.
I’m just thinking as I write and here’s what comes to mind:
Because of his wickedness, he could no longer perceive himself as a son. The guilt he bore caused him to be willing to settle for being a lowly servant instead of a son. He did not understand the love of his father. He felt he could never again have an intimate relationship with the father.
The good news is that regardless of what he had done, his father still loved him. In fact, when he was doing his worst the father never stopped loving him.
It was God’s love that put Jesus on the cross and His sacrifice was sufficient to cover what ever you have done. If you are still carrying guilt and shame, it may be unrecognized by you, but you are still trying to pay a debt that was fully paid. When He said it was finished, it was. It is time you took condemnation, guilt, shame, and regret to the cross and received the Father’s embrace. He loves you and He desires intimacy with you.
As the old song says, “The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell. It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell.” Of faith, hope, and love the greatest is love. Hope sustains us; faith will make you an overcomer, but love will make you more than a conqueror. Nothing can separate us from the love of God and today God wants you to hear His words,”I love you.”
I know many of you are secure in God’s love and I praise the Lord for that, but there are still many who need those yokes broken off to receive His yoke. May God’s richest blessing be yours and may you know the height, depth, and breadth of His love.