“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
See 1 John 3:1
God the Father is relentlessly pursuing you. That is, if you don’t believe in Jesus. God the Father is relentlessly loving you. That is, if you believe in Jesus.
When Christ was killed on the Cross, Satan celebrated. I can almost hear him, with both fists raised high above his head, “Yes! He’s dead! What will God do now? Send another Messiah?! They will kill Him too! Hahaha! THIS IS SO GREAT! These sins have to be punished, and this Messiah, who was meant to take away the sin of the world, is dead!”
Little did he know, God’s loving plan for all of humanity would be buttoned up three days later. The sin of the world was being taken away, through Jesus’ own blood. The Father was making a way for Himself to become one with all who would believe. It was His love that caused Jesus to be sent here in the first place:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God the Father is bigger than the Bible. Yes, the Bible is His words written through the hand of man, but not everyone will read a Bible or listen to a preacher. That doesn’t matter. Our Father still pursues every human being. He finds a way–He makes a way–for us to know He’s real.
This started out with the Jews. The Jews looked to signs and wonders for reasons to believe, so that’s exactly what Jesus gave to them. Muslims look to their dreams as the crown jewel of enlightenment. For this reason, Jesus is appearing to those who follow Islam, as they sleep, in unprecedented levels. Many are turning from Mohammed and Allah, to Christ, due to seeing Jesus in visions.
The Father makes a way. The Father never gives up on us. And once we turn to Him–once we believe Jesus is His Son who forgave us–we become a permanent member of His family and nothing can change this…not even us. Just the same as your flesh cannot be unborn from your earthly father, your spirit cannot be unborn from your Heavenly Father. You are born. Birth cannot be undone.
There is a story in the Bible Jesus tells about two sons and a father. Although it’s about two different sons, it’s famously named, The Prodigal Son. Those actual words are not in the Bible, but people have called it that. The self-righteous folk lean in closely on the behavior of one of these sons, but not so much on the other.
Another title the publishers have put before this passage is, The Parable of the Lost Son. But which son was truly lost? Which son did not know the father?
In Luke 15, the story goes as such. A father has two grown sons, one of them asks for his inheritance before the father has even died–and he actually gives it to him. It doesn’t say whether or not the other son got his inheritance at the same time, but if one did, I’m sure the other would have as well.
After the father gave it to him, he took off to foreign lands, living lavishly, partying, and spending money on sex. Soon enough, he didn’t have a dime to his name but was too full of shame to go back home. Instead, the man got a job cleaning up after farm animals. Jesus said, “He was so hungry, he longed to eat the food of the pigs” (see Luke 15:16).
Finally, he had a come-to moment. “I know what I’ll do! I’ll go back home and ask Dad to hire me! I know exactly what I’ll say! ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants'” (see Luke 15:17-20).
Coming up the road with his head hung low, the father saw him from far off. Did he turn away in disgust? Did the father send someone to see if he had “truly” repented of all his mistakes? Did his dad sit back and wait for him to prove himself worthy?…No. No he did not.
He ran. He ran toward his son as fast as he possibly could.
He squeezed his son with all of his might, bursting into tears of joy.
The son had never stopped being his son. The son’s poor choices and disrespect for the father never stopped the father from loving him–it never made him not his son. The son’s squandering of his inheritance and living in a manner not becoming of his lineage still could not cause him to be un-born from his father. The whole time, he was still family. His actions never changed his identity.
The father was waiting all along, for him to realize this. As he waited, nothing his son could have done, would have ever been able to change his unconditional love for him.
The father threw a party to celebrate! However, his other son was not happy about his excitement. Born into the family just like his brother who had made bad choices–yet forgot who he was–this son, “the good one” was mad and jealous as can be:
The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!” (Luke 15:28-30)
Do you see it?…Who was the real lost son? Who didn’t truly know the family to which he was born? Who never came to understand the authentic character of his father? Who had no idea about the unconditional love of his very own parent? Who was it that didn’t know Dad would never give up on any of his kids, no matter their behavior?
Was it the son who ran away from home, or was it the one who stayed home?…It was both. Neither son knew just how deep and wide their father’s love for them actually was. They couldn’t fathom such a love! Even though they were born into it, even though they could never change it, it was too great of a love to understand.
So today, my friends, know this: Father God will never give up on you. If you haven’t believed in Jesus’ forgiveness just yet, He is hard at work giving you opportunities to do so. No, it’s not truly hard for Him; and it’s not really work–but He is very active in your life, calling you to believe. Friend, believe. Dad wants you to be forgiven so you can spend eternity with us, starting right now. And if you have believed in Jesus as your Savior, once, you will never be able to change, sustain, increase or decrease the Father’s love for you. He loves you because He loves you. You’ve been born into His family, you are His child, and you will never be able to fully understand His love. His love is as expansive as the cosmos. Even in a trillion years, you’ll still be going deeper, and deeper, into it.
A prayer for you: Father, I love you. I don’t even know what else I can possibly type to express my love for you, as my Dad. Your commitment to me makes me choke up nearly every time I think about it. I know you can feel how grateful I am–how proud I am to be in you, and you in me. If there is anything I can do to show you just how much I love you, reveal it to me and I’ll do it. Keep taking me deeper into your love. Teach me more and more about it each day. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. So many of them have been lied to about you. They’ve been told that their behavior or thoughts can cause them to be un-born from our family–reveal how untrue this is. Today, give them a new revelation of what you’ve done for us through Jesus. Open up their minds to the truth of how everlasting your love is for your children. And for the unbeliever, let them know the same. The offer is on the table, and it’s a good deal. All they gotta do is believe they need to be forgiven by Jesus, and they are. Grace and faith were such great ideas, Dad. Thank you for both. Thank you for everything. Amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 3. Get your copy here!