Monday, March 23, 2015

Grace Runs Towards

"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."  Luke 15:20

"Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing...But he was angry and would not go in.  Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him."  Luke 15:25, 28.  

Both of the verses above are found in Luke 15 in the story of the prodigal son.  If you haven't read the story before, I encourage you to go read Luke 15:11-32 now and then come back.  We'll wait.{smile}

Great story.  The first son had squandered away all his inheritance, he turned his back on his father and family and decided to live only for himself.  The second son stayed at home, was in sense "a good boy" and worked hard on the farm.

Who sinned?  Did the first son sin who wasted all he had on foolish living?  Did the second son sin who worked hard for his father?  Yes.  And Yes.

Both sons sinned.  In Romans 3:10, it says, "There is no one righteous, no not one."

Both sons were in need of grace.  So, let me ask you some questions...

Who is the Father for in this passage?  Who does the Father care more about?

The answer:  Both.

The Father is not for one of His sons and against another.  He is for both.  He desires both.

The body of Christ is not in competition with each other.  The second son in the passage made the mistake of thinking that if his father was for his first son, then he was somehow being robbed.

Not so.

And what I found so incredibly beautiful is how the father ran to both sons.

It says in the passage the father ran to his son even when he was still a great way off.  The Father will run to His sons and daughters even when they are still a great way off.   Grace runs towards.

And when the second son was also in sin and angry (and most likely self-righteous, prideful and jealous), the father didn't abandon him either.  "His father came out [to him] and pleaded with him." Grace moved toward this son as well.

Grace runs towards. 

What I want to point out in these verses is how in both cases the father moved towards his sons even when they were struggling with sin.

As Christians, I think we are sometimes afraid of those we see who are struggling with sin.  Maybe we are afraid we will "catch" the sin like a disease.  Or maybe we don't want to associate ourselves with those in sin in fear of what people like think of us.  Or maybe we are just full of self-righteousness and pride like the second son and think we are better than our brother.  Ouch.

The Bible does clearly warn us to be careful when attempting to restore a brother who has been in sin so we don't fall into temptation (Galations 6:1), however, it is only saying that to remind you that you too are prone to sin and no better than your brother.

If we can truly look at others with the eyes of grace, realizing that we are not better than others, I think we would be able to run towards our brothers with grace with open arms and loving hearts.

To abandon one when they are weak or in sin is to misunderstand the heart of God.  Grace runs towards the broken and lost.  

I am speaking to myself as well here.  I need this.  All I know is that when I was in the depth of sin, there was no one running toward me.  All I felt were people pushing me away.  How beautiful it would have been to have felt the loving breeze of grace running towards me in my greatest time of need.  I pray I would remember and be that breeze of grace for others.

Today, I want to encourage you to run towards someone.  Be that breeze of grace.  It may be just the breeze they need to lead them back to the Father.

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