A long way off

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20

Ever go to the lost and found, only to find something that was lost, and have a renewed joy over it?  It gives a reason to celebrate! Luke 15 gives many parables of things lost and returned.  The lost coin, the lost sheep, and the lost son all have a similar lesson.  No matter how far you go from God, there is always a road back, and God is always waiting there with open arms.

The prodigal son became bored with his life, and decided to take his inheritance and, “live.”  As Christians we naturally take the safe narrow road.  But sometimes our carnality tempts us to seek out other avenues.  We have to work to keep our relationship with God refreshed, so that we do not become complacent. Sometimes we take for granted the simple things that God gives us, and the protection He provides us from the world.

Some feel that living for God is nothing but a set of rules. The word of God is there to guide us, and protect us, and in that way we have more freedom than living in the chains of sin. I think the world thus far has proven that the “anything goes” theory does not work. How much better would life be if we all lived by the principles of God? The wages of sin is death, but life in Jesus is eternal.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

The prodigal son quickly learned that things were not greener on the other side of the fence, and he lost everything. The world where he placed his trust had stolen everything from him. When we invest in and stick close to God we are safe. (Proverbs 18:10) Though the prodigal son was a long way off, God wasn’t far behind saying, come on back. God also promises that when we come back He will restore the years the locust have eaten. (Joel 2:25) He was clothed in royalty and a celebration was had.

The prodigal son’s father may have lost his son for a time but he never lost the hope of his return. More importantly, he was waiting there with open arms. He rejoiced more over the return of his lost son, than over the son who had never disobeyed him. Like the lost coin: if you lose one of your coins, and find it, you are going to rejoice more over the one you found. It’s not that he did not love his other son, but was happy to have his lost son home and safe. The heaven’s do the same when a sinner repents and asks God into their life. They are saying, they’ve come home! That is the whole reason for Christianity, is to help save the lost.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?” – Luke 15:4

We sometimes believe we are a long way off, and that the road back will be too far, or too hard so we give up. God’s love is unconditional, and can cover a multitude of sins.  (1 Peter 4:8) He loves nothing more than to see His child come home, and will wait with open arms, and He is never far off. You won’t have to worry about condemnation, it doesn’t matter what you have done, and that is a long list, Jesus will forgive a repentant heart.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1

 “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” – Luke 15:10

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