The Heart of God
I snapped yesterday. We were going through a lesson and I could tell a few had checked out. Yes, I see that off and on throughout the day but this class is different. This group of advanced students is after college credit and the material is too difficult not to be present in both body AND mind daily. I guess I hit some limit yesterday and without any aforethought I was on their case and simply exasperated by those few. Now I wish I had handled the situation better and used more gentleness. Hindsight!
My actions yesterday certainly contradict with those of the Father in the Prodigal Son parable of Luke 15. I love this story Jesus told! The many facets and characters of this story have provided rich material for speakers for years and years. This morning it is the Father’s actions that have my attention. Through his parable, Jesus shows us the heart of God the Father through the actions and attitude he displayed toward both the younger and older sons.
Through the younger son we learn that we are never too far, too low, or too sinful for God to not just accept us but to run to us, lavish us with the gifts of mercy, grace, and love, and give us a place in his family. In the older son, we see a self-righteous person who believes he deserves his place in the family because he follows all the rules. He is angered by his Father’s full acceptance of his sinful brother… not to mention judgmental. Yet even when he spoke angry words to his Father, the Father responded in love. If a student or even one of my children popped off to me like the older son did to his Father, my reaction would most certainly not be the love and patience the Father displayed. Yes, I know this means I need the Fruit of the Spirit to keep growing in this flawed gal.
What excited me the most about the Father’s actions is the fact that I have played both roles- the younger son and the older. I’ve made poor choices and tried to do things my own way and ended up running back to fall at the feet of my Father. I’ve also been one to follow the rules and be bothered by those who didn’t. No, that’s not the exciting part… the exciting part is how the Father always covers me with his love, grace, and mercy! How he is ever patient with me! How he even goes on to want to use this flawed gal in his kingdom work! I’m overwhelmed!
My mind is already at work about that class from yesterday. How can I go in today and be more like the Father’s example? God guide me please. Rework me from the inside out! I want others to catch a glimpse of you when they see me!
Thank you, Lord, for the many truths revealed in this parable. Thank you, Jesus, for giving us a glimpse of the heart of God. Holy Spirit, make me more Christ-like today. Amen!