You're a proven success!
In today's world, that's what you constantly feel you have to do, right?
On the job, among friends, even at home you're always working to win the approval you need.
Working to convince those around you that you deserve the salary, the friendship, and even the love they give you.
Is there any escape?
You better believe there is!
It's called grace.
Unearned and undeserved favour and acceptance.
And there's only one place you can find it--in the heart of God Himself.
There's no better picture of God's grace in action than in the story of the prodigal son.
Few of us today can really feel the impact of that story like those first Jewish listeners Jesus told it to.
You see, by their standards the prodigal son had committed some of the most despicable acts possible.
He'd not only taken advantage of his father and spent his inheritance in riotous living, he'd left the nation of Israel and made covenant with a foreigner--a pig farmer!
That was as low as you could get.
In their eyes-
- that boy's rebellion was so serious his father's only recourse was to disown him.
But that's not what this father did!
He welcomed his repentant son home with open arms.
He offered him grace--unmerited favour--that was based on-
- the father's love rather than the son's performance.
Next time you catch yourself struggling to make up to God for something you've done wrong, working to win His approval, let the story of the prodigal son set you free.
Let it remind you that, in spite of your sins, your Father has received you with open arms. He's put a robe of righteousness on your back and His signet ring on your hand.
He's put the shoes of sonship on your feet!
Do you feel unworthy of all that?
God hasn't based His relationship with you on your worthiness.
He's based it on His love for you.
You don't have to struggle to prove yourself to Him.
As far as He's concerned-
You're a proven success!
[ Reference Scripture ]
Luke 15:11-32 [NIV]
11 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
13 "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20 So he got up and went to his father.
"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.
21 "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
28 "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 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. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
31 " 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "
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