Nothing_512_512For my daily devotions, I’ve been reading the book of Luke. I’ve always loved the book of Luke. Love the details of Jesus’ life he chose to focus on. And lately, I’m loving Jesus’ parable of the Lost or Prodigal Son. At some point, I’ll write about this entire passage of scripture but for now, I wanted to focus on just one piece of the story that really struck me about the character of God.

Here’s a quick recap of what’s happened. A young man asks his father to give him his share of his inheritance because he’s unhappy. His father agrees and the son takes his money and runs — literally. He leaves home, spends all his cash carelessly and ends up working as pig hand on a farm. He realizes he’s made a huge mistake, that he has offended God and his father and needs to go home and ask to be forgiven. He heads home and before he can even get close to the house, his father runs out ot greet him. And this is where God demonstrates how amazing He is. Luke 15:22-24 shares this:

“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. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

In this story, the father represents the Lord and how He responds to us when we return to Him after having been very far away. He rejoices! He celebrates! He throws a party! And you know what? He does it before we’ve done anything to merit all the hoopla. We’ve done nothing at this point. Nothing to show we’re sorry. Nothing to earn such a party. Nothing that shows Him we’re not ever going to do it again. The only thing that matters to Him is that we are sincerely sorry, that we want to live differently and that we’ve come home. That’s it — nothing else!

When I think about the son in this story, I have to believe that he was left speechless that his dad would throw a party just because he came home. At that point, he had done nothing but cause heartache for himself and his family. But his dad didn’t see it that way. His son was home and that’s what mattered. The Lord is that way, too.

I love that the Lord never makes me prove that I’m worthy of His celebration. The fact that I’ve chosen Him over my sin is enough to make His heart happy. He knows that I will fail in life, that there will be times when my choices won’t please Him. But He’s always ready to welcome me home, to cheer my return to Him. It can be hard to remember that when I need to. But remember it I must. So that if I find myself far away, I won’t worry about proving myself but can focus on pleasing Him.