“The Lord’s gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love” - Psalm 145:8 (NIV).
The well told story of the prodigal son, who demanded his share of wealth, left home, squandered everything and having plunged in poverty, suddenly realized he had a home with a loving Father to return to, captures the essence of God’s love (Luke 15:11-32).
The world promotes and practices a different kind of love. For many, love generally has to do with reciprocal relationships- scratch my back and I will scratch yours. And so often we find in many of our personal relations “love” means returning the favour of those who “love” us. But once we find such lacking, our expectations not met; then, it is time to pick up our marbles.
In the Prodigal son’s story we find that the elder son who never left home and kept serving his father, expected that once his brother would light up, the door would be slammed in his face. Perhaps he was even delighted that the prodigal son had left him a wide berth. Yet, to his consternation, the Father received this prodigal son back, with wide arms. This was so, as the son had fallen on his knees in repentance. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (vv 21).
One thing all can agree is God has given us free will to receive or reject him. Daily many are picking up, like the Prodigal son, and abandoning the first love of the creator. But God is not holding that against them. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Today, if you feel you are far from the Lord, or have done something so terrible, do not think God is like man waiting to hold it against you. Once you repent He has His arms spread out and waiting to receive you back home.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, what a privilege to know that we have a Father, willing and ready to receive us, with wide arms, no matter the past, once we come to Him in repentance, and may His name be praised, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!