Discover His heart: He offers one more call, one more chance to come to Him
One of the most loved parables of Jesus is that of the Prodigal Son, the wayward son who left home with his inheritance and spent it on wild living. When the money was gone and food was scarce, the careless young man decided to return home to his father where he knew even the servants were living better than he was.
The story goes on to give a vivid picture of God’s mercy and grace toward His children, “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20) I’m fairly certain the father watched for his son every day because he wasn’t taken by surprise at his return, he saw him coming. He was waiting for him, looking for his return home, just like God was waiting for the children of Israel to return home to Him in our reading today.
@ Amos 5
“Now this is what the Lord says to the family of Israel: ‘Come back to me and live! Don’t worship at the pagan altars at Bethel; don’t go to the shrines at Gilgal or Beersheba…Come back to the Lord and live!’” (4-6) God was waiting for His children to return home to Him, one more call, one more chance to come to their senses and return home. Amos, the simple shepherd from outside of Bethlehem, prophesied over and over again that judgment was coming to this wayward nation because they sought other gods from other nations.
Twenty years later, Isaiah would call for Israel’s repentance and for their return to God with one more call, one more chance, “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life…Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:3,6) But as we know from scripture, Israel would not return home like the Prodigal Son to their awaiting Father.
The Father’s invitation to come has been extended throughout the ages to any and all, and He is still making His appeal today through those of us who will share it, “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:19-20) He is still waiting for His children to return home to Him, one more call, one more chance because, like the Prodigal’s father, He is filled with love and compassion, ready to embrace all who will come.
Moving Forward: Reminded once again of His great love for His lost children, I will continue to make the appeal for Him to those who have lost their way, Come back to the Lord and live! Come back to God!
Tomorrow @ John 19-21