Classifieds | Place a class ad | PDF Edition | Home Delivery
By BARBARA BROWN
There seems to be a lot of confusion and pain in our world today. I don’t know anybody who has succeeded in escaping trouble and sorrow. I’ve had my share of suffering, that’s for sure. But in my times of distress I have found my Lord does not leave me; I am never alone. His word reveals that he is always attentive; he is looking for those who will trust in his promises. He loves us and leads us, if we will follow. And this is what he wants us to know:
God our maker relates to us as a father who longs to be reunited with his children. He sent his greatly loved son to us to prepare the way for our reconciliation. One day, Jesus clearly illustrated God’s highest interest in us through the story of the (wayward) prodigal son. When the son declared he wanted nothing to do with his father, he broke relationship with the only person who truly cared about him. He spent all his inheritance foolishly, with greedy “friends” who only loved his money. He lived as an orphan, fatherless and disconnected. He removed himself from a loving father who wanted what was best for him.
But then Jesus gave a shocking end to the story which reveals the magnitude of father God’s love for us! The affectionate father did not give up on his son! Although his child seemed dead to the family, the father hoped he would one day see him alive again! And so, he set himself in anticipation to watch for his son’s return. He was totally prepared to forgive and take his son back into relationship with him.
Jesus spoke in this way to teach us to hope for a renewed relationship with father God. Jesus knew he was destined to reconcile us to God, by taking our punishment upon the cross. When we accept this substitution, this act of innocence taking the place of the guilty, we become born (from above) into the family of God. We gain a new identity, springing forth from a renewed relationship with the father, through his dearly beloved son, Jesus.
“Behold, what manner of love the father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God!” 1 John 3:1
Barbara Brown is a member of the ministry team at the Lighthouse Church of God.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.