God Ran

So this is my first blog of 2022! 

Sitting here in the first week of the new year and I’m all kinds of excited for what God has in store this year!

I know we’re in a challenging season but I believe nothing is wasted. God will use everything we’re facing to mature us and build His kingdom.

One thing I’m really excited about is the release of my latest project, “Stories Jesus Told,” a 6-Session Bible study on the parables of Jesus. I take a long look at how Jesus taught using stories, and what those stories teach us about ourselves and about the heart of God. lifeway.com/storiesjesustold

Did you know the longest parable is the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke chapter 15?

It’s one of my absolute favorite stories in the Scriptures.

This story starts out with the son asking his father for his inheritance early. Translation: “I wish you were dead. But since you’re still here could I at least have my money?”

 

Yikes.

 

The father gives his son what he asked for (God never forces himself on anyone.), and the son heads out with his wad of cash and newfound freedom. 

No surprise, the young man with low morals and a sudden influx of cash isn’t wise with financial management (insert pretend shocked face).

So he ends up penniless and starving, eating leftover pig slop, which was significant to a Jewish audience who would’ve regarded pigs as unclean. 

The son couldn’t take it anymore.  He headed back to his Father’s house, head low and tail between his legs. He was rehearsing his speech where he would beg for forgiveness and ask to work alongside his father’s servants, when he saw a figure on the horizon. 

He squinted trying to make out who was coming. It became clear that this person was not walking but RUNNING toward him. In the next moment, he realized the man was his father. He was running, not to have a shouting match full of “I-told-you-so’s,” but running out of pure joy at the sight of his son.

The SAME son who earlier had told his father, “I wish you were dead.” 

We serve a God who RUNS to us in the midst of our greatest failures and even in the midst of overt rejection of Him. So often we feel like God is distant when we fail. But the reality is, the very second our hearts turn back home, He will run to meet us. 

Not walk, RUN.

I love the imagery of the father hiking up his long robe so he could run as fast as his sandals could take him! He’s so in love with his children He becomes completely undignified when we come home. 

I hope and pray you feel, in the deepest parts of your soul, the love of a Father who is crazy about you. He misses you when you’re away and runs to meet you, even if you’ve failed or rejected Him. 

Take just a moment and rest in that love today.

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