But the father said to his servants, “Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” And they began to celebrate. —Luke 15:22-24
The story of the prodigal son has a great ending. The father is so fired up. Can you picture the tears streaming down his face as he runs to meet his son on the road and welcome him home? Imagine the smile that doesn’t go away. Follow his almost frantic orders for the servants to clean up the son, put a new outfit on him, and cook a feast for the coming home party. Can you put yourself in the place of that father? Have you been in that son’s muddy and worn-out sandals?
That incredible and undeserved love is how God feels about you. No matter where you have been or what you have done—God loves you like the prodigal’s father loved him. Life will never really turn around until you accept that reality. He loves you with an everlasting love beyond what words can describe.
But you have to choose it—you need to act on it. Like the prodigal son, get out of the pigsty, leave it in the rearview mirror and come home. The Father is waiting for you. He is watching for you. He is longing for you. Life will only make sense when you are in His embrace. No one can make this choice for you.
Will you receive God’s love for you or will you turn away? The prodigal repented in the pigsty and his journey home was an act of repentance. But faced with his father’s unexpected welcome, his final choice had to be to receive his father’s unconditional love. He couldn’t buy back or earn back his father’s acceptance; he had to receive his father’s love as a priceless gift. That’s the same choice our heavenly Father tenderly offers you.
You didn’t earn His love and don’t deserve it any more than the prodigal did. Best of all, you don’t need to. This love comes from God Himself, who paid for your sin through the death of His Son Jesus on the cross. Now He waits for your response.
Choose to drink from God’s love deeply. Dive into its bottomless depths, stay under until you can’t contain it anymore, then burst from the surface and shout to the world, “There’s a God who loves me—and I choose to receive it!”
How wonderful to celebrate Christmas this year by accepting the love God showed you in sending His Son—or to realize that though you made that choice, you’ve let it slide into the background. It’s time to experience the glory of your heavenly Father’s amazing love. It doesn’t matter what other people may say or think. It’s time to come home. Choose to receive God’s love for you. That choice will change your life.
How has your choice about God’s love to this point affected you?
In what ways do you plan to celebrate God’s love for you this Christmas?
Lord, thank You for loving me. I realize I may emphasize wanting to feel that love instead of settling the matter by faith and accepting the fact that You love me whether I feel it or not. Forgive my moments of doubt and remind me that You continue to love me even then. Thank You that Your love never fails. Please let me live within that truth this day. In Jesus’ name, amen.