“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
You know the story of the prodigal son? In the world of sermons, devotions, and Young Life talks, it’s a classic. But let’s review.
A man has two sons and the younger of the two comes to his father asking for his inheritance. The father gives it to him and the youngest takes it, turns his back on his home and family, and wastefully spends every penny. He pretty much hits rock bottom and finds himself sleeping with pigs, literally. So what does he do?
He returns home, not sure what to expect and he is greeted with his father running to him and embracing him. Oh and it gets even better. His father then says to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:22-24). I think sometimes upon hearing the parable of the lost son, we think, “Wow, what a great story, but we don’t see it as a reality for ourselves.”
It might be because, amongst humans, we experience making a mistake and then having to pay for it—either through being ignored, someone holding a grudge, receiving a punishment, or being judged. Furthermore, we are all sinners here. So although we should both give and receive grace and forgiveness when we or someone else has messed up, we don’t always choose to.
When we live in a world that fluctuates on whether or not we deserve grace and forgiveness, then these gifts that God has given us can begin to turn into concepts reserved strictly for stories such as the prodigal son, not something to be a part of our daily lives. But that is such a lie, and there is so much evidence in the Bible and in each of our lives that speaks against it.
Take John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Knowing all the wrong that we had done and had yet to have done, God sent His only Son to die on the cross and save us. The ultimate gift of forgiveness and grace.
And why? Because He loves us that much. He loves us so much, “That neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Yep, I think he covered all of the bases.
God loves us more than we can possibly fathom, even when we turn our backs on Him or go astray. And when we realize our wrong and turn around to come home to Him, He runs to us with open arms. Then He and all of the angels in Heaven celebrate. For we were lost, but now are found. It’s the truth and it’s a reality.