When I was a kid, we used to call them “do-overs.” Everyone needs a do-over once in awhile. We’re human and we mess up; we need those clean slates handed down to us occasionally.
In Luke 15, the chapter begins with the tax collectors and sinners all gathering near Jesus. And the Pharisees began to scoff about how Jesus would lower himself to spend time with such lowly people. In response, Jesus began to tell stories. I love stories so much; I wish I could have been at his feet to listen, don’t you?
Anyways, Jesus told two stories and then came to a third one- the one I’m hoping you’ll remember today. The story was about a father and son. The son lived happily in his father’s home, well cared-for and loved, without a single need. But he decided to go squander his inheritance and live a little. When all his money faded and all his popularity was gone, he found himself job-hunting. The job hunt landed him a job feeding pigs, where he was actually so hungry that he wished he could have some of what the pigs were eating. I think we would call this rock-bottom today.
This dude had messed up royally and needed a do-over in the worst way! When he came to his senses, he said, “You know, my father is a good man. He loves me and he will take me back- I know he will. I don’t deserve it, but I can be his servant. That’s what I’ll do- I’m going home.”
And now comes my favorite part of the story. Before the son could ever even make it home, Luke 15:20 says:
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
You see that’s what happens when you love someone. You don’t wait for them to get all the way home before you accept their humble apology with nose in the air. You don’t even stand at the doorway jumping and waving.
Mercy watches and glances and looks for shadows of hope.
Mercy doesn’t just keep running shoes by the door.
Mercy wears the running shoes all day, just in case the need would arise to run towards someone coming home.
Mercy extends love when all the lovely has been erased.
Today I’m giving away one of my VERY favorite children’s books. I chose it specifically for today, Valentine’s Day, because I’m guessing that someone reading this article today needs to put the running shoes on.
Either to run back home. Or run to a loved one who is returning.
“I Love You No Matter What” is a super sweet children’s book that tells the same story as above- that of the prodigal son. Because children need to know they are loved by Mommy and Daddy no matter what.
Can I tell you though, that this book is not just for kids in my opinion? All KINDS of people in the world need to know that they are loved. Because the world is broken and messy and in need of God’s love.
So it doesn’t matter to me who you enter to win this book for. It could be your grandpa who is in a nursing home. Maybe your grown son who needs to know that Mom and Dad still love him no matter what.
Whoever it is, I’m praying that they come home and know that they are loved …
no matter what.
Do you have someone in mind that needs to know they are loved no matter what?
I’d love to pray for them today if you’ll tell me about them in the comments. Comments will only be open for those who need prayer and not part of the giveaway today.
Follow the Rafflecopter to enter to win the book and leave today knowing that God loves you no matter what!
PS: You can order the book HERE.
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