“. . .But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.”

Luke 15:20b

It seeks. . .it saves. . .it sanitizes (sanctifies). . .and it celebrates.

God’s Grace.

Has there ever been a more beautiful description of Grace-in-Action than the one contained in today’s “Manna”?  Even now, tears likely fill our eyes and gratitude fills our heart as we think of this “Father Who sees us afar off. . .is moved with compassion to run to us, instead of waiting on us to draw near and give an accounting of our wretched waywardness. . .embraces us with a Holy Hug. . .and kisses us with a Holy Kiss.”  Glory!!

Try to picture this scene, Pilgrim, in your mind’s movie-house:

Your younger son, the “apple of your eye,” has been watching too many videos and reading too many travel magazines of “the far country.”  The colorful sights and sounds of that place have captivated his attention and are far more attractive than being “down on the farm”. . . driving a team of mules in the hot sun. . .his feet burning through his shoes from the baked dirt clods beneath his feet. . .as sweat rolls down into his eyes.

One day he comes into your study and you can tell by his demeanor something’s up:

“Dad, I think it’s time to give me my portion of the inheritance.  I know you’re not required to do so until after your death.  But, Dad, I’m all grown up now—and I need to experience life a little.  All my friends have gone off to ‘the far country’ and they’ve written me letters telling me how wonderful it is.  Besides, you’ve got plenty of servants and my older brother to take care of things around here.  So, I’m asking you to give me my portion so I can be on my way.”

At first you’re taken back by this defiant, discourteous demand.  You try reasoning with the young lad, but realize his mind is made up.  You can keep his body down on the farm, but his heart will already be “in that far country.”  So, you let him go.  With tears running down your face, you let him go. . .knowing that he’ll likely “waste all his money with riotous living” and then “begin to be in want” (vv.13-14).

But, such is that nature of “releasing Love.”  It won’t hold us against our will.

Yet, it will continue pursuing us like the “Hound of Heaven”. . .whispering our name on the night-breezes. . .saying “Come Home, my child.  Come Home.”

Then, one day the wayward child “comes to himself” (v.17a), realizing the error of his way and what he’d given up, and “arises to go to the Father” (v.18a).  And, how wonderful the words “And the Father saw him (us) afar off and runs to meet him.”  Hallelujah!!

Oh, dear Pilgrim, long before the world began the Heavenly Father knew our propensity for sinning and our need for a Savior.  So, He sent His best Gift into this world, knowing ahead of time (“seeing afar off”) what would happen to Him; yet, still He “ran to meet us” at the Cross to show how great His Love for us.  And, thankfully, He continues to do that today, regardless of how far we’ve strayed or how much we’ve sinned.  Aren’t you glad?  Rest and rejoice in that Grace.  Then, do what you can to help turn others’ hearts toward Home.  He’s waiting.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated December 15, 2009

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