How much more of this grace stuff is there? You can't possibly understand what I have gone through. The pain, disappointment and betrayal I have experienced. I mean, when is enough, ENOUGH?
Well, maybe after you have paid your penance, that I have determined will suffice. Perhaps, after you have put in your time. Wear that sack cloth just a little while longer.
All of this adult 'time out' seems an appropriate price to pay, doesn't it?
Until we are asked to pay it. The thing is, with Christ, we aren't ever asked to pay it.
How grace responds
We experience true freedom when we realize that as we have received, we can give. God is the one who doles out justice. He promises we will reap what we sow. It is a law of the universe. We don't have to go looking to make others pay for their mistakes. They will have their own consequences to deal with, naturally.
When the prodigal son returned home and his father threw him a party, his brother was a bit perturbed. He didn't understand how his brother could 'get away' with how he had treated his father and their family. What he was not aware of were 1. the consequences the prodigal had already faced while in the 'far country;' and 2. his father would have thrown him a party if he had run away too.
Grace is available for everyone, not just the good brothers and not just the prodigals...because we are all shameful prodigals and we have all been self-righteous 'good brothers'.
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. ~Romans 3:22-24
The prodigal son, essentially, wanted his father to die. Isn't that usually when you receive an inheritance, after someone has died? He asked for it while his father was still alive.
The older brother wanted his prodigal brother to pay. He was jealous. The grace their father showed exposed his own heart. He was focused more on what his brother had done wrong, than the fact that he had finally done something right and returned.
A son tells his father he wants him dead and the father throws him a party? That is how we often want to view this story. That's not really what happened.
A son told his father he wanted him dead. A son ran away with out another word to his family. A son rebelled and went wild. A father didn't know if his son was dead or alive. A son lost everything. A son was humiliated. A son was broken. A son came home.
A son came home...and a father rejoiced.
The gracious heart is filled with compassion and wisdom. The resentful heart is immature. The resentful heart doesn't realize its standing before the Father.
The gracious heart operates with understanding.
Do a heart check. Have you forgotten where you stand with the Father? He wants to throw you a party too.
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