The most famous story Jesus ever told was all about our struggle to receive the Father’s grace and love. One son insists he isn’t worthy of such kindness. The other argues that loyalty and self-sacrifice should count for more than grace in the father’s economy. Each wants a different status than his father is bestowing. But God’s family is founded on His gift of grace, not on our faithfulness or service. Receiving what Jesus is still offering requires we surrender all our notions of unworthiness or value. Neither “wandering in a far country” nor “staying at home” prepares us to accept a gift that isn’t bound to our behavior. You cannot earn the Father’s love: you cannot lose the Father’s love. Allow yourself a great embrace. Receive His love. Then stay in grace. -Bill Knott
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