Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Standing In the Gap - September 28, 2010

Luke 15:13-20 (New International Version)
13"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20So he got up and went to his father.

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."

Acts 2:38-39 (New American Standard Bible)
38Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

39"For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself."

Ephesians 2:13 (New American Standard Bible)
13But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

There was a time in our lives that we stood far away from God. We made the conscious decision to go our own way. We chose to jump into the "world" with both feet and indulge ourselves in everything it had to offer. In choosing our own way we exposed ourselves to the good and the bad. In doing so, we drove ourselves further and further from God, falling deeper and deeper into the "pit" of sin and trouble that we dug. We soon found ourselves in the same desparate situation as the younger son above.

The portion of the parable found above and told by Jesus is meant to tell us about the heart and attitude of God. When we read, "while he was still a long way off...", we understand how God really feels about us. He sees us when we are far from Him and a "long way off", and because of His desire that none of us would perish, He sent Jesus Christ to stand in the gap for us by dying on the cross in our place.

Jesus bridges that gap, that canyon, the chasm that we create through our sin, that separates us from the Father. With his outstretched arms he reaches out to us, and He is our ultimate Savior that draws us close to God. You might be in this very situation. You might feel like you are far away from God. This doesn't mean that you have to stay there. Like the younger son, you need to come to your senses.

No matter what you have done, your Father in heaven is waiting to "throw His arms" around you. Make that decision today and accept the gift of salvation given through Jesus Christ.

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