Luke 15:7 – “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Have you ever felt so dirty and nasty that you can’t do anything? Like after you’ve just worked out and you know you smell bad, you don’t want to get too close to anyone. Do you ever feel that way in your life? Like you’re too dirty, too stained, too broken to ever be close to God…to ever be used by God…to ever be clean and good and whole.
No one is too dirty to come to God.
It reminds me of an illustration I read one time. A father came home from work and saw his little daughter who had been playing in the mud outside. He said to her, “Honey, you’re pretty dirty.” And in her childish way she replied, “Yes, I know daddy, but I’m prettier clean.”
It doesn’t matter how dirty our kids get, we will still love them and draw them near. BUT we also love them enough to be willing to hose them down, even though the dirt doesn’t diminish our love for them. When we think of God as our Father, we realize the love He has for His children is similar. God loves us as we are but loves us too much to leave us as we are.
Jesus taught this beautifully in the parable of the prodigal son. If anyone felt worthless and dirty and too far gone, it was the prodigal son. He spent all his inheritance only to end up eating food reserved for pigs. If that’s not hitting rock bottom, I don’t know what is. But when the son decided to come home again, before he was all cleaned up, his father came running towards him to embrace him and welcome him back. Then the father held a big feast in celebration of his son’s return.
No one is too far gone to come back home.
The parable of the prodigal son stands as a beacon of hope to the broken, hurting, bruised, and fallen men and women who look in the mirror and think, “There is no hope for me.” There IS hope for you. It is in God’s grace. And it is free.
God has been calling out for wanderers to come back to Him since the beginning. When Adam and Eve hid from Him because of their sin, even though He knew where they were, He called out to them by name. He called them to Himself. He knows that in Him is where real life is to be found. He met them in their brokenness, making fig leaves to cover their shame. They brought sin into the world, and still, they weren’t too far gone. Neither are you. You can always come home again.
Channing Gillespie makes known these grace-filled truths in his song “Come Home Again,” reminding you and me that “There’s abundant forgiveness, and the promise of hope. Grace will come meet you at the end of the road. I know you’re tired of feeling that you’re all alone. The voice of the Father is calling you home.”
You can stop running. Come home again. The Father is waiting for you with open arms.
Channing and Jacob will be partnering again for the second annual NIGHT OF HOPE on September 25. Tickets have been graciously paid for by the community for the first 100 to register. We would love for you to be a part of this inspirational night of lecture, testimony, and songs of hope.
View all five devotionals here.