We are so busy trying to work for God, we are so busying trying to love God.
And yet ... what can we offer Him?
What do we really have of ourselves?
We are so busy trying to serve Him (like the elder son in the Luke 15 parable of the Loving Father), that we frustrate His grace!
Do we really think we can offer anything to anyone if we are trying to do, when we don't realize that Jesus has done everything, and that he wants His life to flow in us?
Let's take another look at the three parables in Luke 15.
The parable of the Good Shepherd:
"And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Luke 15:3-7)
WOW! This is something else.
Most shepherds would let the one sheep go, just as long as they have the other 99 sheep secured.
But Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is not like that. He does not want one to be lost. Besides. He is such a good shepherd, that even the 99 held back are in good hands and perfect security! That's what a great shepherd He is!
But He doesn't just find us -- He throws a big party for us. And it was our own fault that we got lost!
Think about David's admission!
" Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." (Psalm 23:4-5)
Notice that the fourth verse begins with "Yea, though I walk through the valley ..." It was our fault. We went into that dark place, but He is with us. In fact, in those dark times, especially when they are our own fault, we look to Him and call upon Him directly.
Then, notice that party that He throws for us!
"Thou preparest a table before me ..."
Not only that, but those who had oppressed us .. they have to watch us celebrate, too!
"In the presence of mine enemies."
In the midst of this, we have to ask ourselves: "How did the sheep repent",since Jesus there is such joy over one sins who repents.
The sheep repented when he consented .. to be carried. The shepherd picked him up and restored him before all the other sheep. That is repentance, that you let the Loving Shepherd love you.
Think about the Parable of the Diligent Woman:
"Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." (Luke 15:8-10)
What did the coin do to be considered a "repenting coin"?
The coin was picked up, and the coin rested and allowed the woman to rejoice!
Will you just let Him love you and rejoice over you?
And how about the Parable of the Loving Father? (Luke 15: 11-32)
This Father was searching for his son, even after he had demanded his inheritance, basically telling the father to drop dead.
The prodigal had wasted--threw it away!--his inheritance on empty pursuits and wild living. He had been reduced to feeding pigs--PIGS! That's as low as it gets for a Jewish audience.
He stunk, he was poor, he had nothing, and in spite of all of this, this prodigal went back to his father to take advantage of his kindness. Any law-abiding Jew would have dragged such a dishonorable son before the high priest and have him stoned (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
But this son knew the heart of his father -- and this father lavished all the more love on his son! The son was restored fully. The son received a great inheritance. The father threw a big party for his son, too!
(For the record, those people who despise grace or fear that it will corrupt people -- does anyone really think that the son would go back to the pigs? Go back to the pits?! NOT ME!)
True repentance is not just coming to Him, not just coming home, but letting the Lord lavish His love on you!
SO STOP FIGHTING HIM! Even the prodigal knew enough to let his father love him. He could not get through his rehearsed speech!
Stop begging, bartering, fighting with your Daddy God. Let Him Love You!