CONTRASTING THOUGHTS

Evening approaches. The colors of sunset bathe the sky. Pinks and purples, oranges and blues. A Father stands at the edge of his property. He raises a hand to his forehead, a shield against the disappointing day’s end.

Look with him as he scans the road. This disheartened man. Hope dims as he searches high and lo, far and wide…

…The prodigal son went from his father’s house. He wanted to taste the world. To see what he’d missed while living in a lavish place with abundance and love. (Luke 15:11)

When we reflect on those statements, this young man doesn’t seem to be the brightest tool in the box. Isn’t that what we’re all striving for? To live on Easy Street, have all of our needs and even our wants supplied while we bask in the sunshine without lifting a finger?

It took a pigpen experience for this young man to hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit, the tug of conviction that gently yet radically changed his life. That drew him back to his father’s house.

CONVICTIONDraws us to the Lord. Originator? The Holy Spirit, reaching with grace and love, imploring us to yield to God our Father so we can receive from His vast supply.

But the young man’s brother advocated condemnation. His runaway sibling was guilty as charged and deserved punishment.

CONDEMNATION Pushes us away from God. Originator? You guessed right! Our enemy who’s come to kill, steal, and destroy.

“When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay for his time, that is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award—yet receives such a gift anyway—that is a good picture of God’s unmerited favor. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.” (Bible.org)

If you’ve been weighed down by condemnation (the arrows our enemy hurls) or if you’ve ignored the conviction (the sweet whispers of the Holy Spirit), it’s time to get free.

And here’s the best part! Just like the young prodigal son, our Father waits with outstretched arms, ready to lavish on us His love, grace, and forgiveness.

The shadows have rolled in, masking the brilliant sunset. As the colors fade and darkness fills the sky, a whisper fills our hearts. Hurry. Let’s run home. Father is waiting

By Amre Cortadino

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16 Replies to “CONTRASTING THOUGHTS”

  1. I’m so thankful for God’s grace. We certainly don’t deserve it, and I love how you pointed out the differences between a wage, an award, and unmerited favor. Truth! Thanks for this wonderful encouragement. Blessings to you!

    1. Hi Gwen! I’m so thankful for God’s grace, and for the wisdom He gives others (Bible.org is a wonderful resource!!)!

      And you’re so right – we don’t deserve His grace but yet he lavishes it on us!!! Amazing grace!!! <3

  2. Awww. This one made me cry. Such a beautiful picture of our Father’s love for us. Yes! Let’s run to Him. We must be on the same wavelength because my next devo is about grace. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Loved this piece! I am reminded of the song, “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us.” And the phrase comes to mind, “That He would send His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure.”
    We are the grateful recipients of His lavish love!

  4. I have always found this Bible story of the prodigal son to be so meaningful, Erma. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reminding us that God is always waiting expectantly for the return of His children.

  5. I love how this devotional illustrates the difference between godly conviction and ungodly condemnation. Such an important and powerful thing to realize! Danny and I have a print-out hanging up in our house that has two columns: one with attitudes we associate with God (encouraging, Jesus-focused, edifying), and the other with attitudes we associate with the devil (fatalistic, legalistic, isolating). It’s been a helpful tool to have at the ready!

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