Embrace His Love


Luke 15:11-32
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”


The love of God is something that we oftentimes sell short. God’s love is something that we know about, have learned about, and maybe even something we have truly felt and experienced in our lives. However, God’s love is so much deeper than we can ever imagine.

The love of God is something we could dive deeper and deeper into everyday of our lives and never reach the bottom. God’s love is shown most clearly in the fact that he gave his only Son so that we could become sons and daughters as well. We can see God’s love in the way that he loves us unconditionally as his children, and this is shown most clearly in “The Parable of the Two Sons”.

In Luke 15:11-32, Jesus tells a parable about two sons. 

The first son that we see in the story is known as the “prodigal son”. This is the son that took his inheritance and used it to be blatantly disobedient to his father. He used his inheritance to chase after the things of the world and the wicked cares of his heart. He was searching for joy and fulfillment in all the wrong places, and he was living in reckless rebellion. 

Eventually his riches ran out, and he never found the joy and fulfillment he was looking for. Rather, he hit rock bottom and ended up eating pig slop. It was at this point that he came to senses, and he realized how much better life was in his father’s presence. So he immediately came up with a plan to earn back his father’s favor. He prepared a speech of repentance, and he was prepared to trade in his sonship for slavery. He just wanted to be back in his father’s presence. 

So the prodigal son returned, expecting to come back to an angry father that was ready to punish him for the things he did. However, the son came back to a father full of love, running after him with wide open arms. He came back to a father that was ready to embrace him and celebrate his return. The father could not help but rejoice that his dead son was alive once again; he was lost, but now he was found.

This story reflects the love of our Father, and it also reflects our frequent rebellion against our Father. So often we are like the prodigal son that rebels against everything God has done for us, and we choose to go chase after the things of the world. We choose to try and find joy and fulfillment in things that ultimately leave us empty on the inside. 

At this point, all we have to do is come to our senses. All we have to do is come back to our Father who gives us everything we need and works all things out for our good. And rather than coming back to a Father that is angry and ready to punish us, we get to come back to a Father who is full of love, running after us with open arms as we run after him. We can come back to a Father who is ready to embrace us and celebrate our return. If you feel like the prodigal son, ashamed of what you have done and fearful of what God might say, just start running to him. You will experience his steadfast, never-ending love.

Going back to the parable, while everyone is celebrating the return of the lost son, the older brother is standing at a distance full of anger. Rather than celebrating the return of his brother, he becomes jealous of him and the loving welcome he receives. 

In a lot of ways, his jealousy and anger seems valid. While his younger brother was living in reckless rebellion, he was living in obedience. He was doing all his father told him to do, and he never went against his command. However, he was never rewarded with an elaborate celebration. So as he saw the celebration his brother received, he couldn’t help becoming full of jealousy. What the older son didn’t realize is that while he didn’t get a huge party like his brother, he had the blessing of “always being with his father, and all that the father had was his”. 

For some of us, the story of the older brother relates to us more. We have never had the “rebellious prodigal son” season in our life. Rather, we have done “good works” our entire lives. We have done our best to be obedient and do what God tells us to do. But we may feel like we have never been celebrated. Or maybe we feel like we haven’t received the blessings we should have received for all we have done. Sometimes when we see a rebellious sinner be welcomed into the Kingdom of God with open arms and celebration, it can be difficult to not be filled with jealousy.

However, if this is our attitude we must realize that we are all sinners. None of us are entitled to God’s love or blessings. Rather, it is freely given to us. Instead of being filled with jealousy or anger towards others, let us be filled with awe that God would love any of us the way that he loves us. And let us be filled with awe that “we are always with our Father, and all that he has is ours”.

Once again this parable gives us a glimpse into the depth of the Father’s love for us. It is a love that will never run out, and it will certainly never leave us unsatisfied. 

Action Step

The action step this morning is simple… embrace the love of God. Dive in deeper. Run to the Father in full expectation of being showered with his steadfast love. Reflect on all the ways he has shown you his love in the past. Preach the gospel to yourself and focus on how extreme God’s love for you is.

Lastly, as you embrace the love of your Father, begin sharing it with others. Don’t be like the older brother, keeping it to yourself because you think you deserve it more than others. Instead, reflect on the realization that no one deserves God’s love, and yet he offers it to all who would come to him. Now it’s our responsibility to make sure as many people as possible know about the unfathomable love of God that is so clearly shown in the gospel. 


As you close in prayer, let 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 be the fuel for it. 

2 Corinthians 5:14-15
14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

After reflecting on the love of God, pray that his love for you would control you. Let it control you so much that you no longer live for yourself, but for Him. Pray that you are controlled by the love of Christ, you would be compelled to share it with others. 
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