In the Father's Embrace
|The reason for this sunset shot, |
taken from our front window, being blurred and foggy
is because in Brisbane there have been some fires...
hence the strange effect
"And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off,
his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
"But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"
Luke 15: 20-24 (NKJV)
This Scripture verse spoke to my heart a few days ago. In the past week or so I've felt more strongly then ever my short-comings and coldness of heart, my spiritual lukewarmness. I've found I was making reading God's Word and prayer, a mere duty... something that ought to be done. I made my daily actives distract me from sitting at the feet of Jesus, hearing His Voice and learning from His Word. You know, when we're in such a state, our hearts cry out inside of us, yearning for that closeness with the Lord again, that desire to be in Communion with Him again. And yet our sins flash before us, our doubts and failings... and the devil tells us, "You have trampled upon the Lord' grace and do not deserve nor may you ask for forgiveness." He tells us that we're too defiled to enter our Beloved Saviour's Presence..."you're a hypocrite while on your knees because soon... you'll for sure sin again." All the while, our Beloved Lord Jesus, with His pierced hands stretched out towards us, continues to call us to Himself. Call us away from the world, its glamour and sin... and all that defiles us... He calls us away from the 'broken cisterns that can hold no water' and beckons us to drink from the living Fountain of Water freely... He wants us to come into His bosom, like the Prodigal Son, and weep at His feet and cry in His arms. He wants us to place all our trusts in Him, lean on Him and put our hands into His and never let go.
Our pride and sin, the sneaky weed growing in our hearts that holds us back from fellowshiping with the Lord and sitting at His feet, chocks and plunges its thorns and thistles into our hearts so that we cannot remove them of ourselves... like the Dragon Eustace (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis), only Aslan could save him and tear the dragonish skin off him... it is the same with us. Without Him we can do nothing! How often we strive in our own flesh, in our own 'good works' but without Him, we can do nothing, and are nothing.
As I read those words from Luke 15, I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me of my lukewarmness and coldness of heart and that I was falling into despair over my sin when Christ is more than a match for the darkest sins of my heart! He has conquered over sin and death! And over my sin. While I... fearful and cold of heart, wasn't running to Him in repentance. As I read, I saw that the Prodigal Son, who had wasted his life and lived in sin, in depravity... couldn't expect more than to be received as a servant... and yet, his Father's love, forgiveness and compassion completely engulfed him. He was forgiven, and clothed in 'the best robe' (the garments of Salvation) and received with many tears and a feast like none that had ever vested his Father's House.... the Father's love is so amazing... and to think... that our Heavenly Father has loved us, forgiven us, and made us His children (1 John 3)! His corrections are for our good, and He will always lead us, and be our Guide. And praise the Lord, for there is victory over the sin and flesh through our Lord Jesus Christ! He has won the victory... and Satan has no power over us. We have been bought with the blood of the Lamb....
Here is a poem from the book, "The Christian Book of Mystical Verse" compiled by A.W. Tozer that reflects this wondrous love of the Lord, to us, and the heart's yearning for purity of heart and communion with our Heavenly Father.
I Thirst, Thou Wounded Lamb of God
I thirst, Thou wounded Lamb of God,
To wash me in Thy cleansing blood;
To dwell within Thy wounds; then pain
Is sweet, and life or death is gain.
Take my poor heart, and let it be
Forever closed to all but Thee:
Seal Thou my breast, and let me wear
That pledge of love forever there.
How blest are they who still abide
Close shelter'd in Thy bleeding side!
Who thence their life and strength derive,
And by Thee move, and in Thee live.
What are our works but sin and death,
Till Thou thy quick'ning Spirit breathe?
Thou giv'st the power thy grace to move;
O wondrous grace! O boundless love!
How can it be, Thou heavenly King,
That Thou shouldst us to glory bring;
Make slaves the partners of thy throne,
Deck'd with a never-fading crown?
Hence our hearts melt, our eyes o'erflow,
Our words are lost, nor will we know,
Nor will we think of aught beside,-
My Lord, my Love is crucified.
~ Attributed to John Wesley, 1703-1791
Be blessed in the Lord today.
In His love
P.S. Sarah has just posted a really lovely post entitled, "He is Alive!" on her blog, "Gems in History". I WON'T tell you what the post is about... you can go and check it out yourself if you like. If you do not have an invitation to view her blog, please either e-mail me or leave a little 'sweet comment' below and Sarah will be sending along an invitation soon :).