Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 10, 2019
And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ Luke 15:9
I am convinced that so much of our confusion and discouragement in faith is rooted in a distorted view of God. When we fail or stray from his best for us, rather than trusting in his mercy, forgiveness, and love, we are convinced that he is an abusive parent or harsh taskmaster, waiting to shame us for our transgressions. Yet time and time again the stories Jesus tells seek to reshape our understanding and to remind us that God passionately seeks us out, like a lost sheep, lost coin, or lost child, and when he finds it, it is cause for great celebration!
God does not rejoice in the wandering or waywardness of his children. Neither is he sitting on the front porch waiting anxiously for us to come home so he can tear into us for our failures and poor decisions. As such, there is no place for shame or fear! Now, that doesn’t mean we ignore our failures or our need to repent. Repentance in its most basic form simply means to turn around. When we cease from striving and running away from God and finally turn towards him, what do we find? Love. As Basil the Great said, “If you will surrender yourself, he will not hold back. In his kindness, he will lift you up on his shoulders, rejoicing that he has found his sheep that was lost.”
If this is God’s incredible posture towards us, as we learn to receive his love and grace, we are invited to take on the same posture of love and mercy towards others. Do you have a similarly broad and merciful vision of the family of God? Are you able to love and delight in those that God loves, even if they do not fit neatly into your categories or natural affinity groups?
You and I are always tempted towards an increasingly narrow vision of the world. We love the people who love us back and are interested in the things we love. We are kind to those who are kind and good to us. We invest in those we deem worthy of our time and attention. However, God’s heart is always for those who are on the margin, unseen and unnoticed. As we learn to have grace for ourselves and receive his love, can we have that same grace for others who are in desperate need of dignity, love, care, and compassion?
Father, help us to rejoice in the things that you rejoice in, finding great joy and celebration in the lost being led home to your perfect love. Amen.
Where do you need to repent and return to the Lord’s love today? Is there someone in your life that is lost and needing you to reach out to them with the love and joy of the Lord?
God’s heart is always for those who are on the margin, unseen and unnoticed. #love #Jesus #wisdomhunters
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