By Effie Rolfe
It’s a heart thing. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks at the heart in 1 Samuel 16:7 is a favorite scripture that has been quoted time and time again. Luke 15:11-32 is another familiar passage of scripture regarding the prodigal son that shows how God looks deep into the dark crevasses of the heart. As the parable goes, the younger son wanted to fast forward the normal process and demanded that his father bequeath his inheritance immediately. Although, this was not the norm then or now, nevertheless, the father willingly acquiesced to his son’s wishes allowing the lad to have his fair share. After living a loose life and squandering his money, the naïve and spoiled brat lost his money quicker than a lottery winner.
Eventually, he came to his senses and decided he would beg forgiveness from his father and at least live as one of his hired servants. When he got to his father’s house, before he could speak, his father saw him afar out and ran to receive him. As my sister and I talked about this, I was so touched by the father’s unconditional love. Luke 15:2-24 “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.
Regardless of the insult of asking for his inheritance, the tremendous shame he caused his family by his worldly lifestyle—the father looked beyond his son’s selfish disgraceful and immature behavior to extend genuine love and rejoicing.
Even the eldest son had a fit and was disgusted by both his father and younger brother’s actions. Tradition was for the eldest to receive the inheritance first. Also, he couldn’t understand why his father was so quick to go beyond the call of duty to embrace his younger brother after he had willfully brought shame to the family. The father spoke to the older brother and said, Luke 15:32-32, “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found’.”
The real joy in discussing this passage of scripture is God genuinely loves and delights in us in spite of our selfishness, mistakes and rebellion. In fact, He adores and honors the household of faith by giving us abundant life and the desires of our heart. Yet, because God is a gentleman, you must receive His love willingly. He doesn’t even require you to earn forgiveness because it’s free. It’s a blessing to know that our Heavenly Father loves you and me without compromise. Now this is what we call free love. Thus, I have no need to be envious, jealous, judgmental or unmerciful about your missteps and actions nor you of mine. God longs for us to be in His presence and once we realize it, He will move heaven and earth to change hearts and to make it come to pass. God’s grace and love paid for our disgrace. We can trust him to have mercy on us in our misery. He only asks that you love unconditionally with your whole heart.
What’s in your heart…?
© Effie Rolfe is an Author of “Supersize Your Thinking”, Media Personality and Motivational Speaker. You can contact her on twitter.com/effiedrolfe.
Listen to her show daily on urbanpraiseradio.org (2015 Stellar Award Winner for Best Internet Radio Station)