So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 11:20
The difference between mercy and grace? Mercy gave the prodigal son a second chance. Grace gave him a feast.
There’s a story in the Bible about 2 sons. The eldest asked the father for his inheritance, and received it. Unfortunately he went and spent it foolishly. He found himself with nothing left, and eating pigs food where he worked. He came to his senses and acknowledged, I made a mistake, if I go to my fathers house I would be living better!
He went back to his father’s house, and instead of finding an angry father, his father embraced him. The father was able to see that his son was on his way back, the scriptures say that he was afar off and the father immediately said, lets celebrate! The son didn’t have to do anything to receive his father’s forgiveness. He went back to home and the father celebrated his return, placing a ring on his finger. It’s interesting that the father embraced him, and did not mention his son’s wrong again.
This is also Gods response to us when we sin. Our blind folds are removed, but we must be willing to go back to the Father for restoration. True repentance is not loathing ourselves or manipulating God with our feelings of worthlessness: He is already willing to forgive and restore us. He already knows what we’ve done just like He knew of Adam and Eve, and Cain’s wrongs.
True repentance is coming to our senses: seeing the situation as it is, humbling ourselves before God and turning to Him. God celebrates when His children return, because instead of bringing correction or guilt, the Lord God wants to be with us again.
Lord God, thank you for your forgiveness and for embracing us. Thank you for helping us get back to you and removing the blindfolds from our eyes. I pray for all those who have backslid and leaving your sheepfold, may they receive insight as the eldest son did to see his situation for what it was. I also pray for all those who do not yet know you and are backsliders from birth. I pray you help us to experience your full forgiveness and embrace. We want to make you happy and to celebrate with you. In Jesus name, Amen.