The prodigal son left home with the inheritance his father had given him. While away from home, he wasted this money on wild living. Eventually, his money ran out, leaving him only with guilt. After being gone for long time, after his money ran out, after guilt had set in, he decided to come home. And, even though the prodigal son had been gone for such a long time, spending this time in wild living, his father moved quickly in grace to remove his guilt. “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him”, the father said to his servants. The father in grace moved quickly.
While in the pig pen, and before encountering the quick acting grace of his father, the son had devised a plan to work off his guilt and earn back acceptance into his father’s family. However, after he encountered grace, he dropped the plan. Why? Because once he encountered the quick acting grace of his father, which was his father’s unconditional love and acceptance, unmerited kindness, and unlimited forgiveness freely given him, he realized his father’s grace could not be earned. It is impossible to earn what is freely given. By faith, he just needed to receive it.
In grace, God does not wait for us to work off our guilt before he shows love, acceptance, forgiveness, and kindness to us. Instead, in grace, he moves quickly to freely extend to us his love, acceptance, forgiveness, and kindness when we are broken in our sin. When we encounter his quick acting grace freely given us, we drop our plans to work off our guilt and he picks us up to wash us in grace.
This grace that he quickly and freely gives us comes through Jesus. Ephesians 1:6 says, “…his grace freely given us in the One he loves.” God has provided his love, acceptance, forgiveness, and kindness to us through Jesus. God acted quickly on our behalf through Jesus to bring us his grace. By faith in Jesus, we receive his grace. We do not have to wait on God’s grace to come to us. We do not have to work for God’s grace to come to us. Grace has already come to us through Jesus. And this grace is free.
Romans 3:23 says, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption (Jesus’ payment for our sins through his blood) that came by Jesus Christ.” When we place our faith in Jesus, he moves quickly through grace to justify us or declare us to be righteous or innocent in his sight. We do not wait on his grace or work for his grace. He freely and quickly gives us his grace when we place our faith in Jesus.
Two thieves crucified on a cross flanked Jesus on both sides. One thief mocked him. The other thief believed him. Jesus moved quickly in grace toward the believing thief when he said, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” In grace, Jesus did not make the thief wait on love, acceptance, forgiveness, and kindness. It was impossible for the thief to work for any of these. Jesus quickly and freely moved in grace toward this thief to remove his guilt.
Moving quickly in grace toward those who were guilty and broken from their sin was Jesus’ method of ministry. He immediately moved in love, acceptance, forgiveness, and kindness toward Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, and the immoral woman at the Pharisees home. He quickly moved in grace to remove their guilt.
In the same way Jesus quickly moved in grace to the thief on the cross, and the many others he ministered to, he moves toward you. He quickly moves toward you in love, acceptance, forgiveness, and kindness to remove your guilt.
In the same way the prodigal’s father moved quickly in grace to remove his son’s guilt, God moves toward you. He quickly moves toward you in love, acceptance, forgiveness, and kindness. Just as the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe”, God, our heavenly Father says, “Quick! Here’s my grace. Quick! Here’s my love. Quick! Here’s my acceptance. Quick! Here’s my forgiveness. Quick! Here’s my kindness.” He does not make you wait or work for his love, acceptance, forgiveness, and kindness. Instead, he quickly and freely moves in grace toward those who are broken to remove their guilt. He is moving quickly in grace toward you today. By faith, receive his love, acceptance, forgiveness, and kindness. His grace will remove your guilt and change your life just as it did the prodigal son.
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