Friday, April 05, 2013
I absolutely LOVE that verse in Luke 15 where the prodigal son is seen making his way home from the sorry mess he'd made of things. These words describe it.. “And he arose [the prodigal son] 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.” (Lk 15:20)
Notice the father! Can you imagine it? He bear-hugged him.The word "fell" is the Greek word ἐπέπεσεν which means "to embrace or to hug." It goes on to say the father "Kissed" him Now THAT'S what I would call a real bear hug.
Will it surprise you to know that's EXACTLY the same word used in Acts 10:44 where it says, "The Holy Spirit fell [there it is] on all those who heard the word." When His Word is heard in brokenness, remember Peter had just preached a whopper of a sermon and they were really broken up over their condition, there is a real bear hug from the Holy Spirit in the making. That's just what the prodigal got upon his return in brokenness.
[I'm discounting neither the anointing of the Spirit nor the baptism of the Spirit that places us into the Body of Christ when I say this.]
This seems to me to be part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit as He makes God's love real to us relationally and it seems to happen__ with some regularity__ when we've really messed up. I think that's extra special in that it characterizes the kind of love our Heavenly Father delights in bestowing on us as His kids. ESPECIALLY when we come clean about messing up. He doesn't love us MORE when we DON'T mess up and He doesn't love us LESS when we DON'T come clean about it. But I do think we are able to RECEIVE AND EXPERIENCE His love more when we learn our mess ups are a heavenly hug and a Kingly kiss "moment in the making." Maybe we haven't learned this because we've lost sight on His love being lavished on us ON THE BASIS OF THE CROSS instead of our success or achievements. We tend to think He keeps His distance when we've not done well. Not true!
You see, God's love is not cold and distant at all, especially when we foul things up, But it is a close and passionate experience when we don't think of His love in cold doctrinal terms. I believe we're to see the Father's agape love as an embracing and enfolding of us with a purposeful and passionate flinging of His arms around us, when we need it the most. The thing to remember is...This is not a momentary emotion with Him, but it is the constant expression of His divine nature and character through the Holy Spirit. HE IS LOVE. All this because the Cross HAS ENABLED HIM TO BE JUST in the doing of it. [Romans 3:26] That is INCREDIBLE.
So the next time things are rough or the bitter taste of defeat is in your mouth, just let God be who He really is to you. Let Him bear hug and kiss you as you readily admit exactly where you are [It's called confession.] because He doesn't love you any less because of failure or love you any more because of faithfulness. He just loves you. That's who He is.