Grace to come home.

Last week we were talking about grace as a good teacher. How God’s grace teaches us and equips us to live virtuous, self-controlled, upright and godly lives. It is important that we know that no matter what we go through in life, grace is always there to steer us in the right direction and give us the strength we need to overcome what’s in front of us. God’s grace towards us is a blessing. It knows where to find us. No matter how many mistakes we make, grace always comes chasing after us.

Psalm 23:6 says, “So why would I fear the future? For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life. Then afterward, when my life is through, I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!”

This psalm was written by king David. He was known as a man after God’s heart because although he lived under the law and grace was a foreign concept in that day- he had insight into God’s heart and nature that no one else had at that time. Psalm 23:6 shows us what the result of grace is. It is by grace that God’s goodness and love chases after us. We definitely do not deserve it and we have not earned it but God just keeps chasing after us and loving us even when we feel we are at our worst.

I was thinking about the story of the prodigal son (found in Luke 15:11-32). This boy not only demanded his inheritance from his living father, he went on and squandered it, lost it all and ended up working as a farm hand feeding pigs and then eating pig food. Now this may not sound bad but this boy was a Jew. Pigs are unclean animals for them. They are not allowed to touch them or eat them. To feed the pigs was scraping the bottom of the barrel but he didn’t stop there, he ate the food he was feeding them. Yes, he had dinner with pigs.

What he did was the equivalent of whatever you consider to be the worst thing a human can do. It was disgusting. Yet, when he returned home, his father went running out to meet him. Luke 15:20 says, “So the young son set off for home. From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So the father raced out to meet him. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love.”

God is like that with us. We can mess up and we think we are disgusting and unworthy of love but if we so much as turn around and start making our way to Him, He runs to us, hugs us, picks us up, kisses us, cleans us up and restores us as sons and daughters in His house. He does this for us even though we don’t deserve it, that’s grace and mercy in action.

I sometimes imagine God’s grace to be like a mother. No matter how far gone and messed up everyone thinks you are, grace always has something nice to say about you and sees the you that is buried beneath all the external stuff, the you that no one else sees. No matter how bad you are, grace always comes looking for you. No matter how big the failure or the mistake, grace is never disgusted by you or ashamed of you, it always embraces you and claims you as its own. Grace doesn’t care if you’ll mess up its clothes. Grace doesn’t care if you’ll bleed all over it. When you call, grace comes running to you.

That same grace, is the grace that is patient enough to teach you right from wrong. To say please and thank you. To turn to God when you are in trouble and to trust Him in every situation. That kind of grace is only found in Jesus. John 1:14 tells us that Jesus was full of grace and truth.

It is God’s grace that draws us to Him. Jesus was seen with tax collectors and prostitutes. They didn’t feel condemned around Him. Why? Because He didn’t judge them but His grace towards them drew them to repentance.

God doesn’t judge us into loving Him, He gives us grace instead. He always prefers mercy over judgement. Living virtuous lives is not a result of fear and trepidation of judgement. It is a result of God’s grace and mercy towards us. Know that mercy always withholds the punishment we deserve and grace gives us unmerited favour and blessings. They work together in tandem.

Grace always wants you to come home, to be planted in a church family with God’s sons and daughters, your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. Grace always wants what’s best for you. Grace allows God’s goodness and kindness to chase after you. God’s grace is what’s drawing you to God. Grace wants you to know that you have a Father and you belong.

Love and blessings,

Melissa Tsingano

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