Luke 15:20 “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.
Most believers are familiar with this famous story about the prodigal or lost son. But many use it as an example to describe backsliding believers. But this is not a story about backsliding believers; it's a powerful story about the unconditional grace of God.
It says that once the father saw his son a long way off on the horizon, anger didn’t rise within him – because of the son’s waste, but instead love, mercy, and unconditional grace! He was filled with a deep compassion and tears filled his eyes as he uncontrollably ran toward his son!
This is a picture of God’s grace toward you – every time you make a mistake and miss the mark!
With every failure you make, God’s mercy, grace and unconditional love well up, filling His eyes with tears and He runs toward you to remind you that although you failed, although you missed the mark, His Son never did. His Son powerfully defeated all the works of the enemy and provided a way for you to come home to God.
The first thing the father did was to clothe his son with a robe, to place a ring upon his finger and put sandals upon his feet (Luke 15:22).
That robe represents the righteousness of Christ. It is God’s ability coming upon you to now live a new kind of life! This is the first thing God does to you when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. That robe of righteousness makes you “holy and blameless” (Colossians 1:22) and gives you access to God’s throne room where you will find “mercy and grace” (Hebrews 4:16).
The ring represents the authority of Christ. It is God’s authority over sin in your life! In the same way, authority is vested in the signet ring of a wealthy man’s son, the authority and power of God are placed in your hands when you call upon the Name of Jesus. That Name is above every name (Philippians 2:9), and it gives you all authority over sin and the enemy.
The sandals represent our standing in Christ. We stand as sons and daughters and no longer as slaves to sin. The son returned to be made a slave, feeling he was underserving of sonship, but the father quickly dismissed that wrong thinking. Be ruthless in your thinking and understand where your standing comes from – it’s in Christ Jesus, not what you do or don't do.
In this story we see the father running toward his son.
As sons and daughters, understand you can now run into the presence of God. You can run boldly into the throne room of God and receive His mercy and grace in your time of need, every time!
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Remind yourself continually that you are wearing a robe as a son of God, the ring as a son of God and the sandals as a son, are on your feet!