Psalm 103:8-12 (NLT)
The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
My son is an American soldier. A few years back, he was deployed to the Middle East for one very long year. He had just graduated from high school and still seemed like such a kid despite expert military training. It was hard to see him as part of an elite fighting machine after all the years of just trying to get homework done and his bed made. As he boarded the bus to leave, I remember thinking how is my heart going to stretch all the way around the world. How will I breathe while holding my breath in expectation? What I was not thinking about was all the injustices of his childhood and adolescence. All the times he had missed the mark, come up short or perhaps been rebellious did not even enter my mind as I immediately longed for his return. Isn’t funny how when raising our children, we long for five minutes of peace? Then at the end of five minutes, we begin to long for our precious ones once more. I used to welcome milestones in their life – sleeping through the night, crawling, walking, “pottying”, first day of school, middles school, high school, driving, prom and graduation…whoa (insert sound of screeching brakes). God is compassionate and merciful for His Children. He is slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love for every person that He created. God does not want to constantly accuse us. His Anger melts in the distance of our separation. All He wants is to be reunited and live in a relationship with His Children. The only thing that separates us is sin. God gave the life of His Only Son to ransom, redeem and reunite with His People. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. God has made an investment in your life. Unlike raising our own children by empowering them to be independent individuals and fulfill their destiny, God’s Intention for our life is to bring us back to Him. I understand God’s Longing for His Children as my own grow up and leave the nest. How I would not pay dearly for some of those years to return that seemed to race by so quickly? God ransomed His Son to redeem your life to reunite you with His Kingdom. How far is the east from the west? Your response to His Unfailing Love determines if you ever make it home!
Isaiah 43:1-7 (NLT)
But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west. I will say to the north and south, ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.’”
Why would God ransom you? I believe it is hard to comprehend the “why” of salvation based on one’s self-worth. We do not value human life. In a world where many children do not have responsive and involved fathers who love, nurture, protect and provide for them, there is a disconnect between the role of paternal support in one’s life. Mothers struggle around the world to care for the abandoned prodigy of men who create life and walk away. How can we ever understand the love of our Father in Heaven who we cannot see, feel and touch based on the humanity and insufficiency of fathers in the world today? Male role models are hard to find who measure up in integrity, character and honor so God bears the brunt of our ignorance. Do not ever underestimate the role of fathers in the life of children. He is very important in self-evaluation and determining self-worth. God ransomed you because He loves you. He created you for His Glory. The sin that once came between you was carried away by the Blood of Jesus. You are ransomed. Your debt paid in full. (In the Name of Jesus - I curse the spirit of poverty and abandonment the world due in the absence of fathers leaving a mass of struggling mothers and hurting children, God forgive them and turn the hearts of these wayward dads toward you and break their hearts for their own precious children!) Dad – your children need you to fully comprehend and experience the Love of God at an early age. Mom – your children need their father and you should pray for his commitment and love to find them. God has called you by name today. You belong to Him. There is no reason to doubt His Faithfulness, Love and Mercy concerning you because He has named you His Child. His Heart is broken for you and your return. He longs for you with a Father’s Heart who has experienced a long separation from his precious one. God is gathering His Children from the North, South, East and West.
Psalm 107:1-3 (NLT)
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies. For he has gathered the exiles from many lands, from east and west, from north and south.
God has redeemed you! He has removed the obligation or penalty of sin that once separated you from your Father. His Faithful love endures even when we go racing back to find our sin. According to Psalm 103:12, God has removed your sin as far from you as the east is from the west. This is how righteousness became possible and access to His Presence is established. It is vitally important that those who are redeemed live in Christ’s Redemption rather than racing back into the world, darkness and sin. God will never pull your sins back to you but you can return to your sin. Freedom is the vehicle that allows us to step out of righteousness and right back into exile. Once I discovered couponing and discounts, it is very difficult to pay full price for anything. I have an application on my phone that enables me to search for coupons or codes that may be available for just about any purchase that I make. I spend time each week looking at ads and planning to redeem these discounts. God has given us redemption but it is no good unless we do something with it. Coupons hidden in my purse or left at home cannot save my hard-earned money, but when I choose to use them then I can save big bucks. Unless people take the time to discover God’s Benefits that are a result of redemption, they will never seek to utilize the Blood of Jesus Christ that allows us to live above our current lifestyle as residents of the Kingdom of Heaven. What is available for the redeemed? God’s goodness will prevail in every situation. (Romans 8:28) He forgives all my sins. He heals all my diseases. He keeps me from death. He hangs His Love and Mercy on me like a crown. He provides for me and prospers me. He renews my strength and energy. (Psalm 103:1-6) These are just a few of the blessings of our Father’s Love. There is so much more to life than this and the Lord is working diligently to reveal it to His People in the Light of His Amazing Love. The Redemption of God through the Salvation of Jesus Christ can do more for you than any coupon, discount or freebie. He can satisfy your soul. God is calling you back home. Are you willing to leave your sin behind and return from exile? Redemption is waiting including every promise including His Purpose for your life. Nothing changed while you were away. It is all waiting for your reunion!
Luke 15:20-24 (NLT)
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring they finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”
When my son returned from the Middle East, he was immediately transported to a nearby army base for debriefing and all the things associated with his return. I can still remember the anticipation when we could finally be reunited. Minutes seemed like hours and hours like days, all I could think of was wrapping my arms around my son and holding him tightly once more. I could reach him now. No longer were we separated. The car barely stopped moving as I jumped out and grabbed hold of our boy. He was home. The father of the prodigal son must have felt very similar when his boy came home. “While he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming…” When he saw his son coming, he was filled with love and compassion. He ran to him. He embraced him. This is exactly how the Lord feels about you, friend. He sees you coming. Once you walk away from your sin and begin your return, he can see you and meet you to accompany you the rest of the way! God loves you! He has a residency for you in His Kingdom and a relationship to reestablish. He created you! He is your Father. He is NOT like your dad on earth no matter if he was a good man and attentive parent. God will far exceed your expectations in His Excellence available through His Love, Mercy and Grace. All you have to do is turn around and head for home! Your Father is waiting. Let the party begin…
Malachi 4:2-6 (NLT)
“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Remember to obey the Law of Moses, my servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai for all Israel. “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the LORD arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
The heart of natural fathers on this earth has greatly turned against their children. I am blessed with a wonderful husband who is an excellent father but he is still a man with all the faults and failures just like everyone else. As he strives to live in a right relationship with Jesus Christ, the Lord keeps His Heart attentive to His Children because He knows His Father’s Love. He not only loves our children but has a heart for the well-being of other children who do not bear his name. Our children love him. Our children respect him. They depend on him because he has proven to faithful in loving, honoring and protecting them. They know if they need anything they just come home. The reality is that while he obviously had a natural father, the devil caused a separation between my husband and his father. Alcohol robbed three children of their father’s devotion as sin eroded his life. There was no one to love, guide and protect him through those difficult years other than a dedicated, devoted, hardworking mother who laid down her life for her kids. Yet in His Father’s Love, he became an excellent father choosing to leave the sins of his natural father behind. I bind and rebuke all generational curses keeping fathers from their children and ask the Lord to turn the hearts of fathers back to their precious children in the Name of Jesus Christ. In turn, may all of God’s Children turn their hearts back to their Father, God through the Love and Grace of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Lord has made the Way for you to come back to the Father without guilt and shame. You can boldly enter His Presence through Grace and remain in His Righteousness. You never have to leave again! Be confident in the Love of Your Father today! Let God heal your broken heart. Mend your relationships. It comes through His Ransom, Redemption and Relationship of God and will spill over into your natural life. Let your sin be the only thing that remains as far as the east is from the west!
John 15:9-11 (NLT)
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”