Wednesday in the Word | Undeserved Love
I hope you're all doing well :) I've been wrestling with a bit of technical difficulties for my podcast and dueling with sleepiness from medication, but I think I'm finally getting the hang of things... I hope? I hope I'm not typing too soon! Last time I said I felt like I was feeling a lot better, I was knocked out for the rest of the day, so let's hope this time is not like that :)
I just wanted to share with you guys something that I read through today in Romans:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" - Romans 1:16
I had a strange dream last night/this morning that made me think of the story of the Prodigal Son. While I was showering before morning devotionals, I remember talking to myself and reminding myself "Satan's greatest lie to Christians is that we deserve salvation."
We were created by God, and for some reason, He decided to lovingly mold us in His image, because He desired fellowship with us. He gave us dominion over all other life - in land, sea, and sky. We never deserved to be made in His image. We never deserved fellowship. We never deserved to rule. God simply loved and gave these to us. And when we forsook these things in sin, He reached down and gave us Christ. God continually gave us His all so that we, too, can give our all to others. It is not because of ourselves that we believe; not because of ourselves that we succeed; and definitely not because of ourselves that we are saved.
For those of you who don't know about the Prodigal Son, here is a break down of what happened:
A man has two sons, and he had a will to give them each half of what he had. One of the sons (let's call him Alpha) one day said, "Yo, old man, I can't wait for you to die to get my money. Give it to me now" (slightly paraphrased). The man gave him the money, and Alpha left. He used his money for all sorts of frivolous things. I suppose in modern day equivalent, he spent his money on booze, drugs, gambling, strippers and prostitutes. Alpha went back home poor, broken, sick, and everything else you can imagine. When the man saw Alpha limping home with torn clothing and a worn look, he ran all the way to him and gave him his cloak. As Alpha apologized and begged to even have a position to serve as a slave in the home, the man reminds Alpha that he will always be his son. A celebration was held for Alpha's return, and he is the one deemed "the Prodigal Son". Meanwhile, his brother (let's call him Beta), was bitter - he stayed by his father's side this whole time, why was this disgusting Alpha dude getting an entire party in his name, when all he did was be a horrible human being and come back years later after he suffered enough?
I think many Christians have experienced one or the other - when we first came to God, or in the "miracle moments" of our lives, we can often relate to the identity of the Prodigal Son. When we realize our sin, and we that God still chooses to call us His son/daughter, and continues to give to us and bless us when we return to Him in prayer, repentance, and worship, we should be humbled and desire to serve God and His people.
But when we see the successes of those we don't see as "good" people, we can become angry and frustrated at God - why are those who do not praise Him or follow His Word receiving His blessings? Those blessings should be saved for us, the "good Christians" who never missed a day of Church and always prayed before every meal, and serve in Sunday school. However, God's Kingdom thankfully does not run the same way we think and selfishly desire. God is much more similar to the man, giving when asked, and continuing to bless even without looking into "fairness" or "justice" in terms of what would allow us to reap the benefits of faithfulness, because ultimately salvation is a gift from God to the most undeserving.