Today’s Scripture — 11.28.2014
“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.” ~ Luke 15:20
I was quite a long way off, when the Father first loved me. I was shuffling back toward him, tail behind my legs, and He was already there waiting.
I was PreApproved, and I didn’t even know it.
God had planned the PreApproval Party, before I took my first step toward His front step. He’d picked out the balloons, bought the flowers, arranged for the cake, and hung a welcome banner.
All of this. It could positively change a person’s life.
I didn’t earn this gift. But I can turn toward home and receive it — the most expensive, outrageous gift of all time, always ours for the taking.
Like the lost son, we can wear the ring on our finger and put on “the finest robe,” without worrying any more whether it makes us look fat. Because: PreApproved!
It’s the essence of the faith into which we were baptized, the oath we may have uttered in confirmation, the prayers we’ve prayed for years, the creeds we’ve memorized and repeated, the verses we’ve learned by heart, and the Jesus songs we’ve sung since we were kids.
I had always been taught — but had clearly forgotten — that God’s love is something I already possessed, not based on my merit or good behavior or pretty prayers. I possess Christ because He plunged beneath every sin I would ever commit. And He did that before I was even born. I was preapproved, in a sense, before my birth. He stamped me with a seal that said, “This one is mine.”
He died for me, a misfit who doubted His very existence, in the greatest act of validation known to humanity. Before I believed in Him, He already died for me!
The gospel is more than nice words on a page, more than mouthed abstractions about a Savior on Calvary. The fact that I am already loved is the promise of an actual Person, not a detached theological concept.
And to think that I have treated the Good News about being “Preapproved” like junk mail, like a stamp on the outside of a credit-card offer.
Even still, that loving Father of ours doesn’t stop loving us, even if we run away from home, demanding our inheritance, and then squandering it all (Luke 15:13).
I get the sense that God already had the party planned before we turned back toward home. And He comes at us—running straight for us. I can feel my heart thumping just now, thinking of it. How a Love that was already mine always comes running.
This post is part of our month-long series, “A November to Remember: Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes.
How You Can Be a Part of This Movement:
1 – Print out the Scripture sheets. (Click here for printable versions.) Each of the 30 daily Scriptures are quoted in Love Idol, and each one ties back in some way to our identity in Christ. (You don’t have to read the book to participate in this study. But of course, you’re welcome to! )
2 – Find the passage assigned for today’s date.
3 – Consider how God is speaking to you. How does the verse help you remember who you really are, outside of all the cultural noise?
4 – Visit us on the blog, or the Love Idol movement page on Facebook, to share what the verse means to you.
5 – Share your insights on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or your blog, to add more soul to your scroll. #MoreSoulLessScroll Tag me, so I can find you. (Or feel free to follow along silently! No social-media presence required.)
I’ll post my own response here on the blog every morning at 5 a.m. Sometimes, you’ll find a story, maybe a few short words, maybe a series of photos. That will happen every day, for all of November, God-willing.
If you want to follow along, visit us here every day. Consider subscribing to my blog by clicking here to get these reflections in your email inbox.
Let this be the November that we remember who we really are: Loved. Preapproved. His.
Find all the posts in the November to Remember series by clicking here.