by Marilyn Ehle
The preacher had just concluded a thought-provoking sermon on God’s call of obedience for Christians and how sometimes we’re slow to answer that call. He related the story Jesus told about one son who said he would obey, but didn’t while another son said he wouldn’t but later did. The preacher emphasized how God gives grace to us sons and daughters so we can reconsider our often hasty or insincere responses and return to joyful obedience.
During the final hymn in our church services the children come pouring back into the sanctuary after their “Bible Time” in another room and it’s always a delight to see fifty or sixty children excitedly run back to their parents. Johnny’s dad was sitting in the front row and the entire congregation heard Johnny’s exuberant shout as he spied his parent: “DAD, I’M BACK!”
Sometimes I fear what obedience may mean. Other times I’m simply stubborn and want my own way. But my Father is waiting—on the front row of Heaven?—to hear my penitent and joyful, “Dad, I’m back.” And just as Johnny’s dad gathered him into his arms, my Heavenly Father gathers me into his.
Father, thank you for your loving grace and welcoming arms. Help me turn back to you more quickly each time I stray. In Jesus name, amen.
When you find yourself stepping off the path of complete obedience, what is it you most want from God? Stop right now and thank him for that gift.
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