prodigal
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I mess up. Like a lot. I begin each day with such great intentions, and then…I mess it up.

Yet, even with my mess ups, I’m promised that when the time comes, I have a Father waiting for me at the gate.

In the Bible, we find 3 fathers waiting at gates that illustrate this fact beautifully:
1) King David awaiting news of his son, Absalom
2) The father of the lost son
3) Our heavenly Father, for those whom are sons & daughters of the King

King David:
Wow…it’s hard to know where to begin here, as there is SO MUCH. Really long story short, King David is not known for his great parental choices/discipline. So, when his son, Absalom, tries to overthrow David’s throne, and commits treasonous actions, King David cannot move away from the soft spot held by a father to his son. David’s army goes out to deal with Absalom. This is where we find David…at the gate…awaiting news from the battlefield.

It didn’t matter to David how very much his son had messed up. His son was still his son, no matter what. So, David, the father, waits by the gate.

“Now David was sitting between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and raised his eyes and looked, and behold, a man running by himself. The watchman called and told the king. And the king said, “If he is by himself there is good news in his mouth.” And he came nearer and nearer. Then the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, “Behold, another man running by himself.” And the king said, “This one also is bringing good news.” The watchman said, “I think the running of the first one is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said, “This is a good man and comes with good news.””
2 Samuel 18:24-27

The Father of the Lost Son:
The parable of the lost son, told by Jesus, introduces us to another example of a father’s love. This son was anxious for his inheritance, as he wanted to move on from his homestead and go on a journey. The father granted this request. Time passed, and not surprisingly, the son had squandered away his entire inheritance. The son messed up. He was reduced to such a low state of humbleness, that he decided to return home and seek to become one of his father’s servants, as they were treated better than he was living at the time.

The bible tells us that as the father caught the very first glimpse of his son “while he was still a long way off”, that the father RAN to him, hugged him, kissed him, and celebrated his return.

This father met his son “at the gate” with arms of forgiveness opened WIDE.

“So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
Luke 15:20-24

Our Heavenly Father:
Oh, you guys, my hands are shaking, and the tears are falling as I type these words…IF you are a child of The King, you also have a Father waiting for you at the gate.

No matter what.

No matter how badly I have messed up, He is there. No matter how much I fail this Father of mine (which is daily), His arms of forgiveness are also opened WIDE. As a sinner, I am so very underserving of this type of forgiveness, but this forgiveness has been granted, and is exactly what our Heavenly Father is trying to show us through His Word, through the story of King David, and through the parable of the lost son.

The enemy wants to whisper to us that we are not worthy of this type of forgiveness, BUT our Savior SHOUTS to us just the opposite. There is nothing you, or I, have done that is beyond the scope of God’s forgiveness. God sent His Son Jesus, to take the punishment for our sin. It has already been done. It is finished, just as Jesus uttered on the cross. It was done before you or I were born. God already knew our mess ups BEFORE He did the work on the cross.

You have a Father waiting at the gate. If you want Him. It’s up to you; it’s your choice. To have this Father waiting for you, you have to first open the door…

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
Revelation 3:20-21

If you have become a child of God, there is a Father at the gate waiting for you. His arms of forgiveness are open wide. And that’s an awesome fact to meditate on!

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