In Luke 15:14, we read the tragic end to so many of our stories: the younger son had spent everything. At one point or another, we’ve all reached an end. For some, it was a job, others, a relationship, and for some others, it’s reaching an end to their own strength to measure up and be “good enough.”
Careers, people, and our own strength were never meant to be a sustainable source of satisfaction for us. In the end, we seem to wring these precious gifts out for all they’re worth and are left wondering what led us to our current emptiness.
Much like the younger son in this parable, when we disconnect the created from the Creator—when we pursue God’s stuff apart from God Himself—we set ourselves up for an empty existence.
Jesus lays it out plain and simple for his disciples in John 10:10. He tells them He has come so that they may have life, and have it to the fullest. So often we forget this. We forget God is on our side. He’s not trying to rob us of a full life. He designed this life and knows how it’s meant to be lived out to its fullest potential.
When we find ourselves at a dead end, empty-handed and broken in life, the only direction to head is back home to a relationship with Him.
This fullest life He offers is one spent knowing Jesus personally, and we are invited to return to Him at any point we find ourselves lost in this life.
Imagine the surprise of the crowd as Jesus revealed to them that they’re free to return to a relationship with Him guilt-free, and additionally, that they can expect God to celebrate about it.
In what ways do shame and guilt keep you from returning to a full life with God?
When people hurt us, we sometimes let that pain enslave our hearts in bitterness. Is there anyone in your life that you need to forgive?