By Janie Baer
With Father’s Day approaching on June 17, we can be thankful for fathers who have loved us, nurtured us and provided for us security and stability. Now on Father’s Day, we honor them. I also realize there are some who might never have experienced this kind of relationship with their father, let alone ever have known their father. Whatever your situation, in this article I want to acquaint you with the Father of unconditional love. This Father of unconditional love is our Heavenly Father.
Jesus reveals Father God to us by telling us one of the best love stories of the Bible, the story of the unconditional love of a father toward his sons found in Luke 15:11-32. And he (Jesus) said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. KJV
Most people teach and preach this story making the subject the rebellious son. But they have it all wrong. The subject of this story is the father and his great unconditional love for his sons. And I believe the reason Jesus told the story was to reveal Father God and His unconditional love for us.
If a local newspaper had written about this story, I think they would have had a title like, “A Loving Father Celebrates the Return of His Rebellious Son” or “A Father’s Unconditional Love for His Rebellious Son Caused Him To Never Give Up Hope of His Return”.
The father in this story was a good father and he had made ample provision for his family so the boys could have an inheritance. When the rebellious son asked him for his inheritance and left home for what he thought was going to be “the good life”; the loving father gave his inheritance to him without any hesitation and let him go on his way. After spending the inheritance, having lost all of his so-called friends, and ending up with the swine; his thoughts went back to the loving father he knew would be awaiting him at home. He decided he would return, repent to his father and offer to work as a servant.
But on his return home, he experienced again like before, the unconditional love of his father. Before he could even ask his father’s forgiveness and beg to be his servant, as he intended; his father looking for his return ran to him, threw his arms around him and gave him a kiss. When he started to make his plea for forgiveness and offer to be a servant, his father didn’t even hear him. He summoned his servants to bring the best robe in the house to put on him. They also put the family ring on his finger and brought shoes for his feet. After the grand welcome home, the father made preparation for a party to celebrate, sending the servants to kill the best calf and make preparation so they could rejoice and be merry over the return of his son.
In this love story we can also see the unconditional love of the father in his response to the other son who had remained faithful to him. He would not go to the party and celebrate his brother’s safe return. He was upset because he had always been faithful to his father and his father had never had a party for him and his friends. Not knowing the generous heart of his father and instead working for his part of the inheritance, he was angry his no good scoundrel of a brother came home to a party with everyone celebrating his return, when he certainly didn’t deserve it. What had he done for father?
The father had to stop him right then and there and remind his son that all he possessed was his also. That all he had to do was ask for it. He didn’t have to work to get from the father what already was rightfully his. All he had to do was ask and he could have a party with his friends any time he desired.
This story clearly reveals how our Father God would deal with us in His unconditional love and desires to treat each of us even when we have wanted our way and left Him waiting and longing for our return. It also reminds us we don’t have to work for what is already our inheritance.
When we go astray from Father and His good life He has planned and prepared for us, Father God is watching, waiting and anticipating our return to Him. He is always ready to run and embrace us with his unconditional love that is more powerful then all our sins, past and present and future. Father will once again remind us, making it very clear to us, it is all because of the blood of Jesus that we are brought into right relationship with Him. That because of Jesus’ finished work, and his work alone, we can be assured we will never again be separated from Father God and His great love for us.
Returning to Him we confess our sin of rejecting Him and His way for us and He immediately comes with the robe of righteousness for us to put back on. It is a beautiful garment and Father likes to see us wear this robe of righteousness all the time, never taking it off. Next he places the family ring on our finger reinstating us to the position of authority we acquired as His very own children. Placing shoes on our feet, we are then able to go out to those who don’t know the unconditional love of Father God and tell them the Good News, with testimony, of Father’s unconditional love and grace. We let them know they don’t have to work to get Father God’s approval and His unconditional love is theirs forever.
As in this love story, Father God prepares for us a tremendous supply from our new covenant provision and we can just eat and enjoy ourselves till we are full in an atmosphere filled with unconditional love, grace and much joy.
The rest of our lives we can rejoice together, Father and us, because the power of death, spiritual separation from Father, has been broken off our lives by Jesus' redemptive work and now we live in the royal family of our Heavenly Father.
Father will continually remind us that His unconditional love and provision is not ever earned but all of it is a gift purchased by the precious blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. We will be able to experience our whole salvation package, which includes, our healing, our provision, forgiveness of all sins, His favor, His righteousness, and much more and this is all a gift!
This is the Good News, The Gospel; we will share with others, revealing to them Father God and His unconditional love for them.
We must end this story with a confession of faith in Father God’s unconditional love: "I feast with Father God in His house every day and everyone can see Father's lavish, unconditional, never-ending love for me. I wear the robe of righteousness Jesus, my elder brother, bought and paid for with his blood and placed on me. Father tells me to never take it off. I also wear the family ring representing my authority as a child of Father God. And daily I wear the shoes made to fit me so I can go out and expand Father's kingdom, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom wherever I go. Father has always prepared for me a meal, supplied for me by this new covenant Jesus paid for, and I just eat till I am full in an atmosphere of love, joy and grace. Father and I continually rejoice together because the power of sin and spiritual death which had separated me from Him is broken off my life and I can now live in the royal family of my Heavenly Father! I am loved by my Father God. Happy Father's Day, Father God."
I have recently added some scriptures on “prosperity”, “love”, and “in Him” that can aid you in your confessions.