Divine love empowers us to respond calmly to difficulties, demonstrate patience in seasons of waiting, and sacrifice without complaint. We offer God’s love when we can:
Forgive others. The son wasted his money in riotous living and discovered both the empty promises and destructive quality of sin. Upon the boy’s return, his father forgave him completely. Love made it possible to wipe away the past (Ps. 103:12).
Act generously. The son, having just fed pigs, arrived at his father’s estate with few expectations. The forgiving dad greeted him most warmly and dressed him in the finest garments. Godly love, which keeps no record of wrongs, enabled the father to show generosity.
Serve joyfully. What a celebration the father had upon the prodigal’s return! His joy in his lost son’s homecoming overflowed to others. Love expresses itself in willing service.
Restore those who fall. The one who both abandoned his father and squandered his inheritance was again given full rights as a son.
When we mess up, our heavenly Father patiently waits for us to turn back to Him. He accepts our repentance, rejoices in our return, and restores intimacy with Him. The elder brother in this parable missed the point because of his self-righteous attitude (1 John 1:8). He didn’t recognize his mistakes or the many times his father had shown him love and forgiveness.
God calls us to a lifestyle of agape love. To whom could you extend the divine love that forgives, restores, and serves with generosity and joy?
Bible in One Year: Numbers 17-19