Day 6 Friday
God's grace, Jamie Boyer, the Prodigal Son and the Thief on the Cross.
For all the rebelliousness Jamie Boyer exhibits in this book, he is really one who is bound. He has fashioned the chains of bondage with his own hands, and by his rebelliousness, has securely fastened locks about them. He longs to be free, yet his is the one who has kept him in chains. But God's grace doesn't give up on someone until they have drawn their last breath. So Jamie's life becomes much like two other people who are known to us from their accounts in the Bible.
One of these, whose life parallels Jamie's in an almost eerie fashion, is the Prodigal Son. Here is a son, who not only struck out on his own, but took all of his inheritance with him. Life was grand as long as the money held out, but when a famine struck the land and his money ran out, his friends all left. He was left homeless, just like Jamie. We aren't told how long this young man languished in poverty, but we do know that he found a job feeding pigs, and even fought them for food. When at last “he came to himself” as the Bible puts it in Luke 15:17, he returned home to beg his father to hire him on as one of his servants. The father, however, had been waiting daily for his son's return. Every day he would wait out by the road and look for his return. When at last his son appeared on the horizon, he ran out to meet him. The father wasn't interested in hiring him as a slave. He rejoiced that his son had returned. All rights and privileges were returned to the son, even though he certainly didn't deserve it, at least not to our way of thinking. So also the Heavenly Father waits for all those children who have walked out to be on their own. He cries at the distress we bring upon ourselves, but He awaits for our return. Every time one of us does return there is great rejoicing in Heaven. This is a glimpse of the grace of God.
There is another man, a thief who was crucified next to Jesus. There were actually 2 thieves, one on either side of the Master. Yet, this one thief saw all that was happening. He may have even heard Jesus teach a few times. (Crowds always present a thief with easily obtained wealth) He may have seen people healed, yet all of this time he never gave a thought to follow this man. I'm sure his heart was fairly hard at one time. Yet, as he saw this innocent man being ridiculed by the crowds, and even his fellow thief, his heart broke at last. Matthew 27:44 says that both thieves mocked Jesus along with the crowds. Yet at some point the heart of one of them broke. In Luke 23:40-43 we learn that one o these thieves began to rebuke the other thief. He called out to Jesus and was saved on the spot.
God's grace is not always gentle and easy. Sometimes it is famine. Sometimes it is loneliness. Sometimes it is spending time in a pig's sty. Sometimes it takes even the grace of a torturous death to soften the heart of someone to receive Him and His salvation. Sometimes we have to walk through life like Jamie, lost, friendless, homeless, afraid to go home, on a path that leads to death, for us to finally come to realize God's love and grace. This is the way we are to come to God. Do not wait to clean yourself up, because it will never happen. Do you really want to know how dirty you are in God's eyes? Look at yourself in the mirror of His Law. Then when you realize that He STILL loved you enough to become a man that He might die for you, you will begin to understand and appreciate His marvelous grace.
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