August 21: The Pursuit of Failures
Often, when we focus too much on our own failures, we don’t reach the point where grace changes us. That’s why the parable of the Prodigal Son is so comforting for people who are caught up and brought down by their failures. In this parable it’s not the younger son’s humility or the elder brother’s jealousy in the limelight. It’s the father’s pursuit of both his sons.
After living selfishly and squandering his inheritance, the younger son realized how foolish his actions had been. He realized that even his father’s hired hands received more love and attention than he had received after leaving his father’s house. Deciding to plead for mercy, the younger son rehearsed his request to the father: “I will set out and go to my father and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight! I am no longer worthy to be called your son! Make me like one of your hired workers.’ ” (Luke 15:18–19).
But his plan was interrupted. Before the son even finished his request, his father kissed him, put a robe around his neck, and ordered the fattened calf to be killed. And then the father repeated this action. When the elder son refused to attend the party in his brother’s honor, the father again went out to meet his son, imploring him to rejoice as well (Luke 15:28, 31–32).
God pursues failures of all types. It’s His grace extended to us that works in our hearts to prompt change in us. Even when we neglect Him, He pursues us. Even when we don’t return His attentions, He pursues us. Instead of focusing on our failures, then, we should focus on His love.
How do you take joy in God’s grace to you through His Son? How does His love change the way you relate to Him?
Too often I find myself wrapped up in the “past” failures doing my best not to repeat them. I often forget it is through God’s Son, Jesus, all my past failures are forgiven and I should be focused on the future. I know I am not the only one, and I pray this helps others focus on the grace God has given us, and understand the love He has for us and that it is not the past that defines us, it is the future!
I think about the love God has just for me, and it makes me swell up inside. I want to implode and sometimes just break down and cry. It brings me more humbly to the cross. If many Christians would stop and just think for a moment, and ask themselves, “How much does God love me” I have no doubt they would swell up too. No one in this world would die just from me, but Jesus did. If one would realize this “agape” love God has for us, we would be a little more inclined to focus on Him and His word and in that we can change our lives, households, church’s, and this nation, even unto the world.
 John D. Barry and Rebecca Kruyswijk, Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012).