Last night our passage for family worship happened to be Luke 15:11-32, the parable of the prodigal son. As my husband read the text, I was struck by part of a particular verse, verse 20: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.“
Doesn’t that describe the process of conversion perfectly? While we sinners are still far from God (Romans 5:8), He sees us and feels compassion for us and moves toward us. We do not move toward Him of our own volition; there is none who seeks for God (Romans 3:11). He is the acting agent in our salvation. It is He who moves toward us while we are still dead in our sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1). And just like the prodigal son, who was rebellious and indulged his sinful desires, we are undeserving of the Savior’s compassion. There is nothing in us that makes us worthy of God’s love, mercy or forgiveness. We deserve His justice: God’s wrath and eternal separation and punishment. That is what makes the gifts of repentance, faith and belief so amazing. It is why it’s called grace: because we do not deserve it. And yet He moves toward us. Oh, what a savior! I am forever thankful of His unmerited grace and mercy toward me, a wretched sinner!