Imagine, if you will, that you have a child who is living in another state. Your love for him is unconditional. You want him to be with you very badly, so you send a him a quick text. He makes some attempts at half-hearted excuses, but you keep after him. Finally, the truth comes out, and he reveals that the real reason he hasn't visited is because he lost his job, has no car, no gas, and no clothes to wear. You know that he has deliberately squandered all the chances he has been given to take care of himself. He’s made poor decisions, and his shame has kept him at arm's length.
Now, you are, in fact, very, very wealthy, so you have virtually unlimited resources. It would be very easy to end someone to pick your son up and bring him home. Instead, you send your personal chauffeur to his house. But your child refuses to come. He has much to do and see and can’t take the time. Your chauffeur returns without your child and your heart is broken.
Will you give up on him?
Your whole world will center on having him back home with you, and you'll spend all your resources to make that happen. You build him a beautiful home filled with all the things you know he loves and will want. You will do everything in your power and everything you can think of.
That is, except for one thing. You will not force him to come.
You probably know where this is going. See, God loves you unconditionally. He longs to have a close relationship with you on this earth and a beautiful home in heaven. The God of the universe, who hung the moon and stars, wants you. He will never give up on you, no matter what you’ve done. No matter what, you are His child.
The time for choosing is nearing its end. Will you stay here? Or will you return to your home? Open your heart and let Him prepare you in His loving way. His gift of forgiveness is sitting there, just waiting for you to take it. It has already been purchased, and it’s gift wrapped with your name on it.
When you walk with God daily, you will know Him. Your heart will be so full of gratitude for His tireless work at saving you, as if, all along, you were the only one for whom Jesus died. Do we deserve to be forgiven and saved because of something we have done? No. Not a thing we do, but what Jesus did. God sacrificed His son to save us. He will go the distance.
For the wandering child, God will open wide the doors and pour out all of heaven’s resources on you. But, my friend, He will never force you. So the answer to the question, “How do I know if I will be saved?” is simple. The choice to be saved is yours.
Almost Morning 2016