Grow • Devotion 2

The Father’s Reaction
John Stone

“Nevertheless, knowing that a person is not justified by works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law; since by works of the Law no flesh will be justified. But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Far from it!” Galatians 2:16-17 NASB

When was the last time you stopped to reflect on the love that your Heavenly Father has for you? Think about the incredible sacrifice He made to purchase you and the amazing future He has waiting for you (Ephesians 2:4-7). In light of these realizations, why would we still try to earn our salvation through our own efforts as though Jesus Christ is not sufficient in Himself? Our faith is based on Him who called us by name. He is called Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11) and has already completed the work that we so desperately needed but could not do for ourselves (John 19:30).

Picture with me a scene that plays out weekly at every location. A father comes to pick up his son or daughter from the nursery. This little preschooler runs to their dad with a picture that they have scribbled all over with crayons. Sometimes the color choices match the scene on the page, but most times not. Half the picture is not colored at all, the rest is wildly outside the lines. The technique is generally clumsy with broad arcs or jagged zigzags of color. It is hardly a Rembrandt or Monet (maybe Picasso). However, the most beautiful part is (or should be) the father’s reaction. He scoops his little one up in his arms and exclaims “Wow! You colored that for me?” The love he has for his child turns the Crayola disaster he is holding into a masterpiece.

This is justification. It is our Heavenly Father loving us so much that when He looks at us He sees His own Son, Jesus Christ. He sees beyond our poor choices, bad scenes, and clumsy technique. His love does not allow Him to judge us based on the wild zigzag of scribbling all over the page of our life. He sees a masterpiece, not because He is blinded to all our sin and imperfections, but because Christ took our sins, made them His own, and replaced them with His righteousness so that we could be justified in the eyes of our perfect Heavenly Father (Romans 3:21-26).

If we are honest, we know that we are not capable of coloring within the lines of our life. We need to stop trying to earn God’s love through our own efforts and instead, accept with humility the love that He freely gives us and be grateful to our Savior. We need to keep coloring the page of our lives with everything we have. One day we can run to our Father and present our masterpiece knowing that despite all our mistakes, to Him it will be beautiful.

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” Luke 18:17 (NASB)

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