Jesus said that when the prodigal son came home, he was welcomed back into his father’s house. He received a new robe, ate at his father’s table and had full forgiveness. But that didn’t make him an angel.

On the contrary, I believe the prodigal’s father experienced a lot of problems with him before it was all over. However, the one thing this son had to know was that he was secure in his father’s love. He had to know his father would bear with him, work with him and love him.

That’s how our heavenly father is with us. He loved us before we were even born! Yet, we keep telling ourselves, “One of these days, I’m going to be so perfect and right before God that it will be easy for him to love me.”

No. He loved you when you were a sinner, a reprobate, an enemy to him. How much more does he love you now that you’re reconciled to him? God has already said to you, “I loved you when you were an alien to me, when you were in rebellion and sin. Will I not love you even more now that you have committed to sonship?”

We don’t rest confidently in his love as we should. The Lord says of himself that he is love. John wrote, “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:15-18 NKJV).