Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. – Psalm 100:4
Many people have a vision of God as a judgmental and harsh ruler. Some believe that they have to clean up their lives before they can enter into His presence. Some think that they are not good enough for God to love them.
The truth is that as children of God and followers of Jesus, our Heavenly Father welcomes us with open arms. Just as we see in the story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15:11-32. This son had run off and lived a wild life. He blew his inheritance by partying and living lavishly. When this son came to his senses and returned home, we read, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” What a beautiful picture of our Heavenly Father welcoming each of us into His arms.
There is another story from the Bible that comes to mind. David had a best friend named Jonathan. He and Jonathan even made a covenant with one another. (See 1 Samuel 18:1-4.) Jonathan’s father was king Saul, who later was angry with David and tried to kill him. But David and Jonathan remained friends. Long story short – Saul and Jonathan were both killed in battle. After that David became king.
Some time later, “David asked, ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’” (2 Samuel 9:1)
Jonathan did have a son named Mephibosheth who was lame in both feet. (See 2 Samuel 4:4.) David sent for him and told him that he would show him kindness for the sake of his father Jonathan, and he said he would restore to him all the land that belonged to his grandfather Saul. (2 Sam 9:7.) But David goes even further. He then says that Mephibosheth “will always eat at my table.” (2 Sam 9:10.) And in 2 Samuel 9:12 it says, “So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.” Mephibosheth was welcomed into David’s household with open arms because of the covenant between David and Jonathan.
And we too are welcome into our Father’s family, thanks to Jesus. Remember how much your Heavenly Father loves you. Run into His arms anytime you need to. He is always there waiting to receive you. He accepts you with open arms.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. – Psalm 23:6
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas