But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.
In a rapidly deteriorating immoral culture, the magnanimous grace of God can be difficult to process for those who are pursuing righteousness. As we age, this grace takes on almost offensive tones to the ‘faithful’. There are so many who willfully live in and propagate evil that applying God’s grace almost seems unfair. Cynicism creeps into our hearts. We talk about justice more than mercy. Coldness results. It’s not fair.
When God acts it is fair. He is the definition of true Justice. It is His prerogative to show mercy and forgive. He is willing to forgive even the most rebellious soul who will turn their face to Him and seek to serve Him. Father God watches and waits for the return of the prodigal. When the rebellious one finally ‘comes to his senses’, the turning begins and the Father races to receive him. The challenge for those who are already following Father God is to love, forgive and receive as God does. It is no small task; however, His love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). In effect, we share His heart. Thus, our reaction to His applied grace becomes joy instead of condemnation. If our reaction is otherwise, a heart examination is in order.
May God be merciful to ‘older brothers’ as we strive to show and rejoice in the grace we have received as it is applied to those around us. His grace is more than enough. It is magnanimous.