A YOUNG man in American, the son of a wealthy Christian man, had become wayward and extravagant in his habits; and finally, quarrelling with his father because he had refused him all the money he demanded, had left home in anger, and given himself up to a reckless life. For a long time he continued an abandoned wanderer. Becoming at one time very straitened, and being brought to the verge of desperation, he determined to break into his father’s house in the absence of the family, thinking, since he knew well where the valuables were kept, that he could find means to relieve his necessity. “My father owes me a living,” he said to himself, “ and I will have it!”
He succeeded in effecting an entrance into the house and safe, and, amid the stillness of the house, began his search. Coming upon some valuable papers, he found, amongst the rest,
HIS FATHER’S WILL.
With curious eye he began reading that will. To his utter astonishment he found his name among the heirs, and a large bequest set against it. At first he could hardly credit his eyes. The father with whom he had quarreled, against whom he had cherished such bitterness – could it be possible that he had retained his name in his will, and was yet intending to give him his portion will the rest? “Can it be,” he said to himself, “That my father loves me, in spite of all my hatred and bitterness toward him?
“Can it be that, in spite of he dishonour I have brought upon him, he is still ready to treat me as son?” And such was the effect of these thoughts, that they were the means of bringing him to repentance and reconciliation with his father.
Ah! How little that young man dreamt that his father so loved him! And have not your thoughts about God been just the same? You have tried to shut God out of your thoughts; or, this being impossible, you have only thought of Him as One who was angry with you.
How did you come to have such mistaken ideas? If you only knew that he is longing to embrace you, and to assure you of his full and free forgiveness of all, and to tell you of all the bright inheritance which is waiting for you, if only you will claim it.
“But,” you say, “ say, “I do not think peace is to be got so easily as all that. Do you mean to say that I may all at once believe that God loves me – and that all my sins are forgiven, because His son has died in my stead – and so, at once have peace and rest?”
I mean it, or, rather, God means it; for He says:
“The Son of God Loved me, and
gave Himself for me.”
Yes! Peace is found – not by praying – not by repenting – not by reforming – not by feeling – but first by hearing, then believing God’s message – by simply realizing what Jesus had already done for you.