Summary: In the Ragamuffin Gospel Brennen Manning quotes and elaborates on what Chesterton taught about grace. Chesterton calls grace The Furious Love of God. Manning explains, “God is not moody or capricious; He knows no seasons of change. He has a single relen
Why did Jesus die? To show us the furious love of God.
In the Ragamuffin Gospel Brennen Manning quotes and elaborates on what Chesterton taught about grace. Chesterton calls grace The Furious Love of God. Manning explains, “God is not moody or capricious; He knows no seasons of change. He has a single relentless stance toward us: He loves us. He is the only God who loves sinners. False gods – the gods of human manufacturing – despise sinners, but the Father of Jesus loves all, no matter what they do. But of course this is almost too incredible for us to accept. Nevertheless, the central affirmation of the Reformation stands: through no merit of ours, but by His mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of His beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of grace."
It says in James 1:17 that there is no shadow of turning with God. This means God loves us in a way that never changes. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. His love for us has no beginning and no end. It can’t be rained out or over turned by the Supreme Court. He love has only one way to exist-furious!
This concept of furious love has burned in my soul and I want to spend time with you today walking around in it. I want you to drink some of the 100 proof, 2,000 year old grace today and leave here drunk as a skunk on the love and grace of God.
I want to start painting the word picture today with a familiar story to most Bible-belt people. For those of you new to the Word don’t worry, I will try to paint with brilliant colors. I want to start with a question and then answer it. The question is when did the Father love the prodigal son? The answer is; he loved him all the time.
Briefly I will tell a story of a father whose son leaves home and squanders wealth, health, reputation, and faith. The son comes home and the Father welcomes him with love and acceptance – no questions asked – no apology demanded.
He loved him before he was born. He loved him when he cried all night, messed up his diapers and left teeth marks on the good furniture. He loved him when he threw more food on the floor than he ate. He loved him flying kites, and wrestling with puppies. He loved him when he was close to the father and obedient. He loved him when he became an adolescent and started being distant with new values and friends. He loved him when he stormed out of the house saying, “I hate you and I will never come back.” He loved him when he fell into shameful sin and wanton excess. He loved him when he was hated, sick, empty, friendless and alone. He loved him the day he swallowed the bitter pill of pride and turned for home. He loved him every struggling step of the way on the journey home. He loved him when he arrived at home pitiful and beaten. He loved him all the time just the same.
The Father’s love for the Prodigal was a furious love that was not moody or capricious; it knew no seasons of change. The Father’s love had a single relentless stance toward the prodigal: He loved him. He didn’t just love him a little – he loved him with ferocity.
The furious love of God is the next in the sermon series – Why did Jesus die? In this series of sermons we have glimpsed some of the reasons for his death. He was our blood sacrifice and scape goat. Next we saw that He died to get us out of our tree with the Zacchaeus story. Some of us are carrying around a bean in our pocket or purses to remind us when our heart is right the good seed sprouts in us and we become new persons. Jesus died to make us a new person; all of that and much more.
Today we are going to follow the same thought and once again ask why Jesus died. We want to try to catch a glimpse of the size of his love. The teaching today answers our question by saying JESUS DIED TO SHOW US THE FURIOUS LOVE OF GOD.
So let’s evaluate the quality as well as the quantity of his love. We want do bite it to see if it is the real thing. We want to see just how well it lasts and wears. We want to see if we can get 100,000 miles out of it. We want to know just how good the love of God is.