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.