After hearing four women share their Agape Love Stories at our GATHER event, I had the privilege of sharing God’s Agape Love stories from Luke 15: the Lost son and the Entitled son both failed to embrace God’s Agape Love. Much like us, they both went after the blessings of God instead of relationship with God, and this set them on a fast track to being face down in a pig pen, and completely unsatisfied and void of joy trying to earn God’s Love.
We talked about how being a prodigal son can mean pursing obviously sinful, “wild living” or it can also mean the less obvious, cashing in our inheritance early and trying to fill our God-shaped hole with the blessings of God, instead of with God himself. Even good things like, the perfect family, career, marriage, ministry, and picturesque instagram reel- if they replace an agape relationship with God, they become sin, are bound to fail, and can’t fill the God-shaped hole in each of our hearts.
The entitled son’s approach of being good and “slaving away” for his Father just to get good things from him is equally as transactional as the prodigal’s cashing in his inheritance early- they both wanted their father’s stuff and not their father. God just wants our hearts, and nothing else can ever satisfy our God shaped hole than embracing Him 100%!
When we marvel at our unconditional, unearned love and acceptance in Christ, we can finally stop striving for love and acceptance from God and others, and we can actually extend it to others too. As we continually embrace our acceptance and worth in Christ alone, we stop trying to achieve it, and then we can finally encourage and empower others, instead of competing and comparing with others. God’s Agape Love changes everything, from the inside out!
It’s never too late to respond to God’s agape love invitation. There’s nothing bad enough we could do to lose it, and we could never earn it- His arms will always be wide open. And he will never stop pursuing us either, his love is unrelenting. After this parable in Luke 15, Jesus goes on to further emphasize His love for our ever wandering hearts with the next parable where He leaves the 99 sheep in the pasture to go after the one lost sheep, and carries her home on his shoulders.
There’s nowhere we can find this kind of love and acceptance apart from Christ! Lets drop our pursuits of other things in place of God and return home to our fathers arms, whether we are more like the prodigal son or the entitled son, our remedy is still the same. It’s more of Jesus, and less of everything else.
We pray women took steps, leaps and jumps towards embracing Gods agape love in a fresh way as well as joining our Agape Women’s Communities that embrace the centrality of the Gospel, and His Agape Love, where we can link arms and unpack what being loved by God and loving others means in our daily lives.