Only the certainty of love, forgiving love, can do this.
Free and warm reception into the divine favor is the strongest of all motives
in leading a person to seek conformity to Him
who has thus
A cold admission into the paternal house by the father might have repelled the prodigal, and sent him back to his lusts; but the fervent kiss, the dear embrace, the best robe, the ring, the shoes, the fatted calf, the festal song – all without one moment’s suspense or delay, as well as without one upbraiding word, could not but awaken shame for the past, and true-hearted resolution to walk worthy of such a father, and of such a generous pardon. ‘Revelings, banqueting, and abominable idolatries’ come to be the abhorrence of those round whom the holy arms of renewed fatherhood have been so lovingly thrown. Sensuality, luxury, and the comforts of the flesh have lost their relish to one who has tasted the fruit of the tree of life.
~ Horatius Bonar