When we left off yesterday Jesus was telling the story of a young man who had wasted his inheritance. As he ate the pig slop, he realized how far off track his life had become. Suddenly all he wanted to do was to go back home, but how could he go back home? He had essentially told his dad that he wished he was dead, took his inheritance and abandoned his family. He had certainly lost the right to belong in his home, the right to called “son” by his father.
However, he knew that his father was a kind man. Even his servants were well taken care of. Certainly better off than he was right now. The young man decided to swallow his pride and admit his mistakes. At least enough to ask to be his father’s servant.
The boy headed home. This is where the story takes a turn for the amazing. The father missed his son and was daily longing for his son to come home. He was even looking for him. This particular day, while his son was still a long distance away, he caught a glimpse of a silhouette. He knew instantly that his son had returned. He took off running down the dusty street, anxious to embrace his youngest son.
The embrace of his father made the boy feel ashamed and he looked at his dad, “I’m so sorry, I really messed up. I was wrong. I could never be called your son, but maybe you would allow me to work–”
The father refused to even let the boy finish his thoughts, “No, you are my son and I’m so happy that you’ve returned.”
The father then threw a huge party in honor of his son, making sure everyone knew his lost son had returned.
The Father’s love in this story shows that there is no condition on God’s love. Even after we make big mistakes He still loves us, He still embraces us. He will not stop pursuing us. He longs for us to return home.
Often, when I’ve messed up I don’t want to come to God. I have this fear that He is just angry and wants to yell at me, however that isn’t an accurate picture of God. He is the father in this story. We don’t have to be afraid to come to the Father, we don’t have to hide. God doesn’t shame us or condemn us. He embraces us.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
- Is your instinct to run and hide when you mess up? Or do you prefer to come clean right away? Why?
- How does the picture of the father in the story differ from how you usually think of God?
PRAY: Father, please help me to know your love and compassion for me, that I might receive Your love and live for You.
Luke 15:17-24 (TPT) “Humiliated, the son finally realized what he was doing and he thought, ‘There are many workers at my father’s house who have all the food they want with plenty to spare. They lack nothing. Why am I here dying of hunger, feeding these pigs and eating their slop?
18 I want to go back home to my father’s house, and I’ll say to him, “Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. 19 I’ll never be worthy to be called your son. Please, Father, just treat me like one of your employees.”’
20 “So the young son set off for home. From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So the father raced out to meet him. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love.
21 “Then the son said, ‘Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I could never deserve to be called your son. Just let me be—’
“The father interrupted and said, ‘Son, you’re home now!’
22 “Turning to his servants, the father said, ‘Quick, bring me the best robe, my very own robe, and I will place it on his shoulders. Bring the ring, the seal of sonship, and I will put it on his finger. And bring out the best shoes you can find for my son. 23 Let’s prepare a great feast and celebrate. 24 For this beloved son of mine was once dead, but now he’s alive again. Once he was lost, but now he is found!’ And everyone celebrated with overflowing joy.
Acts 3:19 (NLT) Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.
1 John 1:8-9 (NLT) If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness
2 Peter 3:9 (NLT) The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.