When You Don’t Have Answers

What do you do in life when you have lots of questions and no answers? Let’s talk about it. I’m hoping that by sharing what I’m walking through it might encourage you with what your walking through.

I thought I would try my hand at making some YouTube videos. Here’s the first one. I hope you enjoy. If you do like, comments subscribe. Thanks!

The Crazy Graveyard Man (Part Two) | ONE 13

The people would regularly bind the crazy graveyard man with chains. He was dangerous. He was also stronger than he should be. With a demonic surge of strength, he would break the chains that bound him and he was once again free to wander the graveyard. This particular morning something caught his gaze. A boat approaching the dock. He began to shake with fear. The God-man had come for him.

He ran toward the docks and bowed before Jesus, the Messiah, the son of God, who had authority over all things. He knew Jesus had come to send the demons away, but they didn’t want to go. As Jesus spoke the legion of demons had enough strength to talk back, “Why have you come to interfere with us?! Please leave us alone! At the very least please don’t send us far away.”

Jesus gave them permission to go into a herd of nearby pigs, but as for this man they were done tormenting him. They went into the pigs and drove them off the side of the cliff into a watery grave. The people of the region began to gather and were angry at the loss of the pigs, but they were also afraid.

They were afraid because of the crazy graveyard man. As they approached they saw him fully clothed and talking like a sane person. They weren’t overjoyed at his freedom, they were terrified. The combination of fear and anger was enough, they began to beg Jesus to leave the region and to go back where He came from. That was fine. He had done what He came here to do.

The man who was no free begged to be able to go with Jesus. The Lord looked at Him and said, “No, your purpose is not to go with me, but return to your family. Tell them what I have done for you. Tell everyone in the ten towns you came from.” And he did. People were amazed at the name of Jesus and the power He had.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  1. We all have a story to tell about what God has done for us! What is your story?
  2. God gave this man ten towns to tell his story, where has God given you to tell yours?

PRAY: Father, show me Your purposes for my life.

SCRIPTURE READING:

Mark 5:1-20 (NLT) So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.

When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”

Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?”

And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.” 10 Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.

11 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby. 12 “Send us into those pigs,” the spirits begged. “Let us enter them.”

13 So Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of about 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.

14 The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. 15 A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. 16 Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. 17 And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.

1 Peter 1:2-4 (NLT) God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

May God give you more and more grace and peace.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.

 

The Crazy Graveyard Man (Part One) | ONE 12

No one sets out to be a crazy homeless person possessed by demons. Who was this man when he was a boy? What was his childhood like? When did it start to go wrong? Did he have any brothers or sisters? Did he choose unwise friends? Perhaps it was drugs. I have to believe there was a time when he enjoyed going to the beach with his parents, enjoying the sun, laughing with his friends. These days he spends his time in graveyards, howling at the moon like the lone wolf he is. Except, he isn’t really alone is he? A Legion of demons to keep him company, he uses sharp stones to try and cut out the pain.

When people look at him, they see a man without hope. A man who belongs to the outer rim of society. The kind of man you tell your children to stay away from. They do of course, but that doesn’t stop them from telling scary stories of the man who roams the streets at night. No one would go out of their way to approach this man. No one would entrust this man with any matter of importance. I wonder if anyone even knew is name.

One day Jesus said to invited his disciples to cross the lake. Jesus had a God-given appointment with the man who didn’t matter. He had to get to the other side of the lake where he was. No matter the storm that threatened to destroy the boat, filling his disciples with fear. He had to get there. I wonder if Jesus told his disciples about the man he was going to see. I suspect not. I try to imagine the disciples’ reactions as they are getting off the boat and they see this strange man slinking toward them, scars covering his skin, eyes crazy, and fixed on Jesus, the eyes of the messiah fixed on him.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  1. Think about any strange people in your life, at your school. What do you think they have been through?
  2. Just like Jesus crossed the storm to get to this crazy man, He crosse the chasm of heaven to earth so He could die for you. Take a moment and be grateful for God’s love for you.

PRAY: Lord, give me compassion for those who seem different and so often don’t seem to matter.

SCRIPTURE READING:

Mark 4:35-41 (NLT) As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”

Mark 5:1-5 (NLT) So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes.[a]When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil[b] spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.

Psalm 139:1-18 (TPT)
Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.
You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,
and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
3–4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.
You read my heart like an open book
and you know all the words I’m about to speak
before I even start a sentence!
You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.
You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,
and in kindness you follow behind me
to spare me from the harm of my past.[a]
With your hand of love upon my life,
you impart a blessing to me.
This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!
Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.[b]
Where could I go from your Spirit?
Where could I run and hide from your face?
If I go up to heaven, you’re there!
If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!
If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there!
If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting![c]
10 Wherever I go, your hand will guide me;
your strength will empower me.
11 It’s impossible to disappear from you
or to ask the darkness to hide me,
for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.
12 There is no such thing as darkness with you.
The night, to you, is as bright as the day;
there’s no difference between the two.
13 You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside
and my intricate outside,
and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.[d]
14 I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!
Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking.
It simply amazes me to think about it!
How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
15 You even formed every bone in my body
when you created me in the secret place,[e]
carefully, skillfully shaping me[f] from nothing to something.
16 You saw who you created me to be before I became me![g]
Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
the number of days you planned for me
were already recorded in your book.[h]
17–18 Every single moment you are thinking of me!
How precious and wonderful to consider
that you cherish me constantly in your every thought!
O God, your desires toward me are more
than the grains of sand on every shore!
When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.

 

Do I Matter? | ONE 11

Have you ever felt like you don’t matter? Maybe someone said something that made you feel worthless. Perhaps you don’t see how you could ever do anything great, you’re too dumb, untalented, or unpopular. No one wants to listen to you. I think we’ve all had seasons where we felt forgotten and lonely. Maybe even wondered, “why do I exist?”

I remember a time in my life when I really wanted to be friends with a specific group of people. They really were the good Christian friends I’d always wanted. They were kind, friendly, outgoing and genuinely cared about people. Yet, I couldn’t seem to break into the group. I always felt like I was on the outside looking in.

At one point, one of my really good friends was starting to become really close to that group. I thought, “This is it! My friendship with him is going to help me get in the group for real.” And then one day my friend let me know that he would be spending less time with me so he could spend more time with them. I’m sure those weren’t his exact words, but the message was clear. I wasn’t invited.

I felt a bit lost. It felt so important for me to be included, yet to them I didn’t seem to matter. If you feel that way, I want you to know you’re not alone. As we begin the final five days of our ONE series I want you to know that God created you for a reason and He went through incredible lengths to show proof that you matter and have a purpose! There may be people in your life who make you feel like you don’t matter, but Jesus loves to use the ones who don’t matter.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  1. What are some specific words, or situations, that made you feel like you didn’t matter?
  2. Think about the fact that God CHOSE to create YOU. Remind yourself, that God enjoys spending time with you.

PRAY: Lord, when I feel like I don’t matter, help me to remember that my value comes from YOU.

SCRIPTURE READING:

2 Peter 2:9-10 (MSG) But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

Psalm 138:1-8 (TPT)
I thank you, Lord, and with all the passion of my heart
I worship you in the presence of angels![a]
Heaven’s mighty ones will hear my voice
as I sing my loving praise to you.
I bow down before your divine presence
and bring you my deepest worship
as I experience your tender love and your living truth.
For the promises of your word and the fame of your name
have been magnified above all else!
At the very moment I called out to you, you answered me!
You strengthened me deep within my soul
and breathed fresh courage into me.
One day all the kings of the earth
will rise to give you thanks when they hear the living words
that I have heard you speak.
They too will sing of your wonderful ways,
for your ineffable glory is great!
For though you are lofty and exalted,
you stoop to embrace the lowly.
Yet you keep your distance from those filled with pride.
By your mighty power I can walk through any devastation
and you will keep me alive, reviving me.
Your power set me free from the hatred of my enemies.
You keep every promise you’ve ever made to me!
Since your love for me is constant and endless,
I ask you, Lord, to finish every good thing that you’ve begun in me!

Romans 8:26-39 (NLT) And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[a] in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[b] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn[c] among many brothers and sisters.30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[d]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[e] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Caught: Confession | ONE 10

Yesterday we discovered that hiding or launching a full-blown cover-up is not the best course of action when we’ve been caught, well then what is the right course of action? We can learn this from another fairly well-known story in the Bible.

We know David most from when he killed a giant and became famous and eventually king. David is referenced hundreds of years later as a man after God’s own heart. However, he was not without faults. He once slept with another man’s wife. And he may have gotten away with it except that she became pregnant. Well, sin never stays hidden for long. David’s initial instinct is actually wrong, he tries to cover it up before he gets caught. The end result here is that he commits murder by causing her husband to get killed in battle. Not good David, not good.

God sees all this goes down and knows that David is in real trouble so He sends a prophet to confront David and his sin. David’s response to the ugliness of his sin is simple, honest confession. “I have sinned.” He recognized how far he had gone and was broken. In a song he wrote, we see a sincere heart crying out to God for mercy and restoration. God heard David’s. prayer and forgave his sin.

Sometimes we have this image of God in heaven waiting for us to mess up so He can scowl at us angrily and tells us, “I knew you were a sinner. You deserve hell”. However, this is such a false view of who God is. He knows we are a sinner and deserve hell, except he is anxious to show us mercy rather than judgment. He longing for us to come to Him so that He can demonstrate His love for us still remains, even though we messed up big. He is a loving Father longing to embrace his child.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  1. What challenges do you have in believing God can forgive your big mistakes?
  2. Do you have an image of an angry judgemental God in your head? Try and exchange that picture with that of a father that truly loves you without condition. What does that look like to you?

PRAY: Father, help me to see You the way You are and to know the unconditional way You love me.

SCRIPTURE READING:
*If you have time today, read all of 2 Samuel 11 & 12

2 Samuel 11:2-4 (NLT)  Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her.

2 Samuel 12:13 (NLT) Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.

Psalm 51 (NLT)

Have mercy on me, O God,
    because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
    blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
    Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
    it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
    I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
    and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
    teaching me wisdom even there.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
    you have broken me—
    now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
    Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
    and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
    and they will return to you.
14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
    then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
15 Unseal my lips, O Lord,
    that my mouth may praise you.

16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
    You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
    You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
18 Look with favor on Zion and help her;
    rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
    with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
    Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

 

Caught: Cover Up | ONE 09

Have you ever been caught with your hand in the cookie jar? We all sin, we all do things we aren’t supposed to do. It’s our secret. No one knows. Until they do and suddenly we are exposed. That moment we are caught is a moment of paralyzing fear as our minds quickly attempt to determine the correct course of action. Often our first course of action is to attempt covering up our wrong doing. We may lie, or make excuses, but ultimately this course of action is unadvisable.

Over the next two days, we will look at two examples of people in the Bible who were caught and how they responded.

Let’s start with Adam and Eve. They were the first people we encounter in scripture and they lived in a beautiful garden, enjoying a healthy relationship with God. The instructions God gave them were pretty good, eat of any tree except one. They could of any tree, and some of them were pretty good. My favorite was the tree of life. Eating from that tree meant you don’t die. Not a bad deal. Why is it, however, that we are always drawn to the one tree we aren’t supposed to eat from.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God’s instructions were clear, don’t eat of this tree or you will die.

Well, they ate of the tree.

At that moment their whole world changed. They really did begin to understand things they didn’t before. They knew enough to cover up their nakedness, and they knew enough to know that there was no hiding what they had done from their Creator.

When they heard God walking the garden looking for them, they did what most of us do when we’ve done something wrong and our parents are looking for us. They hid.

When God found them, they tried to make excuses. Adam blamed the woman. The woman blamed the serpent. Sorry guys, the devil made me do it doesn’t hold up. We are responsible for the choices we make.

Because of their sin, among other things, they were banished from the garden and the tree of life.

However, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if they hadn’t hid? What if they hadn’t tried to make excuses and pass the blame? Would God have responded differently? We can’t know the answer to that, but we can know that trying to cover up our sins is never the best choice to make when we are caught.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  1. How do you respond when you get caught?
  2. Is there a better option than hiding or making excuses?

PRAY: Lord, forgive me when I sin. Give me courage to not hide or make excuses, but help me to take responsibility for my actions.

SCRIPTURE READING:

1 John 1:5-10 (NLT) This is the message we heard from Jesus[a] and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 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. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Genesis 3 (NLT) The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.“It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man[a] and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”

“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”

14 Then the Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, you are cursed
    more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
    groveling in the dust as long as you live.
15 And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike[b] your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

16 Then he said to the woman,

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
    and in pain you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband,
    but he will rule over you.[c]

17 And to the man he said,

“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree
    whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,
the ground is cursed because of you.
    All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you,
    though you will eat of its grains.
19 By the sweat of your brow
    will you have food to eat
until you return to the ground
    from which you were made.
For you were made from dust,
    and to dust you will return.”

20 Then the man—Adam—named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.[d] 21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

22 Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings[e] have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” 23 So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. 24 After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

 

Return | ONE 08

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:

  1. Is your instinct to run and hide when you mess up? Or do you prefer to come clean right away? Why?
  2. 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.

SCRIPTURE READING:

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. 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.