Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30 - The Father's Love

Today's Reading: 
Exodus 12:14-13:16
Luke 15:1-32
Psalm 19:7-14
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Luke 15:20-24
20 So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.


This story is most often called "The Parable of the Prodigal Son." I guess that makes sense since the story line follows the son, and most of us probably identify more strongly with the son. The main idea of the story, however, seems to be centered in the character of the father. He was willing to let the son leave him, but he longed for the son to come to his senses and be restored. He ran to welcome the son when he returned, and he rejoiced and threw a party to celebrate the reunion with his estranged son. It was like receiving his son back from the dead!

Response and Action:
I recognize that God has given me the freedom to honor and serve him, or to wander and reject him. I believe that when I turn away from him, he longs for me to return and be restored. I want to have the wisdom to come home to God and to live for him. I must give thanks to God for his goodness in extending forgiveness and reconciliation to me.

I will share God's love for my brothers and sisters who are wandering. I will do what I can to find them and bring them back home. With God, I long for them to return and find their place in his family. When they return, I will run alongside God to welcome them. I will celebrate their restoration and renewal.

O God, thank you for welcoming me home. Thank you for your redeeming and saving love for all people. Thank you for giving your son, that whoever believes in him might have eternal life. Give me your heart for those who have wandered or turned away from you. Give me a readiness to reach out to them and to run to meet them with your gracious welcome. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
1 John 3:1a
1a How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Timothy Keller

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