“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.” (Luke 15:20)
A favorite of many in Scripture is the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The story is about the youngest of two sons who asks for his inheritance early. His father is not even close to death yet, but the son can’t wait. He doesn’t want to work in the fields any longer; he wants to live the life he wants to live. The father gives him the money and the son goes off to live his best life. However, his best life doesn’t last long because all the money is spent quickly and the son is left with nothing. He is left feeding pigs who are eating better than he is. So, he decides to return to his father with his tail tucked between his legs and beg to be hired as one of his father’s servants.
The verse above is the father’s reaction when he sees his son return. Our inclination if we were the father would be to punish the son and tell him, “I told you so.” But, that is not our Father in heaven’s inclination. See, the father in the story is God. This is how God treats us when we turn to Him. He doesn’t sit with a disappointed look on his face waiting for us to crawl back and grovel. He runs to us, embraces us and throws a party. He longs for the day when we come back.
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” None of us are too far gone for God not to forgive. The prodigal son was willing to no longer be a son, but his father would have none of that. When we come to God for forgiveness through Jesus Christ, he doesn’t make us a servant; he makes us His children.
Question: Are you a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ?
Challenge: Read the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 and meditate on the role of the father, thinking about the fact that this is how God treats those who come to Him.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for being our heavenly Father who loves us.
Ryan Reveley, League Coordinator -- Appalachian League