Sunday, February 4, 2007

Lost and Found

I love the parable of the lost son or prodigal son. I've titled this devotion "Lost and Found" because this truly is a story about a lost son that finally finds his way back home. This parable is found in its' entirety in Luke 15:11-32. I'll focus on of few of those verses today.

Luk 15:21
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.*’
Luk 15:22
“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.
Luk 15:23
Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.
Luk 15:24
For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

This relationship between the father and his son, is the same relationship that we have with our heavenly Father. We are the son, in this parable and God is the Father. To fully understand how terrible this son was behaving we have to look back at a few other verses in Luke. In verse 12 The son demands his inheritance, and when he got it he took it all and left home. In verse 13 the bible says he squandered his wealth in wild living and he eventually spent and wasted his entire fortune to the point that he was literally starving. When this young man finally comes to his senses (vs17) he realizes that his fathers hired men have plenty to eat and here he is starving to death! He decides that its time to go back to his father and admit that he's messed things up royally, hoping that his father will at least let him work as a hired hand, because he knows he's no longer worthy to be called his son. So he heads home... and as he journeys home, his fathers sees him coming from a long way off in the distance and being filled with compassion, HE RAN, to his son throwing his arms around him and kissing him! Not exactly the kind of reception that he expected was it? And of course, not the kind of reception he deserved.

You see there is great comfort in this parable for those that see the truth in this message. God loves us unconditionally! No matter what you've done in the past, no matter how badly you have behaved, and no matter if you too have lost your senses just like this son did, there is good news! When you finally come to your senses and realize your sin... repent! When we admit or acknowledge our sin this is when we finally can ask God for forgiveness and to do this we need to go back home to Him. And if you'll just seek God, He will be there waiting, His heart filled with love and compassion, and He'll embrace you and kiss you with His love.

It seems that when I sin, I try to hide form God. I feel embarrassed and want to hide a lot like Adam and Eve must have wanted to hide after they sinned against God. But by hiding I distance myself from God. Then the next thing I know, I don't feel His presence anymore. God will give me space if that's what I want, but eventually I come to my senses (Praise the Lord) and I run back to Him, pleading forgiveness and my experience has always been a reconciliation with Him. A loving relationship that is restored.

I find it interesting as I read this parable that the Father never went anywhere looking for his son. His son in his own stubbornness had made up his own mind, and he left. Just like you and I do every time we sin against God. But the good news is that when we realize what we've done. Just like the father in this story was waiting for his sons return, so it is with our Heavenly Father. He's waiting on us to come back. He's watching in the distance and He wants to forgive us and restore us with His love again.

Don't let your sin blind you from the love of God. Praise the Lord that His Spirit within us will guide us back home if we will just be obedient to it's leading.

Prayer: Dear Lord! So often I've done things that send me off in the opposite direction of your loving arms. Trying to do things on my own and in my own way. Stubborn and disobedient to Your will. But when I finally realize what I've done... you always take me back, always! Please Lord, help me to learn from my mistakes and help me to grow each time this happens. Lord, make me more like you Jesus. never to run away again. Amen

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