Daily Read – Joshua 5:1-7:15; Luke 15:1-32; Psalm 81:1-16; Proverbs 13:1
The following parable is a touching account of how the forgiving embrace of a father wins the heart of his prodigal son. This story beautifully demonstrates the unconditional love our Heavenly Father extends to each of His children. At one time we were lost, squandering our inheritance and living in the wages of sin, but Father came and rescued us with His unfailing love. His grace pulled us out of the pigpen of life, placed a robe of righteousness on our back, and crowned us with everlasting life.
Do you know someone who has wandered away from his or her God-given inheritance because of hurt, woundedness, or out-right rebellion? This is your opportunity to extend the Father's hand of grace to each one. He wants to wash the mud of sin from their feet and welcome them back home.
Regardless of what they may have done during their prodigal journey, as the elder brother, Father exhorts us to love and not judge them when they come home. This is not a time to throw stones, but it's time to throw a celebration party.
As you read this powerful story, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you those who have wandered away from their faith and how He would have you extend His love to them. There are many, so be prepared to do a lot of loving!
We are praying for the prodigals to come back home,
so it's time to put a welcome mat of love on the front porch.
Then He said: "A certain man had two sons.
And the younger of them said to his father,
'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood.
And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country,
and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.
But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.
Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country,
and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate,
and no one gave him anything.
"But when he came to himself, he said,
'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him,
"Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants."'
"And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off,
his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight,
and am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
"But the father said to his servants, 'Bringout the best robe and put it on him,
and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;
for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'
And they began to be merry.
"Now his older son was in the field.
And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.
And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound,
your father has killed the fatted calf.'
"But he was angry and would not go in.
Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.
So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you;
I never transgressed your commandment at any time;
and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.
But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots,
you killed the fatted calf for him.'
"And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.
It was right that we should make merry and be glad,
for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'"