FRIDAY, AUGUST 30
“We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!”
Luke 15:32 (NLT2)
WHEREVER I’M AT, WHATEVER I’VE DONE, THE FATHER CELEBRATES WHEN I COME HOME
A couple was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. When the festivities were over, the woman turned to her husband and said, “We’ve been miserable for 50 years. We’ve fought every day. We’ve disagreed on nearly everything, and I am convinced that we can’t keep going like this. I have made a commitment to pray that God will help us solve this problem. I’m praying that he will take one of us home. And when He answers my prayer, I’m going to live with my sister in Grand Rapids.”
In Luke 15, we are reminded over and over that God is celebrating the lost being found. But this is a happy celebration. The prodigal son’s father tells the older son, “We had to celebrate this happy day.” Luke 15:7 and 10 teaches that all of heaven rejoices over just one lost person coming home to God.
The return of the prodigal son is as dramatic as someone who was dead coming back to life. “For your brother was dead and has come back to life!” In Ephesians 2, the Bible uses the picture of us being spiritually dead before we come to Christ. And when we come to Christ it describes us as being spiritually made alive in Christ. To dig a little deeper today, read Ephesians 2. Highlight the metaphors used to describe someone who is home in Jesus and someone who has not yet come to Jesus. Which highlights best describe you?
In the story of the prodigal son everything the older son needed was right in front of him, but he didn’t recognize it. Years ago, I heard a preacher say, “If I could come out there and shove Jesus down your throat I would. And you would thank me after. But I can’t do that, and God won’t do that.” God wants and provides what’s best for us. However, we must make the choice to receive it and come into His house. God won’t force it. How do you think God has dealt with you when you’ve been wayward? What truth does this story in Luke 15 teach you about how God feels about you when you’re outside the house? Take time and thank God for the truth of His love.