Scripture Text: Luke 15:11-32 Title: Safe and Sound!
Question of the Day: Where is our heavenly Father’s heart concerning His children?
The story of the prodigal son and his prodigal brother reveal much about the heart of our heavenly Father. The story begins with the younger son’s escapade and hiatus in the “far country”, and how he wasted all of his inheritance, and how the older son, though he stayed home and worked hard for his father, his heart was not right as he demonstrated a selfish and sulky attitude. But what is so intriguing about this story and its implications is how it reveals so much about the heart of our heavenly Father toward us.
1. The father allowed the son to have a large sum of money to go out and blow before he ended up at the end of his rope and repented and returned home. Our heavenly Father allows us to go off and do things that a young person with no restraint and maturity would do before He draws us back to Himself in love and compassion.
2. The son remained a son, even though he was rebellious, left home, and blew a large part of an inheritance, yet he was allowed to return home with the full status of a “son”. Isn’t that just like our heavenly Father—restoring us to all that He had originally intended us to become when He created man in the beginning?
3. The father smothered the son with such love and compassion when he returned home with a penitent heart, and that love stopped the son’s coming home speech. Our heavenly Father smothers each believer with so much love and compassion here on earth and in eternity He will overwhelm us to the point we won’t even remember all the heartaches and trials we went through here on earth! (And that is what the Scriptures say!)
4. The father knew just how to handle the immature wayward son who went off in rebellion and lived a sinful life, and he knew how to handle the “stay at home son” that also had a selfish self-centered attitude and showed no compassion for his lost brother. Our heavenly Father knows how to handle each of us and bring us to maturity—and that is going to be a big task for many of us!
5. The father’s words exposed his own heart: it was full of mercy, love, compassion, and longsuffering toward the younger son because he had been lost and dead, and now he was “alive again…is found…and returned home safe and sound.”
This story is a classic example of our Father’s great love for us—His wayward children. Here is the main point: when we all get to heaven and get all cleaned up and clothed in His righteousness and stand before Him complete and whole, what will win out? Our sin and rebellion and wayward way of life, or our Father’s love, mercy, and forgiveness? This great and overwhelming love will be the theme of the song of our hearts throughout all of eternity!
Prayer: O God our Father, our hearts overflow with gratitude and praise to You for Your great love and mercy and forgiveness that You so lavishly pour out on us—Your children. Ignite our hearts now and prepare us for eternity where we will have the privilege of giving praise and glory to You forever! Amen!