Time in the Scriptures
Pray: Thank God for accepting you back every time you turn away.
Read: Luke 15:1-2, 11-24
When you read Jesus stories, do you identify more with the tax collectors and sinners, or with the Pharisees and scribes?
In verse 12, the younger son says, in effect, “Dad, I wish you were dead —all I really care about is what you can give me.” Are there times you have treated your parents this way? Have you treated God this way?
The son gets the money and wastes it. He soon ends up hungry, far away from home. Have you had times in your life where you ran away (either physically or spiritually) and found yourself hungry and alone?
The son decides that he could probably still work as a hired hand for his father. He comes up with a good line and heads home.
When you have failed someone and want to make peace with them, do you prepare good excuses? Do you come up with a list of things you might do to make up for your failure? Do you seek a new relationship where you are acknowledged as less important than you were before?
The father overwhelms the son with forgiveness. The son doesn’t even get to finish his speech before he is being showered with presents, restored as son, and thrown a great party.
Have you ever experienced this kind of overwhelming forgiveness?
This son really is a dirty rotten scoundrel — mortgaging the family farm and wasting half of it on parties and prostitutes is not just “sowing some wild oats.” Do you really believe God forgives dirty rotten scoundrels? Do you want God to?
Pray for people caught up in sin and despair.
Caring through Action
Think of someone who needs your forgiveness – perhaps yourself? It doesn’t need to be something big like the son in the story. Forgive (or start to forgive) them.