Reading: Luke 15.1-32
Scripture: But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him...But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. Luke 15.20, 32
Observations: Is there a more beautiful portrayal of the heart of God than this chapter? This description of God was so important that Jesus told the same story three different ways. A shepherd, a woman, and an elderly father are all pictures of a God who wants, more than anything, to recover those who are lost. It is about God who seeks, who finds, and who extravagantly celebrates. It is about repentance. And, sadly, it is also about the brooding son who missed out on the celebration because of his selfishness and pride.
Apply: When commenting on the compassion of God as expressed in this chapter, Bill Hybels says, "You have never locked eyes with someone who Jesus doesn't love." How differently will we treat others when we see them as Jesus does? No one is beyond hope, it is never too late to turn back to God, and all the angels in heaven join in the celebration when someone returns.
Pray: Lord, let me see others with the eyes of God who loves them and who wants, more than anything, to throw a party to welcome them home.