Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Glory Be To God The Father"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 15:20 – 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. (NKJV)
At the age of twelve, swimming in the river was the best of fun! This particular day was no exception. After hours in the water with my long hair still damp, I climbed into bed, pulled up the covers, and fell asleep. A wet touch on my cheek awakened me. I opened my eyes to an incredible surprise! It was my brother, still in uniform, returned from World War II! He had come into my room, bent over the bed, and kissed my cheek. What happiness! His safety and location abroad had been unknown during the war. Now here he was, home at last!
There's a wonderful biblical parable about a homecoming that Jesus told, concerning the great joy that a father displayed when he sighted his son, long gone, making his way home.
This son had wanted to see the world and enjoy all its pleasures. So, he had requested and received from his father the inheritance intended for the future. Rather than use his inheritance wisely, the son wasted it, travelling widely, and living a wild life. Soon, he was reduced to poverty and working at a most lowly job.
It was then that he remembered his father. He made a decision to direct his steps homeward. As he approached, his father, who had been watching for him, saw him in the distance. He ran to meet his son, embraced him, and kissed him! He planned a big party! What a reconciliation!
Our Father, God, watches and waits for us to come home to Him. He knows all about the failures that we have had, past wrong behaviours, and the times when we did not do the things that we might have done to help others in their life journeys. God is not waiting for us to become perfect, successful in all our ways. His arms are open, ready to embrace us at the moment when we come to Him and accept the love and grace that He has for us. He offers it for the present and for all eternity. He waits for us to be home at last!
Without waiting to successfully clean up our own lives, we can enter under the wide umbrella of God's mercy and love right now, just as we are. When we ask for God's forgiveness, we can know, through His Word, that He does forgive us and receive us. We can live as His children for the present and for all eternity. Like the prodigal son, we can find ourselves home at last!
Prayer: Loving God and Father, we all have a need to know that we are loved just as we are. You offer us just that. In You, we can find forgiveness and love the moment when we accept You into our lives and receive the grace that You offer through Jesus Christ, Your Son. Help us today to recognize the largeness of Your love. Enable us to open our hearts and to believe that You love us for today and for all time to come. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.