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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The younger son’s share of the estate would have been one-third, with the older son receiving two-thirds. In most cases he would have received this at his father’s death, although fathers sometimes chose to divide up their inheritance early and retire from managing their estates. What is unusual here is that the younger one initiated the division of the estate. This showed arrogant disregard for his father’s authority as head of the family.
For a Jew to stoop to feeding pigs was a great humiliation, and for this young man to eat food that the pigs had touched was to be degraded beyond belief. The younger son had truly sunk to the depths.
The younger son, like many who are rebellious and immature, wanted to be free to live as he pleased, and he had to hit bottom before he came to his senses. It often takes great sorrow and tragedy to cause people to look to the only one who can help them—Jesus. Are you trying to live life your own way, selfishly pushing aside any responsibility or commitment that gets in your way? Stop and look before you hit bottom. You will save yourself and your family much grief.
In this story, the father watched and waited. He was dealing with a human being with a will. Of his own, but he was ready to greet his son if he returned. In the same way, God’s love is constant and patient and welcoming. He will search for us and give us opportunities to respond, but he will not force us to come to him. Like the father in this story, God waits patiently for us to come to our senses.
The son left out of selfishness. God’s great love reaches out and finds sinners no matter why or how they got lost. (NLT)
Luke 15:11-24 – To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money on wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man.”’
So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’
“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”
The father said, “This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” – Luke 15:24 (NRSV)
Natalie Guarascio (California) titled her story “THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER;” here is her story:
“I hit the road with everything I owned packed inside my small car even though the idea of leaving my apartment, job, school, friends, and my comfortable life of sin had paralyzed me. The drive home seemed like a lifetime; I dreaded returning to face my mom. Fearful thoughts also filled my mind. How could God ever forgive my poor choices? How would I cope without my destructive, self-made support system? All I could do was muster up a tiny seed of hope that my life was not over.
“When I entered my mother’s house, I found my bedroom decorated with a bright new bed cover and cheery new curtains. My mom came in and sat down beside me. She was all hugs and smiles, ecstatic that her baby girl was home. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God used the simple act of my mom sprucing up the bedroom to show me a glimpse of love and grace. And little did I know that the next few years would be filled with new friends, a college degree, a wedding, and opportunities to mentor teenagers.
“Looking back to that long drive home I never would have guessed that God would be so lavish in pouring out love on me, especially knowing it was nothing that I deserved or earned. God longs to lavish love on each of us. Knowing this, we can muster up a tiny seed of hope today that life is not over. With God, it is just beginning.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God has a parent’s heart toward his children.
Prayer: Dear God, take our tiny seeds of hope that you can change our lives, and show us your love and grace that await us. Amen.
Prayer Focus: PARENTS OF YOUNG ADULTS RETURNING HOME
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
OBEDIENCE, OBEY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/obedience-obey/
PERFECT, PERFECTION: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/perfect-perfection/
FOLLOW, FOLLOWING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/follow-following/
GOOD, GOODNESS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/good-goodness/
SUFFERING, SUFFER: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/suffering-suffer/
RESPOND, RESPONSE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/respond-response/
COMPASSION, COMPASSIONATE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/compassion-compassionate/
EXAMPLE, EXAMPLES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/example-examples/
May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/