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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, April 21, 2017
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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. Deb ♥
Today’s scripture reading:
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. (NLT)
Luke 15:11-32 – 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.
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the calf we were fattening and has prepared a great feast. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’
“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve worked hard for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friend. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the finest calf we have.’
“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you and I are very close, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. –2 Corinthians 2:15 (NIV)
Valerie L. Runyan (New Mexico) titled her story “THE AROMA OF CHRIST;” here is a portion of Valerie’s story:
“I used to work at a local mission. Some of my most vivid memories of that place are of the distinct smells I encountered there. . . . Sometimes I would enjoy the fragrances of freshly shampooed hair. Other friends would bring in the distinct smell of having spent the night by an open campfire. Others stood before me with the overpowering odor of stale cigarettes and liquor. When this odor hung in the air, I was always tempted to step back. But I never did because these were friends who needed a hug or a quick conversation and would sometimes ask for prayers.
“I recently reread the parable of the Prodigal Son, and it became personal to me. When I read the father’s passionate embrace of his son, I imagined that the odors of living with pigs still clung to the son. But this didn’t concern the father; he didn’t step back. . . . His best covered his son’s worst. This is what Christ does for each of us.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I can share Christ’s love by embracing a friend.
Prayer: Merciful Savior, thank you for the forgiving grace you constantly bestow on us. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/