“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, 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. 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.” Luke 15:20-24

Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:

The response of the father at the return of his son reveals that his son’s return has been the desire of his heart all along. The desire of the son’s heart has been revealed by the fact that he returned, but now he takes it to the next level by showing his heart further through the words of repentance he utters to his father, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.” The father then goes to the next level in showing his heart. This is pivotal: the Father wants to receive his son back as a son and now he can because his son’s repentance reveals that he knows that he caused the loss of the father/son connection and it reveals that he is ready for this connection to be restored in full. So, the father knowing for sure that that which was lost is truly found, immediately launches a full scale joy-filled demonstration that his lost son is again his son fully and completely. The parallels between this restoration of this human father and his son and our restoration to our Heavenly Father are wonderfully helpful and freeing. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father is meant to be full and complete right from the start. It is all about joy and we must not let anything interfere with our experiencing our relationship with our Heavenly Father in the full and complete way that he intends for it. We are talking about the joy of our return to our Heavenly Father, the joy of or relationship with our Heavenly Father, and the joy fostered around us that helps the lost move toward restoration with God as well.

Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:

Lord, thank you for the great joy you have when someone repents and returns to you. How amazing it is to think that the angels in heaven rejoice each time as well. Help me also to value this more than anything and everything. I want to be caught up in the joy of your kingdom spreading one person at a time. May everything about me and my life be about fostering joyful restoration. I love you, praise you, and worship you, Lord. Amen!