In Luke 15 Jesus tells three stories about lost things. In each case it’s very easy to think that the point of the story is centered on the lost things: the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son. However, if you listen to the heart of each message, you will hear the patient persistence of the one who is seeking or waiting for that which is lost to be found or returned to where it belongs.
The story of the prodigal son is about the restoration of a father and a son. The message is really more about the heart of the redemptive father. A father waiting patiently for his son to return. A father who offered grace...unmerited favor...to a son who had turned his back on him and wasted all that his father had given him. A father who ran to meet his son as he saw him walking on the road coming home. A father who loved him...clothed him...fed him...forgave him...celebrated his return as he welcomed him home.
Sounds just like our Heavenly Father who is waiting on His children to come back home, children who have rebelled against Him, choosing to live life on their terms and not under the shelter and guidance of His loving care.
Maybe you’ve drifted from where you know God wants you to be...maybe you’ve found yourself further away from God than you ever intended to be. If you’re ready to come home, there is good news. All you have to do is turn around and step towards Him and He will run to you...love you...cloth you...feed you...forgive you and celebrate your return by welcoming you home.
He’s waiting for you to take that first step.
Sunday - Luke 15:11-32
Monday - Luke 15:8-10
Tuesday - Luke 15:1-7
Wednesday - Luke 19:10
Thursday - Jeremiah 50:6
Friday - Psalm 119:176
Saturday - Luke 9:25
Father, thank you for loving me as you do. Thank you for forgiving me. Lord, you are my home. Amen
Jesus put an emphasis on relationships because He understood that the most powerful force in the world is a relationship. He made building unbreakable bonds with a few people the core of His strategy. It was effective. Just hours before the crucifixion, “Peter insisted emphatically, ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And all the others said the same.” Mark 14:31). That’s because people will do for love what they will do for no other reason.
Reflect with me about when your relationship with Jesus began. How did it start? How does this relationship impact your life? Has your relationship changed over time? Has He been faithful to you? Have you always been faithful to Him? Have you ever failed Him?
I believe there are several vital elements of a personal relationship with Jesus. It all begins by accepting His invitation. Jesus said in John 15:16: 'You didn’t choose me. I chose you…’. Along with accepting His invitation comes communication, trust, faithfulness, openness and obedience. Once we’ve accepted His invitation, there may be times in our relationship when we may falter in our communication, trust, faithfulness, openness and obedience to Him. But I have good news: Jesus is always ready and willing to restore us when we fail.
Jesus’ invitation to Peter to enter into a relationship was a simple statement of “follow me,” which he did for 3 years. But then after denying he had ever known Jesus, because of his failure, Peter ran and hid. Jesus found him and asked him 3 times, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter responded all 3 times, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” Each time Jesus gave him instructions to “feed my sheep.” All of this was part of Peter’s restoration in their relationship. The last thing Jesus said to Peter was the same as the very first words He ever spoke to him …”Follow Me.” Jesus was telling Peter to go back to where their relationship began. A new beginning.
Do you need a fresh start…a new beginning, or maybe a simple reminder that your relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship you will ever have.
Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75,
Prayer: Jesus, I will follow you wherever you lead me. Help me to talk & listen to you, trust you, be faithful, open and obedient. Forgive me when I fail. Thank you for loving me. Amen
Have you ever tried to restore something? Maybe a piece of furniture or an old house or car. It can be hard, tedious work.
The word restore means to return something to its previous condition: to bring something back to an earlier and better condition. In order to truly restore something you have to know what it looked like before and how it was originally created to function. You may discover some things have changed over time and things may not work as they once did. You may have to take away things that were added and replace that which has worn out or is rotting away in order to restore it to its original design.
The same is true with our spiritual life. Over time we may have allowed things to be added that shouldn’t be there, or maybe we’ve simply neglected and drifted from God’s plan for our lives. We may have sin that we haven’t dealt with. When any of these elements are present in our lives, that’s when a restoration of our heart is needed.
There’s a process for restoration. First, there is recognition of our condition and the need for change. Second, there is repentance…confessing our sin and seeking forgiveness. Third, there is restoration. Restoration is always evidenced by transformation…change. Transformation is not simply a cosmetic change in outward attitude or behavior, but a rebuild...a reconstruct...a repair from the inside out that results in a change of heart.
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
My question to you today is who do you know that needs restoration?
Sunday - Psalm 51
Monday - 2 Samuel 12
Tuesday - Ezekiel 36:26-27
Wednesday - Acts 13:22
Thursday - Proverbs 15:13
Friday - Psalm 51:17
Saturday - Psalm 23:3
Prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Amen. Psalms 139:23 NLT
Bro. Joe Metts