WEEK 12

February 16 – February 22

DAILY READINGS

Sunday

Luke 15:11-32

Monday

Luke 16:1-31; Psalm 37:10-15; Proverbs 5:18-21

Tuesday

Luke 17:1-19; Psalm 37:16-24; Proverbs 5:22-23

Wednesday

Luke 17:20-37; Psalm 37:25-32; Proverbs 6:1-4

Thursday

Luke 18:1-17; Psalm 37:33-40; Proverbs 6:5-7

Friday

Luke 18:18-43; Psalm 38:1-10; Proverbs 6:8–10

Saturday

Luke 19:1-10; Psalm 38:11-15; Proverbs 6:11-13

DEVOTIONAL: READ LUKE 15:11-32

The story of the Prodigal Son is the third parable in a series of “lost-and-found” stories that Jesus tells to illustrate an important truth–He seeks the lost and rejoices when they are found.

At first glance, it may seem to be a story about the sinfulness of a son (or two), but it is really about a father’s love. The younger brother lives selfishly, chasing personal pleasure. He rejects the father and only wants what the father has to give him. The older brother desires approval by living a seemingly moral life. He desires what the father has because he thinks that he has earned it.

Both have missed a true relationship with their father and what their father truly desires for them. One brother separated himself by pursuing evil things; the other separated himself by focusing on his own good deeds. In both situations, the father shows forgiveness, love, mercy, and grace. While enduring the pain and shame of the wandering son, the father waits and hopes for that son’s return, desiring restoration. The father seeks out his resentful son and reassures him that all he has already belongs to the son and is more than enough.

Jesus told this parable to deal with the Pharisees’ attitude. They thought they had earned God’s favor and were upset about sinners being welcomed in. God is the loving Father who is running toward us, waiting to restore us from our sins of rebellion and pride. He lovingly corrects us when we think we can earn His favor. His grace is freely given and enough for all! We need only to return, accept the forgiveness, and embrace the celebration. May we return to Him no matter how far off we are! May we join Him in celebrating all who come to know Him, His forgiveness, and His love!

REFLECTION

Which brother do you identify with the most? What is it about his behavior/response that resonates with you?

Is there anything in your life that you need to repent from, and return home to the loving embrace of the waiting Father? What ways have you tried to earn God’s love? Take some time to acknowledge those and confess them to Him. Be specific.

How are you welcoming those who are lost so that they can know the love of the Father?

DISCUSSION

How do you see the church embracing and welcoming those who seemed to have lost their way?

PRAYER

Father, I thank You that You are patient, always watching, and willing to forgive me when I run to You. Thank You that You graciously accept all who acknowledge Jesus as Savior into Your family. I confess that I have strayed from You many times, choosing my own sinful desires over the abundant life found in You. In Your faithfulness, You willingly forgive me and open Your arms to me when I turn from my selfishness and return home.

Lord, by Your Spirit, help me be a reflection of the unconditional love and forgiveness that You have shown me. Help me express it to those in my life, even when they don’t ask for or deserve it. I desire to see people as You see them–worth searching for. Keep me watchful for those who need to experience the freedom of Your forgiveness and the joy of being a part of Your family. Use my life to lead people to You, to be restored by the unending love and grace that makes wherever You are home. Amen.

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