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Luke 15

Father, thank You for Jesus and the life I have in Him!

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“…He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends” (v 2 MSG)

What an example You are, Jesus, of loving all people, even those whom society tries to set aside.  You embrace them.  You consider them friends… Actually, we ALL fall under that noun of “sinners,” even those of us who belong to You.  Still, no matter what we do, You keep on loving us.

This chapter, though, Father, points out Your compelling passion for the wandering sinner, for the person who has been in Your fold, has been a part of Your possession, has been in Your household, yet became lost.  I can see in each parable a character who resembles You, whose actions reflect Your actions when it comes to Your desire for everyone to be Yours.

You’re like the shepherd.  He is continually alert to all his sheep, noticing even the absence of one amidst so many.  The one is as valuable as all the rest and like the sheep who was lost, if I’d been the only lost sinner, You’d have still done all that You did through Jesus to bring me back.  When Your sheep wander away, You persist in seeking them out.  When You do find each one, You are so full of joy that all of heaven parties!

You are like the woman.  She loses one coin, which is just as valuable to her as the other nine.  She does everything it takes to search for that coin, determined to find it.  You never give up on Your children, no matter how far away we roam or try to hide ourselves.  When You find one, You are extraordinarily ecstatic!

You are like the father.  Even though You know what’s the very best for Your child, You still allow for free will and personal choice.  The way this father could see his returning son “while he was still a long way off” (v 20 NIV), causes me to wondered how often that father peered down the same road … hoping, wondering, longing, waiting.  At the first sight of Your returning child, Your compassion wells up.  Here in this passage is the only biblical inference to You as running.  You saw Your lost child who’d chosen to return home and Your feet couldn’t carry You quickly enough to be with him.  You ran to him, scooped him into Your arms, and called for a party in his honor!

Father, instill in me that same passion, diligence, patience, and that same party attitude when it comes to those who’ve wandered from You.  Protect me always from the temptation to be like that disgruntled older brother.  I want to be like You, Father.  Thanks for Your work in me continually to bring that about within me.  Amen.

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