DIG for Thursday the 21st of April…..classic picture of forgiveness…..Luke 15 v 22 and 23

The account of the return of the prodigal son to his father is one of the best pictures on forgiveness that we have in Scripture.

In this account the son comes to his senses and decides to return home to his father.

At the same time he works out what he is going to say (Luke 15 v 18).

As we saw yesterday his father greeted him in a loving way (Luke 15 v 20).

The son then tried to say sorry and ask for forgiveness, but the father ignores him and instead just says, “let’s start the party’ (Luke 15 v 21 to 23).

This happened as the father had already forgiven his son, and just wanted him to return.

This is a picture of our Heavenly Father and how He has already forgiven us.

Every man has already been forgiven and reconciled through the shed blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

Now, this means not everyone has been save, but everyone has been forgiven.

Every man needs to make his own choice and come to the Lord to receive salvation.

As we come to God He wants to celebrate, He does not want to hear us asking for forgiveness.

It is silly to ask for forgiveness as we have already received this; I would suggest that you thank Him for forgiveness, but do not ask for it.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven for all sin (past, present and future) through the shed blood of Jesus”.

Luke 15 v 22 and 23…..But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry

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DIG for Wednesday the 20th of April…..He wants you to come back so much…..Luke 15 v 20

Every few months I return to the account of the prodigal son, or as I prefer to call it the account of the prodigal’s Father.

It is an account that you can come back to again and again yet still find something new.

I especially like to read the part where the son comes back to his father.

The Word says the father saw the son coming; he saw him as he was watching for him.

I imagine the father looking into the distance every day hoping to see his son coming home.

And when eventually he did see his son he was overjoyed, filled with compassion and ran to meet him.

He hugs him with violence (that is what fell on his neck means) and kissed him, a genuine show of affection for his son.

This of course is a wonderful picture of God the Father, and of us.

We are the son, coming to God for the first time or coming back after a period away from Him.

He was looking for us, wanting us to come to Him; you see He wants every man to come to repentance (change their mind) and return to him (2 Peter 3 v 9).

And Father God is overjoyed as his sons return to Him; every one of us is welcomed into His family and showered with His blessings (read the DIG tomorrow for more on this).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you are a loving Father, wanting every single man to come to you”.

Luke 15 v 20…..And he arose, and came back to his father. But when he was a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him

DIG for Saturday the 30th of May…..hunger or repentance, the father was not concerned what brought him back…..Luke 15 v 20

There was a very interesting question on Facebook this morning; did the prodigal son return to his father because he was hungry or because he was repentant over his sin and his behaviour?

This is a great question and one that should bring about lots of answers and maybe some debate, but it is not the most important point in this account.

The important thing is the reaction of the father.

When the son returns we do not see the father asking why he returned, there is no discussion about this.

When the father sees his son returning (because he was looking out for him all the time) he is filled with compassion for him and is not interested in why he returned, he is just overjoyed that he has returned.

He runs to him, hugs him with violence and kisses him (Luke 15 v 20).

The son does start to give his little speech that he has prepared but the father ignores this and just gets the party started (Luke 15 v 21 to 23).

The father is not interested in the son grovelling and saying sorry, trying to get back into his good books, he is simply overjoyed that his son is back in the family.

The same is true for our Heavenly Father, as this account of course is a picture of Father God.

When we come to him for the first time or when we come back to Him He is simply overjoyed that we have returned; He then gives us His best in terms of all that Jesus bought for us on the cross (John 10 v 10, 3 John 2 and 2 Corinthians 8 v 9)

We do not have to scrape and grovel pleading for forgiveness; yes, we can say sorry but that is for our benefit not for God.

We have already been forgiven for all the sin, stupidity and nonsense in our lives through the shed blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

I’m not saying that we should not feel sorrow or feel repentant, however we do not need to ask God for forgiveness; He does not want it and he does not need it because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

We may come to God for many different reasons, but every single one of us has been (or will be) accepted by Him into His family (Ephesians 1 v 5).

We simply had to make the decision to come to him, like the prodigal son who simply had to arise and go.

This account is a wonderful picture of the acceptance and inclusiveness of Father God through Jesus Christ.

His arms are always out wide, His door is always open, His eyes are looking out for us, and His acceptance is always there.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you love me, are looking out for me and always want the best for me”.

Luke 15 v 20…..And he arose, and cam to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him

DIG for Saturday the 15th of November…..all about compassion and love…..Luke 15 v 20

I never tire of reading the account of the prodigal son (or the prodigals father) in Luke 15, especially verse 20.

The first thing to notice is that the father did not go and force the son to come home, the son had to come to his senses himself and decide to return home.

But once the son had made the decision and was heading home we see that the father was looking out for him as he was seen from a great distance.

And when he saw his son coming home the father ran to meet him, hugged him with violence and kissed him (Luke 15 v 20).

The father was looking for the son to come home and was very happy when he did.

This of course is a picture of God, our Heavenly Father.

We often go away from Him and from His ways, but He always wants us to return and is constantly looking for us.

He never forces us to do anything; He has given us freewill to choose our own path and destiny.

But once we chose to return and come to Him He is ready to receive us with open arms, indeed once we have decided He will run toward us in greeting.

He is eager to have relationship with us, be that for the first time when we come to salvation or when we return after a time away.

He desires this because He is a God of compassion who loves us and wants the best for us.

He wants all men to be saved (2 Peter 3 v 9) and wants all of us to live in health and abundance (John 10 v 10 and 3 John v 2).

But as I said before he will not force us and we have to choose; choose both our initial salvation and ongoing salvation, in terms of healing, wholeness, joy, peace and prosperity.

God wants a relationship so much with every man that He sent Jesus to be the payment for our sins, so that every man could be reconciled and forgiven, and therefore given the opportunity to receive salvation.

All we have to do is choose to receive that salvation.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you are a loving and compassionate God and that you only want the best for you”.

Luke 15 v 20…..And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him

DIG for Sunday the 14th of September…..the prodigal son’s father; a picture of our Father…..Luke 15 v 20

I had a wonderful time in a discipleship class last night discussing the account of the prodigal’s Father.

There is always something “new” to discover and learn in this account; it is such a rich and deep picture of Father God’s love for us.

Luke 15 v 20 is the verse that best describes the love that our heavenly Father has for us.

We see how the father in this account behaves, but we can “transfer” these characteristics onto Father God.

God is watching for us to come to Him.

Maybe we are coming for the first time or returning (like the son in the account) but either way the Lord wants us to come to Him and is eagerly watching out for us.

When we come to Him the Lord is full of compassion and wants the best for us.

The Lord greets us with open arms; indeed His greeting could be described as violent (that is the implication of the Greek meaning for “fell on his neck”).

The Lord greets us with love and affection, signalled by a kiss in the narrative.

All that we see the earthly father doing we can be sure that our heavenly Father will do for us.

We also learn something important about the son in this verse, so we can learn something about ourselves.

The son decided to go home, he decided to arise and go to the father.

He had the free will to decide his own future and he decided to go back, he was not forced to return.

The same is true for us.

The Lord will not force us to return or indeed to do anything; we have to make that choice ourselves.

Is there a part of your life where you have “gone away” from the Lord and need to ”return”?

He is watching for you and is ready to receive you with open arms, ready to fall on your neck and kiss you.

It is time for you to choose; He is ready!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you are my loving Father, compassionate and merciful, ready and willing to receive me today”.

Luke 15 v 20…..And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him