God our Loving Father is Hope Personified

2_timothy_titleI am the prodigal son. I am the prodigal brother. I am the loving father.

I admit, and I think you do too, that our names can be attached to each one of these characters in the Luke 15 parable. Jesus shared this parable and two others answering the accusations and complaints from the Pharisees regarding “welcoming sinners”.

This weekend in Sunday Morning Bible Study, we are focusing on the loving father and how he personifies the love, forgiveness and grace of God, our Heavenly Father. Jesus paints a picture ever so vividly of a father who loved his children so much that he would do anything for them. This dad provided for his sons and his servants as they worked the fields together. He did not try to control the younger (or even older) son as he insisted on leaving the family.  Like most of us who are parents, he “kept the light on” looking for this independent minded and rebellious son to return.

What a joyous image is beautifully portrayed as the father ran, as undignified as it was, to welcome his son home and to celebrate that that he had come to his senses and returned back to the family. The celebration was great except the older brother boycotted the feast. His response figuratively represents the religious leaders of the time. Their hearts were filled with jealousy and selfishness towards the people that Jesus welcomed.

The loving father’s example is one that we all can emulate whether we are parents or not. The point is that we are to be agents of God’s mercy, forgiveness and grace. Think about your relationships and whether these fruits of the Spirit are ripening in your life.

Lord, help us all to be more like the loving Father as we identify with these characters. Help us to come to our senses and not to begrudge anyone who does. May we show Your love and acceptance, even today!
In Your Name, Amen!

Things to Ponder:
In what ways if any did your dad help you understand our Heavenly Father?AND in what ways are you helping your children understand God?
How undignified would you become to help restore someone to faith?
Who are you praying for that is “slopping the hogs” and not eating at the Father’s table?
As you are praying imagine the reunion and connection with God the Father!

Michael Atkinson

This entry was posted in Fellowship, Missions, Prayer, Sunday School, Theology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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