What I read: Luke 15
Observations: This is, quite simply, one of my favorite chapters in the whole New Testament, not just Luke’s gospel. The theme is as clear as a bell: when you find something/someone lost, it’s worth celebrating. Jesus tells these three parables to put everyone in the crowd on the same common footing when it comes to their understanding of God and his view of people who are “lost” – he loves them and wants nothing more than for them to be back home with him. This was shocking to both the religious people who didn’t think God should want to be reunited with those sinners AND to the sinners who might have suspected God didn’t really want to be reunited with them anyway.
Application: This is probably one of those passages where I really feel like the application is “keep doing what you’re doing”. I honestly believe I have embraced the heart of these parables into my life and the only thing I would apply is to do them more. I would like to love people who are apart from God more than I do today. I would like to celebrate more when people come home to their father. I would like to be part of introducing even more people to the God who so relentlessly and perfectly loves them.
Prayer: Father, my prayer today is the same as it was a little over 14 years ago when I first held Jacob in my arms and felt like you spoke to me that the joy I had in holding him was the same joy you find in welcoming a sinner back home. That morning I prayed that I would spend the rest of my life bringing that joy to your heart. Today I pray that prayer again. I want to bring you the joy of welcoming home your children for as long as I possibly can and for as many of them as I possibly can. I pray that I’d not only find great joy in doing this, but that you would be at work in my life making this possible – that you would be drawing men and women to yourself through my life in ways that are well beyond anything I could possibly engineer or create. You are the Father and they are your children. Let me be part of bringing you back together with every breath I breathe here.