The story of the prodigal son moves my heart to delve into the depths of God’s limitless grace. I find myself in every facet of Jesus’ words. I identify with both the son’s rebellion and the power of the father’s love. As children of God we are in constant need of reminders about God’s mercy toward us. When the world rejects us, God calls us in. When the world writes us off, God clothes us with righteousness and honor. May this transformative story of the prodigal son guide you to a deeper and more intimate relationship with your loving heavenly Father.
Scripture:“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
By the sacrifice of Jesus, you and I have been made sons and daughters of the Most High God. We’ve been redeemed and transformed into children and heirs to the kingdom of God. Romans 8:15-17 says,
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
In the story of the prodigal son, the father clothes his wayward and rebellious son with a robe, a ring, and sandals. All three of these symbols represent a restoration of sonship in different ways. The son who returned to his father to simply be employed as a slave was immediately restored as a child and heir. The father had no desire to make his son pay for his own sins; he simply wanted restored relationship with his child again.
Our heavenly Father feels the same way about us. At salvation we were restored to right standing in the eyes of God. 2 Corinthians 6:18 says, “And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” 1 John 3:1 says,“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” No matter what sins we commit, we will always be a child of God. No sin we ever commit can rob us from the inheritance of glorious relationship afforded to us by the death of Christ Jesus. His love is stronger than our sin.
An epidemic exists in the church today of believers living and serving their Father as slaves rather than as sons and daughters. A slave works and serves apart from intimate relationship with their master. A son lives with the empowerment of true relationship with the Father. Many disciples are trying to live for Jesus—they go to church, go on a mission trip, teach a small group, and even try and read their Bibles—but they have no real fellowship or relationship with the Father. I lived much of my Christian life that way. It wasn’t until I began to experience the Father’s heart (knowing that he longed for me to truly know him), experience his love and nearness, and be empowered by a new identity that I began living as a son.
Allow your heavenly Father to clothe you with his presence and speak to your true identity today. Ask him what it looks like to live as a son or daughter who truly knows the Father. And experience the overwhelming joy and peace that comes from intimate relationship with your God.
1. Meditate on your identity as a son or daughter of the Most High God. Allow Scripture to fill your heart with a fresh desire to pursue deeper levels of relationship with your Father.
“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:15-17
2. In what ways do you feel you might be living as a slave more than a son or daughter? Where are you lacking a revelation and experience of God’s love for you?
3. Ask your heavenly Father to reveal the depths of his love today. Ask him to guide you into a fresh encounter with his grace. Ask him to restore you and lead you into greater depths of relationship with him.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
How astounding is the love and grace of our Father that we would be considered his children. How vast is his love for us that with no effort of our own we would be transformed into heirs with Christ. There is no greater privilege than being the son or daughter of the Creator. There is no greater love than that which the Father has for us. And there is no greater life than one spent in full relationship with the very Father who would run out to meet us, call us his son or daughter in our weakest moments, and bring us into his family.
Extended Reading: Romans 8
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