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November 21 – The Father’s heart

His father came out and entreated him… – Luke 15:28b

Scripture reading: Luke 15:25-28; Matthew 11:28-30

We saw the father’s heart for Little Brother. We saw his radical love in the shocking way he ran out to Little Brother and restored him to full sonship. We usually focus our attention on the father’s radical love for Little Brother. However, his love for Big Brother was just as radical!

Big Brother is seething outside. His father could have said, “It’s his own stubborn choice to be miserable outside alone. I’m not going to let him ruin the party.” Instead, this father does the unexpected, once again.

In those days, no self-respecting father would leave the party he is hosting to beg his own son to participate. He certainly would not do so for a disrespectful son creating a scene outside. Yet the father did just that. He “came out and entreated him” (Luke 15:28b). He could have ordered his son to come in. Instead, he begged him. This father wanted his son’s heart, not just his service. He desired his presence at the feast, not just his performance in the field.

This is our Father’s heart for you too! Maybe you are in the family of God, but your heart is outside the party. Your father and others are celebrating the return of little brothers and the life-transforming grace of Jesus in people’s lives. But you find yourself stuck in your own insecurities, resentments, self-righteousness and legalistic hang-ups. Hear your Father’s voice. “My child, let’s deal with these things together. I want you at the party.”

Suggestions for prayer

Thank our Father that His radical love is for Big Brothers too. Pray for a soft and humble heart to receive and respond to that love.

Rev. Richard Zekveld is the pastor of the Covenant Fellowship Church (PCA) in South Holland, Illinois, a Chicagoland suburb. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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