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November 30 – A story that demands a response

He who has ears, let him hear. – Matthew 13:9

Scripture reading: Luke 15:1-3,11-32

Earlier, we noted that Jesus told parables to surface the heart condition of listeners and demand a response. His stories got under people’s skin. They hit close to home… and hearts.

How has the Master Storyteller spoken to your heart this month? Has anything gotten under your skin? Has any part of the story hit close to home or your heart? How have you identified with Little Brother or Big Brother?

How is Jesus calling you to respond? Maybe you need to confess your sin. Maybe you need to confess that you’re in a pigpen, far from home. Maybe you need to confess that you want your Father’s stuff, not Him. Maybe you need to confess that you do not share His heart for the lost. Maybe you need to confess that you’re so locked in your self-righteousness, resentment, pride and insecurity that you are unable to join the party.

Pray, “Father, forgive me.” Believe the gospel. Believe that your True Big Brother took your place to die the death you deserve. He removed your guilt before the Father. Believe that your True Big Brother took your place as the perfect Son, to live the life you should have lived. Your Father credits Christ’s righteous record to you. He receives you as His precious child.

Finally, Jesus calls us to share His heart for the lost. He calls us to go out with Him into the messy places of this world, to seek the lost and lead them home.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God for the ways He has spoken to your heart in Luke 15. Ask Him for grace to respond to what He has said.

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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