HomeWord - July 30, 2008
Our Father's Eyes
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden
"'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'" Luke 15:31-32
One day, a son approached his father, asking for his share of his inheritance. The father obliged letting his youngest son go and find his way. In the midst of his journey he spent all he had on wild living and squandered his money. Soon, he found himself with nothing. He found a job as a hired hand, but realized that he was still hungry, poor and worse off than the men who worked for his father. He humbled himself and returned home to ask his father for a job.
Perhaps you have heard this story before, or lived it. The story is nestled in the book of Luke. It’s often referred to as the story of the prodigal son. If you are familiar with this story, you know that this father did something unusual. He didn’t ask for his son to return as a servant. Rather, he immediately celebrated his return shouting, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:22-24).
The boy’s father showed great mercy, compassion and love: the kind of love our Father in Heaven shows us. Many of us have fathers or siblings or neighbors who would have reacted like the older son in this story. The older son did everything right. He stayed home, worked hard and was obedient. When his younger brother returned, anger and resentment followed. The older brother didn’t understand mercy or grace. He only saw what seemed to be unfair. It wasn’t fair that his younger brother was able to return and have his debt wiped away.
It also wasn’t fair that Jesus died on the cross for us. He took all of our sins and carried them with us as he bled for our salvation. The Man who had never sinned, died for our sin. Without an understanding of grace, it doesn’t make sense. As the prodigal’s father loved, that is how our Father loves: unconditionally and waiting with open arms for us to return to Him.
Once restored as His beloved child, you are called to have your Father’s eyes as well. These are eyes overflowing with mercy and grace, eyes that delight in the rebellious prodigal’s return. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you. Today, humble yourself and walk unhesitatingly into our Father’s forgiving arms, and then be willing to imitate that same forgiving love towards others.
- How could looking at each person through the eyes of our Father change your perspective and actions?
- What are areas in your life that you need to make right? Begin to pray through ways you need to seek or give mercy and forgiveness.
Micah 6:8; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 4:14-16