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January 9, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”—Luke 15:17–20 (ESV)
After hitting rock bottom and pretty much ruining his life, the lost son came to his senses. And though he accepted that he didn’t even deserve to be called his father’s son anymore because of the way he rejected his father and brought shame to his name, he also realized that all along his father’s house was where he needed to be! So, he turned in repentance.
You see, it wasn’t enough for him to realize he was wrong. He needed to swallow his pride, take the step of humility, make that U-turn, and go back to his father. And that’s what he did; he decided to go back and beg his father for forgiveness and pray he’d be willing to take him back as a servant. He made the decision to return to his home where he belonged, even though he knew he was unworthy.
I bet the journey back was very different from the journey to the far country, coming back now with his tail tucked between his legs. But he made the trip. Nothing was going to stop him.
This is a place we need to find ourselves in daily, where we realize that apart from God, we are nothing. When we live our lives in light of this reality, when we operate out of a place of humility, overwhelmed by the scope of God’s worthiness and magnificence and our utter need for Him, that is when we’ll truly experience peace, joy, and fulfillment as we rest in His all-sufficiency, grace, and love.
Need proof? Look at verse 20: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” He didn’t wait until the son walked all the way up in shame, he met his son where he was at and embraced him with all the love he could muster.
That’s how God loves us! Romans 5:8 (NIV) says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That’s what God did for us. Every one of us has at some point been this prodigal son, living outside of God’s will. At some point, we’ve all rejected Him and turned away, even as believers.
We are all unworthy to be called His sons and daughters. But the greatness of the gospel is that God takes us all as we are and He runs to meet us where we are to clothe us with the blood of Christ and adopt us as His children.
DIG: What’s the difference between being sorry and repenting?
DISCOVER: How have you seen the Lord work in your life when you come to Him from a place of repentance?
DO: Is there anything you need to repent of today? Examine your heart and consider if the Lord is calling you to repent of something that has drawn you away from Him.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.