“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion …”
Verse 20 (NIV)
I have heard it said more than once that when a person is converted to Christianity, the last part of the person to be converted is his or her wallet. Meaning of course that our present culture is very much concerned about money and material things.
Seldom do we see any expression from God that points to opulence. The exception may be the building of the temple by Solomon. Simply put, God goes all out to seek people in order to have a deep, loving relationship with them. God wants followers who care about the same things he cares about.
Jesus’ parables in Luke 15 tell us about the deeply loving and caring heart of God. In this section of Scripture, we find three powerful stories with the same theme: something precious and valuable is lost, and it simply must be found and restored! We sense the pain of deep loss; we are caught up in the search and desire for restoration; we feel the thrill of rediscovery; and we experience the great joy of celebrating with a big party.
You can always tell what you value by what you do. Does your heart beat in tune with God’s heart? Will you go out of your way to join God’s mission of love to those who aren’t home with the Father yet? Missions is about searching for what is lost, finding and restoring them, then celebrating the victory of ultimate restoration and life. Is there any wonder why missionaries are so passionate about what they do!
Lord, thank you for coming to look for us long before we started searching for you. Use us to be your restoring presence today among people who’ve lost their way. Amen.