How did I get here? The young man took a long look at his life. He was penniless, homeless, filthy, and starving. You would never know he once had lived under the loving care of his wealthy father.
But he had left home, cut off his relationship with his father, squandered his inheritance on a life of sin, and ended up in a pitiful state. He finally came to his senses. As he honestly faced himself and his situation, a deep feeling welled up in him: I need to go back to my father. But he was so ashamed. After all he had done, he wondered whether his father would even want him as a son anymore. In desperation, he decided to return home, confess to his father what he’d done, and beg to be a servant.
The son was unaware of the depth of his father’s love. Little did he know that his father had been longing for him, waiting and watching for his return. As the young man made his way home, his father spotted him even when he was still a long way off and ran to him, embraced him, and kissed him affectionately.
Filthy and ragged, the repentant young man confessed to his father his sinful life, telling him that he was no longer worthy to be his son. But his father responded by clothing him with the best robe and then sacrificing a fattened calf to feed him. With rejoicing, he called for a feast for all to celebrate the return of his son, who he declared had been dead and now lived again, who had been lost and was now found.
Like the son in this parable, each of us will eventually come to the realization of our true situation: we’re lost and need to be found. We may feel too ashamed to come to God. But the Bible reveals God’s unchanging and infinite love for us. He longs for every one of us to come back to Him.
In God’s eyes, to be lost actually means we’re dead in our sins. To find us and make us alive, the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for us, suffering the judgment of our sins. If we return to God, repent of our sins, and believe in Christ, we will be forgiven and covered with Christ as our robe of righteousness. And because Christ resurrected from the dead, we’re made alive by receiving Him. We’re no longer lost, we’re found. We’re no longer dead, but we’re living sons in the house of our Father God, enjoying Christ as a satisfying feast.
Our loving and forgiving Father is waiting for us to come to Him. We can do this by praying this simple prayer:
“Dear Father, I’m lost. I’m dead in my sins. I need to be found. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for dying for me on the cross. Lord, thank You for resurrecting from the dead. I receive You right now. Come into me and cleanse me. Make me alive in You. Bring me home to the Father’s house. Amen.”
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