Girlfriends in God is a non-denominational ministry that crosses generational and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together as believers. Just as God sent Ruth to Naomi and Mary to Elizabeth, God continues to use women to encourage and equip other women in their spiritual journey. We are doing life together! The Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional is our popular daily Bible devotion for women. GIG Devotionals for Women offer wisdom and insight for applying Biblical truths to the ups and downs of everyday life. Reading daily devotions provides strength and encouragement in your daily walk with Jesus Christ.
August 26, 2013
The God of Second Chances
“For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found’ so they began to celebrate,” (Luke 15:24 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Perhaps one of the most memorable and heart touching stories of grace and forgiveness is recorded in Luke chapter fifteen. It’s what we’ve come to know as the story of the Prodigal Son. This young man demanded his inheritance while his father was still alive, spent it all on riotous living, and found himself dirty, destitute, and despairing. As despicable as pigs were to Jews, this young man took a job taking care of pigs and eating their food just to stay alive. But then he had an epiphany. He came to his senses.
“How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father and say to him? ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father (Luke 15:17-20).”
And where was his father? He was panning the horizon, hoping for a sign that his boy might return home. While “he was still a long way off,” the father spotted his son on the horizon. Filled with compassion, he picked up the edges of his robe and ran. He didn’t wait for his son to come to him, grovel at his feet, and beg for forgiveness. No, as soon as the father caught a glimpse of his son, he dashed toward his boy, smothered him with kisses, and welcomed him home.
If you remember, not everyone was happy when the prodigal son returned. His big brother resented the fact that he was given another chance. And you know what? There will be those who resent the fact that we get another chance as well.
Beth Moore states:
“Big brother won’t mind if you come back as long as you hang your head and wear your shame. But when God has the audacity to give you a little dignity back and you dare lift your radiant face to heaven in liberated praise, big brother may be appalled! It’s pride that can’t celebrate with a prodigal-come-home. Folks who won’t celebrate are still kidding themselves into thinking they did something right to be loved by their Father.”
I say, let him be appalled. Nothing makes some people angrier than grace. Big Brother is invited to the party too, and it’s his decision whether or not he wants to join in the celebration. I’m just glad he’s not the one in charge.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for welcoming me back home when I go astray. I don’t deserve your grace, but then, that’s what grace is…undeserved favor. Help me to always remember the log in my own eye before pointing out the speck in someone else’s. I pray that I will never, never be like the big brother who did not celebrate in his brother’s return. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Today, I want to focus on Big Brother.
Have you ever been like the big brother?
Have you ever resented someone’s being forgiven and restored?
Have you ever felt like some ought to “get what they deserve” rather than receive forgiveness?
These are tough questions and I love you too muchnot to ask them. After considering the big brother’s attitude and how it must have appeared to the father, do you need to readjust your attitude toward any particular person in your life who has repented?
Let’s commit to NOT be the prideful big brother, but to celebrate when a sinner repents and comes home. If you’ve got on your dancing shoes, click over to my Facebook page and say, “I am dancing at the party!”
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was taken from my book; Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Past. This is a great resource to learn more about forgiveness. Whether it is forgiving those who have hurt you, or accepting forgiveness for yourself, it is time to let it go!
Beginning August 1, the content of my blog will be completely different from the Girlfriends in God devotions. So if you are not signed up for my blog at www.sharonjaynes.com, please do it today...and invite all your friends. I’m going to have more give-a-ways, more personal interaction, and more inspiration than ever before!
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