START HERE

Today’s Truth

“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

Friend to Friend

Perhaps one of the most memorable and heart touching stories of grace and forgiveness in the New Testament is recorded in Luke chapter fifteen. It’s what most have come to know as the story of the Prodigal son. I tend to think of it more as the story of Radical Grace.

You probably know the story. A 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 the Bible says, “He came to his senses” (15:17).

I’ve been there have you? I’ve made bad choices, and then come to my senses.

“How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare,” the son thought. “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.

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

“But the father said to his servants, ‘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.’ So they began to celebrate. (15:22-24)

And that’s exactly what your Heavenly Father does for you. When you get off track, He waits for you to “come to your senses” and return home. When you do, He celebrates!

If you remember, not everyone was happy when the prodigal son returned. His big brother resented the fact that he got another chance. And you know what? There will always be those who resent the fact that we get another chance as well. They will those who resent God’s grace when it is shown to someone other than themselves.

I love what Beth Moore said about big brother: “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.

God is a God of second chances. When we stray, He pans the horizon waiting for our return. When we do, He runs to embrace us, throws His arms around us, and celebrates with the heavenly host shouting…Welcome home!

Let’s Pray

Dear Father, thank You for welcoming me home when I stray. I pray that I will never be like the older brother who resented a prodigal’s return. I love You so much for welcoming me with open arms and rejoice over me with singing.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Whom are you more like in this story?

The prodigal son who is straying right now?

The big brother who gets upset when someone gets off the hook with grace?

The father who longs for the prodigal to return, celebrates when he/she does, and restores him/her to a place of dignity?

If you are praying for a prodigal today, click over to my blog with this same title and leave his or her name in the comment section. Then pray for the prodigal above your entry.

More From the Girlfriends

Did you know that your scars are beautiful to God? Yes, your story has power and purpose! No matter what you’ve gone through, you have the opportunity to turn your hurt into hope and your mess into a message. In this book you’ll discover the power you possess in the story your have. Don’t waste your sorrows. God has a great purpose for you to share what you’ve gone through to help someone else. Check of Your Scars Are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Past. It also comes with a study guide for groups or individuals reflection.

79 Responses to “The God of Second Chances”

  1. Brenda says:

    Pido oración por mi hijo Eduardo tiene 14 años vuelva en sí y que pueda salir de las drogas

    (I ask for prayer for my son Eduardo that he can get out of drugs)

    • Susan says:

      Hola, estoy orando por tu hijo, Edward. Perdí a un hermano a la drogadicción.

      (Hi, I’m praying for your son, Edward. I lost a brother to drug addiction.)

  2. Tiara says:

    I must admit that I don’t always read my devotion like I intend. It has been a while since I have but today I did and it was a blessing. I have a prodigal son. He came home in the wee hours of the morning today. We literally just settled down to rest. Then my phone tinged with this message. While he is the prodigal, I feel like it’s my second chance. Thank you so much for being a vessel. My son’s name is Elijah, and praise God he is home.

  3. Mignon says:

    Prayers are appreciated for my prodigal – Jordan.

  4. William says:

    Good Stuff Sharon !!!
    Always enjoy your devotionals …..bought ur Moses book 6 months ago and have not had time to finish but hopecto soon. Keep writing … sharing …teaching and encouraging people…..God is using u greatly👍🏻👊🏻👏🏻

  5. Shannon says:

    My son John 17 years old .

  6. Dorothy says:

    Sister who can’t forgive – Liz

    • Luz says:

      Felt your pain, until God showed me the solution. Get a friend who is a Peacemaker. Blessed are peacemakers, they are called Children of God!

  7. kathleen says:

    Been there too. Amen. God is so good and faithful when we trust in Him. Think “Job”…. and keep the faith.

  8. Jessica says:

    Please pray for my brother, Jarod. He is an atheist and has struggled with rejection and disappointment. I pray that he will find Jesus, and just soak in His love for him. I pray for his healing, and for a bright future. I have given him over to God and I have FAITH that God will do all of the work, but I need your prayer please X

  9. Milkman's Stepdaughter says:

    Alleluaiah!

  10. Teresa says:

    Please pray for my prodigal son, Sammy

  11. Candy says:

    Stacy, Tristan

  12. Denise says:

    Autumn, daughter.
    Jeff, husband.

  13. Cathy says:

    Praying for my son that he will choose the right path and my prayers to the lord will be answered.

  14. Laura says:

    My prodigal husband Seth

  15. Sam says:

    I am praying for a prodigal who left our family four years ago; Andrew.

  16. Jessey says:

    Iam waiting for my husband to come to his senses and repent.

  17. Madessa says:

    Please pray, for my husband Jeff, and children Bobbi and Blain to repent and give they’re lives to God.

  18. Katy says:

    Prayers appreciated for my prodigal R.

  19. Melissa says:

    Nathan

  20. Stacy says:

    Praise God, His mercies are new every morning.
    I love how He provides the devotion you need to hear.

    Alex, my 19 year old son.

  21. Dee says:

    Frederick

  22. Bethany says:

    Alex

  23. Freda says:

    Please pray for both daughters, especially my youngest who is 21 years old.

  24. Nay says:

    My husband, a fallen pastor involved with another woman. Has left home, family, and our children.

  25. Regina Gibbs Taylor says:

    Thomas

  26. Rachel says:

    Richard

  27. Wendy says:

    I pray for both my sons Justin and Leon.
    That they would be God fearing fathers and be good examples to their children.
    I pray that For Gods grace for my whole family -that we may life our lives according to His will.
    I pray that my trust in God grows stronger every day.

  28. Jan says:

    Please pray for my prodigal son, Zack.

  29. Cathy says:

    Please help me pray for my prodigal daughter Robyn that she will return to the Lord.

  30. Jehrica says:

    Dear Lord,
    I thank Your Holy, precious Name that You are holding my dad, Jim, in Your powerful hands. Please, protect him from the enemy and lead him to Yourself! Please, show him You are Everything! You are his Father. Please, bring him safely to a place of surrender and commitment!
    In Jesus Name I pray,
    Amen
    Love, Jehrica

  31. Colleen says:

    Granddaughter, Marlee! Please Lord, make a way for Marlee’s return from drug abuse!

  32. Michelle says:

    Please pray for my husband Johnnie. He is my prodigal

  33. Carol Mundy says:

    Daniel and Erin Mundy my son and daughter!

  34. Kim says:

    Jonathan

  35. Kristi says:

    Praying for Darby.

  36. Jenny says:

    Praying for my son Samuel. Help him see that truth and compassion is the way. God break the bonds of anger and resentment in my family with the blood of Jesus. Amen

  37. Jessea says:

    My brother Josh has rededicated his life to Christ about a handful of times. When this happens, he’ll stay in church for a year or so, and then falls back into his old lifestyle.
    Every time that he falls, he gets back into drugs and who knows what else. He has been in jail too many times for me to count. He tends to hang out with people who influence that lifestyle.
    Today, I’m sad to say that he has fallen again. But this last time was a little different. The past year he has been watching false prophets on YouTube and believing everything he’s watching. Josh thinks everyone is going to hell but him. He’s scaring us and we’re always worried about him. Especially because we haven’t seen him for a while now.
    Please be in prayer that GOD can reach him again and somehow changes his life to where he doesn’t fall again.
    I miss my brother and I love him terribly. It’s so hard to watch Josh destroy himself. But i know GOD has a plan for his life.

  38. Iona says:

    Pray for my son Kevin who is in rehab right now

  39. Jenifer says:

    Today’s devotion struck me on two cords.
    First the story of the prodigal son is my story. I WAS the prodigal daughter. Many years ago during this time I lived in Arizona and my family in New Hampshire and my mom sent me Shelia Walsh’s cassette that had her song Jennifer Come Home. It is my story. I met Shelia years later with my mom at a Women of Faith conference and was so excited to tell her how she impacted me. Needless to say we were all in tears. Mom me and Sheila!
    Second my son is almost 17 and I see a lot of the prodigal gaining strength in him and I worry. This world is not kind or grace giving. But our GOD IS! and I am living proof of His grace!!!
    Thank you Sharon for today’s devotion!
    A wonderful reminder of how He welcomed me back into His arms!

  40. Yvonne says:

    Son, Zachary my prodigal

  41. Danielle says:

    Please pray for my prodigal, Jason.

  42. Heather says:

    Praying for my prodigal husband, Aaron.

  43. Deena says:

    Please pray for my son Kyle. He knows the word but is being deceived into thinking God is ok with homosexuality.

  44. Shari says:

    Please pray that my ex husband Mark will repent of his sexual sin and realize that he should never have left his wife and children. Praying he will one day want to reconcile and be with his family once again.We need him to come home where he belongs.

  45. Maya says:

    Prayers are asked for my eldest, Cameron

  46. Sheri says:

    Prayer for prodigal… Samantha, Joanna, Jordan.

  47. D. Willis says:

    Praying for my four sons and a dear friend
    to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Praying for love, unity, compassion, and oneness in Christ Jesus for my entire family.

  48. Breeze says:

    Jared, my former best friend

    I find comfort in the book of Philemon: for perhaps he therefore departed for a season that though shouldest receive forever.

    Hoping this is only a season apart, and that you will find the Lord in this time.

  49. Carolann Pepe says:

    Please pray for my son Mark to say no to alcohol and drugs and yes to Jesus.
    and for my son Chris to get to know and love Jesus too.

  50. Lynn says:

    I pray for Jenny’s son Samuel and all of the prodigals listed above. May God open their eyes to the lies of Satan, and draw them all back to Himself and the saving grace by the the Blood of Jesus. Amen!

  51. Lynn says:

    I pray for Jenny’s son Samuel and all of the prodigals listed above. May God open their eyes to the lies of Satan, and draw them all back to Himself and salvation by the saving grace by the the Blood of Jesus. Amen!

  52. Deb says:

    Billy , to return to the Lord

  53. Tami says:

    Rhianna

  54. Denell says:

    ROBERTO OLIVERAS

    DELIVERANCE, HEALING, PROTECTION
    A NEW HEART AND RENEWED MIND

    FREEDOM FROM GANGS, DRUGS, ANGER AND EVERYTHING NOT OF GOD

  55. Viv says:

    Praying for Tece and Shay
    Make a way for their marriage to be mended
    In Jesus name

  56. Gwen says:

    Daughter Elizabeth and son Connor

  57. Cindy says:

    Please pray for my son,Logan. He is struggling with PTSD, bipolar disorder and addiction. He lost his father to suicide in Jan and is in such grief. He gave his life to Christ as a child and has turned from his faith. Please pray he will find healing with a renewed relationship with the Heavenly Father.

  58. Rebecca says:

    I don’t mind seeing the prodigals return, and I ‘m not jealous but I don’t think the older brother who has been obedient, should then be treated badly. I have seen that scenario. While we pray for these prodigals, take time to encourage and ejoy the children who are not a problem, so they will not resnt the atention given when the prodigal returns. Blessing and prayers, He will welcome you back.

  59. Nancy says:

    Please pray for my son Raven. He is in need of prayer over his mind, body, soul,and spirit. I pray for the strongholds of Satan to be torn away from Raven and for the Holy Spirit and blood of Jesus to fill his being. That he will know without a doubt that God loves him and has a purpose for his life.

    Raven lives with battles of epilepsy, adhd, depression, scoliosis and joint pain in knees, back and shoulders. He is 36 and feels he will never find anyone to love him and share his life. He feels so lonely. As his parents we don’t have the answers but I know God does.

    He is so blinded by what he deals with he cannot see or feel the hand of God in his life and is giving up.

    Please pray with me for my son.

    Thanks and God Bless you for all you do to share God’s love with otbers.

  60. Pam says:

    For our son Stephen

  61. Heidi says:

    Please pray for my son Eric who has started drinking.

  62. Pam says:

    Pam,Keon,Davon,Domonique

  63. Jennifer says:

    My 24 year old son, Dexter

  64. Amber says:

    My son Colbi….a heroin addict and an alcoholic. His is only 22 and has been battling this addiction for nearly 9 years. I am a heartbroken mom. It is my faith that carries me through! Our family has tried everything. He has tried everything. I pray for a change of heart. He knows the Lord, but has turned away.

  65. Suszanne says:

    Please pray for my son Andrew.

  66. Suszanne says:

    Please pray for my son, Andrew.

  67. Ann says:

    My husband Rico is a prodical son. Praying for his return home soon.

  68. Ann says:

    Praying for prodical daughter Tiffany.

  69. Chris marie says:

    Robert

  70. Please pray for my son James. says:

    My son loves the Lord. Thank you

  71. Bernice says:

    behind in my reading. Just reading this today. My prodical son Zach. I know one day he will come home to the Lord.

  72. Shonda says:

    I was on vacation and just got a chance to catch up on the devotions. My prodigal sons Shane and Savon. I know they will come back home to the Lord soon.

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8