June 26, 2024

Happiness in Returning to the Father

Luke 15:11-24

“’This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

—  Luke 15:24

Jesus’ parable of the lost son is one of the most moving stories in the Bible. It is about a young man who felt dissatisfied in his father's house. He thought he could find happiness far away from his family home. So one day he asked for his share of the family inheritance and left.

At first, while he had money, the young man had plenty of friends and lots of fun. He spent everything he had on riotous living. But then hunger came, and he knew what it meant to be in need. He found work taking care of pigs. The happiness he had thought he would find was just a mirage.

The lost son had been happy in his father's house but didn't know it. Now he was consciously unhappy, so he decided to return home and ask his father for forgiveness.

The lost son was willing to be received only as a servant. But when he returned home, he was surprised. His father was waiting for him and ran to meet him. His father hugged him, kissed him, and threw a party for him, saying, “Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine . . . was lost and is found.”

Jesus said there is rejoicing in heaven when a sinner repents and returns to God (Luke 15:7, 10). In the same way, let’s celebrate when anyone among us does the same!

Dear God, thank you for making us part of your family, and for sending Jesus so that we can return to you. May we also share in rejoicing whenever another child returns to share in your happiness. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Hernandes Lopes

Hernandes became the Portuguese ministry leader for Today's sister Portuguese ministry in 2010. He also serves as the director of the organization Luz Para o Caminho (Light for the Way), an organization formed in partnership between ReFrame and the Presbyterian
Church of Brazil. Hernandes has authored more than 160 books and is a popular and respected conference speaker in Brazil. Hernandes graduated from Seminário Presbiteriano do Sul in Brazil and earned a Doctorate of Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary in
Jackson, MS.

Hernandes and his wife, Tinha, have two adult children.

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