Time Alone With God daily devotional

Time Alone With God daily devotional

Read: Luke 15:25-32

Luke 15:25-32
New International Version (NIV)

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”


Consider: On Monday we looked at one of the most beautiful names for Jesus—“the friend of sinners.” Of course, that didn’t sound beautiful to everyone. Those who found their identity in being morally superior to others didn’t like those “others” to be loved and cherished simply for who they are. They wanted those “others” to earn it, like they thought that they had earned God’s favor.

What Jesus saw in those Pharisees and teachers of the law (15:2), he addressed in this third parable. He pointed out the thinking of the “older brother” who couldn’t handle the grace and mercy his father gave to his “morally inferior” brother.

Of course, that’s the difference between us and Jesus Christ. We want to feel like we’re righteous. We know we’re not perfect, so we’re tempted to find our “righteousness” in comparing ourselves with others. The older brother said, “Look, I never disobeyed you or gave you a moment of trouble, while he was out spending your money on prostitutes! How can you possibly rejoice over that?” (15:29-20).

We’re always trying to make ourselves appear to be righteous. And, as I said, that’s the difference between us and Jesus. He chose the opposite.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

It’s amazing that the only one who was willing to claim total unrighteousness was the Righteous One. And he did that for you and me.

So, as is the case in so many of Jesus’ parables, he flips our world upside down. The “bad guys” become the good guys and the “good guys” have to realize that if they would only bring their unrighteousness to God, he would change everything.

This is mercy.

Pray: “Lord, I can barely comprehend what it means that you ‘became sin’ for us. I only know that it humbles me. I am reminded that without your grace I have nothing and I am nothing. But your love for me compelled you to a sacrifice of mercy that is beyond my understanding. Thank you.”

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