September 4th

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Luke 15:11-32

A not so familiar focus on a very familiar story. Our reading for the day is Luke 15:11-32 on the prodigal son. I'm guessing you know the story and have probably read or heard it a hundred times. But instead of looking at the younger son who messed up (I can certainly identify with him), I'm going to focus on a different person--the father. He really stands out to me. Talk about an example of forgiveness.

He was ready and eager to forgive even before his son returned and asked for it. The story portrays him as watching and waiting for an opportunity to forgive. He doesn't make any judgment calls. He doesn't ask for proof of repentance. He doesn't criticize. He doesn't set up some sort of probation. It's a picture of unconditional forgiveness coupled with persistent love and it's beautiful.

So if forgiving generously is our goal, any thoughts on where to start? What are some things that need to be in place in our lives for us to model this example? Tami W.

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7 Comments

wow. We have the quintessential teenage prodigal daughter right now - though she still lives at home she is in every other way a prodigal...at times we wish she would leave just to give us a bit of peace.
I'm not sure if I could be like the father, ready to forgive without condition. Because right now I'm tired of being said sorry to...the apologies aren't genuine and so my forgiveness is a "yeah, alright, until the next time." the apologies come with ulterior motives. I wonder if we will ever see genuine repentance, and if so, will we recognize it? I think I sound a little jaded, don't I?
Maybe thinking on the father's forgiveness will help me. Anyone have any thoughts?

Yesterday's verse is "The" verse in all of the Bible that stands out the most for me, not because it's the most beautiful, but because it is the hardest thing to do. . The one that stands apart from anything I've ever heard or seen. It is why I am convinced there is a God. To forgive your enemy? Only the Holy Spirit can do that, and because He has given us his Holy Spirit then we can do it too. His love just baffles me. I have seen his love destroy walls of hatred right before my eyes. There is always hope in his love regardless. As for any prodigals out there? I once was one. In fact, I still wonder sometimes if I'm still not one, although, today I walk closer to him, but you just never know. I also went through a time when my 22 year old daughter who was 14 at the time, lied and lied and lied... endlessly... I'm there with you Marilyn. Today however, she is another person altogether, and the lies have stopped. Pray and Pray without ceasing is all I can say, asking the Lord to love through you over and over and over and over...no matter how long it takes. Forgiveness is a process, not a wish. When we relinquish our flesh to Him, all we see is his glory in the end, and that is a great supernatural thing:) God lives!!

we will never understand the power of God until we feel it fully in our lives i heard a preacher said that once...and it to me was like wow but to understand God is to know him to know him is to read his word and to know how to deal with our prodigal sons and daughters are to know where he brought us from and to let our children know that we to were young and that we to did stupid things that we thought were cool or right at the time.. I think the fathers forgiveness came from knowing where his son was doing and how he was behave just like God he always know where our hearts and our thoughts are but he still always want us to seek him for help and guidance in every situation...the only way we can grow into the ways of the forgiven father is to allow got full control like Alex Q said When we relinquish our flesh to Him....all to Jesus i surrender all to him i FREELY give...Don't hold on to anything just give it over to him...

P.S.. I am prodigal daughter and i am not fully out of my bondage quite yet but God is working all over me and i thank you Tami and your writers for their words of uplifting .....

I'd love to hear "the rest of the story". Did the father (or mother) weap in the shower for their son, as I weep for my daughter? Or did the father (or mother) continue life in the quiet confidence that I wish I had, knowing that their son was never out of God's care. Did they ride the emotional roller coaster of trusting in God to worrying themselves sick? When the son came home, was he really ready - and willing - to live under the rules and protection of his father? Or was the rebellious nature still lurking near the surface, erupting when things didn't go his way? Was the son really at the end of his rebellion, or just at the end of his money? And the big question - one that we aren't given the answer to - HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE!!! I know, I know, the answer to that one is "His time." Did dad and mom ever feel like just writing him off? I can't believe that dad could stay as calm as he did..."Okay, son. Here's your money. Stay safe. Remember we love you! You're always welcome home. G'bye." Hmmm. Picture it happening in your own home, and the story becomes a little more real, doesn't it? And a lot bigger. There's more there that we don't see.
But I guess the bottom line is that dad (and mom) were there with open arms of forgivenss when he came home . And he did come home, eventually. The question that I ask myself is, am I ready to do that? I'm not sure I like the way I have to think about my answer...
Thanks for letting me ruminate.

Prayer, prayer, prayer. God has filled us with his love, that his love may not just fill us, but overflow to others. The reason for the filling is that overflow. Through prayer we have access to supernatural power, and that power enables us to love. Another reason for praying for those whom we struggle to love is that it is harder to be angry if we're praying for them!

I'm struggling to love my Dad right now. I don't think he's ready or willing to seek my forgiveness. I think his seeking forgiveness is crutial to the reconciliation process. (Similarly, 1 John 1:9 says "IF we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.") Without the offender confessing and seeking forgiveness from the offended, can there be true forgiveness and reconciliation?

I am trying to love my Dad, and am ready to forgive him.

Hi,
Wow. Perfect topic for me too. I'd been away from this board for a while, my excuse? My prodical, 18 year old son. He was arrested on 5 different marijuana charge approximately a month ago, the most serious being the driving under the influence. Marilyn, I UNDERSTAND your roller coaster. I've said the same thing. Also, I want to know the answer to the "How long question" as well. But as I'm sure you been told, we grow in our stuggles and trials and God has a plan. After many tears and occasional fits of anger (and other emotions) I really feel like I am releasing him to God. We are attempting to go along side of him and love him and give him a second chance. He hasn't been remorseful and I believe the only reason he has "quit" as he says, it the fear of the legal charges. I still believe God is caring for him, loves him and has a plan for him. I awoke a couple of days after his arrest and a Bible verse I had memorized a couple of years ago, popped into my head. I felt like it was a hug from God, a "it's going to turn out okay" kind of comfort. It was Habakkuk 1:5. “Look at the nations and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” I feel at peace now, I'm not worrying and attempting to micro managed every hour of his day. I know how you feel, believe me, it's a constant battle to fight off the fear of the unknown and replace it with faith.

Hi,
To all yes I've been their with my daughter lies on top of lies. She's older now. She realize a lot of mistakes she made in the past.
Now God help me it's my teenage son now. We must be like the father.
Pray about your children. Turn the words around and thank the Lord in advance for changing your son/daughter. Speak positive words. Instead of saying will he/she change or tell the truth. Say Yes he/she will tell the truth. The power of the tongue is mighty. We must stand with open arms and open hearts. Refocus this battle is not mine. It's the Lord battle. So I must turn it around and say; Thank you Lord for my son who will stand firm in your word.

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About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

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This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on September 4, 2009 5:12 AM.

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