This week's focus: Repentance
After returning from a long walk, I removed my dog’s collar before putting her in the backyard. Before I realized my mistake, she took advantage of her perceived freedom and ran away as fast as possible—straight towards a busy road. With a dog collar in hand, I chased after her, yelling her name, “Shilo!” while praying she wouldn’t get hit by a car.
My worry quickly turned to anger when she refused to obey me. The louder I called her name, the faster she ran. My anger grew stronger when it turned to embarrassment—every neighbor that drove by got to witness a chase I was losing.
During this ordeal, I couldn’t help but think what an ungrateful dog she was. She has all her needs taken care of—food, shelter, family, exercise (did I mention we just got back from a long walk), and dog treats! The least she could do was obey.
Since yelling at her wasn’t working, I began speaking a language she would understand, “Shilo, do you want a treat?” I asked in a calm voice. That got her attention, and she returned to me as if nothing had happened. I wish I had her amnesia, but I didn’t. Yes, I was happy to get her safely home but still angry with her.
As frustrating as this experience was, it served as a reminder of God’s great patience, love, and mercy toward us. Why? Because each of us has gone astray and ran from the One who provides for our every need.
God’s compassion towards His wayward kids is evident when we read the parable of the prodigal son. In Luke 15:13, we see that the son chose to run away from his father. He didn’t understand that the false freedom he sought led straight to a road of misery.
One wrong decision led to another until he hit rock bottom. Fortunately, it was on this firm foundation that he came to his senses. At his lowest, he remembered his father’s kindness and longed to go home. Humbled by the error of his ways, he began the journey back with a repentant heart.
We don’t know how long the prodigal son was gone, but we do know that his father never quit waiting expectantly for him when we read;
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him (Luke 15:20).”
Even before the man could recite his repentance speech, his father was overcome with emotion and rejoiced over his return. His son, who once was lost, was now found!
God is patient, loving, and merciful toward us and is never angry when His children return to Him—no matter what we have done. Today, reflect on the kindness of God. Meditate on all the ways He provides for us, thank Him for being our firm foundation, and rejoice that true freedom is found only in Jesus.
If your sin has separated you from your Heavenly Father, today, take hold of His promise, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Don’t run away from a God who runs to you.
by: Jennifer McAlister, Communications, My Faith Votes
1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Pray: Dear Lord, Thank you for Your kindness that leads us to repentance. Please help us to reflect You so brightly that it guides Your prodigals home.
Think: The found should always seek the lost.
Act: Are you frustrated by how far our government has strayed? You’re not alone—and thanks to the Founding Fathers, you’re not helpless to do something about it, either. We’re thrilled to partner with Patriot Academy to offer you a FREE course on how we got here, and why we’re full of hope for the future called Biblical Citizenship. This eight-week online course gives you the tools you need to defend your freedom and your faith in these dark and uncertain times. You’ll gain more constitutional knowledge than 99% of Americans and learn tangible action steps for preserving liberty. Be entertained, inspired, and educated…with a few special guests too! First session starts March 16. Learn more and sign up to join us here.
We want to see God honored in America, and we pray for an unprecedented spiritual awakening.
This devotion was produced in partnership with Every Home for Christ.
This ministry is made possible by the generous support of friends like you.