Devotion: Realizing How Much God Loves You

Luke 15:11-32
In reflecting on the breadth of God's love, what steps might you take in your life to enhance your realization of God's love?

Devotion: Realizing How Much God Loves You
October 2005
Luke 15:11-32

How do you see God's love in your daily life? Jesus' parable of the prodigal is an example of the deep and profound love between a father and his son (and, God with God's people). This parable could also be named the parable of the prodigal father. It is the father who is a central character. The selfish and jealous behavior of the two sons is a sharp contrast to the loving behavior of the father. Similarly, God's most basic character is love.

What experiences in life are brought to memory by this parable? Has there been a time in your life when you wanted to go off to a far country? It was not unusual for younger Jewish sons to venture into the Dispersion. Centuries later in colonial England, it was not unusual for younger sons to venture to the colonies to start their life. And in our own country, it was not unusual for younger sons to respond to the challenge, "Go west, young man."

These ventures were often undertaken because there was sense of love and security at home, and a loving relationship with God. The life of Jesus was a venture to live in a "new creation", a "new age". It was difficult for the disciples to leave their settings and follow Jesus. It was even more difficult to grasp the significance of Jesus' teachings. Yet as their experiences evolved there were revelations that showed God's love and presence in every day life.

The older son struggled to see the loving relationship with his father and brother upon the brother's return. Yet the father's love was free, unmerited and unconditional to both sons. It is this kind of love that God has for God's people.

The breadth of this love is expressed in words penciled on the wall of a narrow room in an asylum
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And ev'ry man a scribe by trade:
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Tho' stretched from sky to sky.


"The Love of God" Linenas Publishing Co,  Kansas City, MO 1917

In reflecting on the breadth of God's love, what steps might you take in your life to enhance your realization of God's love?

Let us pray: Lord God, you are a loving Creator and Provider. Help us to see your presence in our daily life, in the gift of life, in the gift of your Son Jesus Christ and in the Body of Christ. Give us the vision to look beyond our personal desires and needs. Give us the sensitivity to hear your word above our daily activity. Open our eyes too, to the times when we are like the older son, looking for the best robe and the fatted calf, only wanting for ourselves. May the Holy Spirit give us guidance to see your loving presence and will in our life. Amen.


Stewardship Resources Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 8765 West Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631. Any part of Salt Seasonings can be reproduced for local use with attribution.

Author

Salt Writer, October 2005.

Author information was updated as of the article's post date. Author profiles may not reflect author's current employment or location.

Image credit: © Ignacio García Losa (ignaciogarcialosa.com) via Flickr. Used by permission.

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