A Family’s Feud; a Father’s Faith

GodSpeak for the Week of August 18

Dr. Bob Holst shared insights into Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son. This week we’ll look at additional scriptures that talk about compassion and forgiveness.

Day 1Read Luke 15:1-10

This gives some context to the parable of the Prodigal Son. Notice what the Pharisees and teachers of the law say about Jesus in verse 2. How does Jesus respond to them?

Day 2Read Luke 15:11-32

This well-known parable continues to illustrate God the Father’s compassion for sinners, and the idea of rejoicing over those who repent. If we’re honest with ourselves, we sometimes sympathize with the older brother, feeling like there are certain people who don’t deserve God’s forgiveness. We forget that we aren’t deserving of it either! God extends his mercy, compassion, and forgiveness freely to undeserving people.

Day 3Read Matthew 9:9-13

Again the Pharisees are complaining about the people whom Jesus associates with. Ponder how Jesus answers them, especially his quote from Hosea 6:6: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Are there times in our lives where we prefer religiosity over dealing compassionately with the messiness of relationships? How are we being called to practice mercy?

Day 4Read Psalm 103

This call to praise also contains a meditation on God’s compassion for His children. Read this psalm as a prayer of thanks and praise for all that our Heavenly Father has done for us through Jesus Christ.

Day 5Read Zephaniah 3:14-17

Here in Zephaniah God tells His people that He takes delight in them and rejoices over them with singing. Similarly, in Luke 15 Jesus tells us that there is great rejoicing in heaven over one person who repents. In the Prodigal Son parable, the word celebrate is used four times. Do you find it remarkable that that God would rejoice over us with singing? That He celebrates the repentance of His children? Like the psalmist in Psalm 8:4, we might say in amazement, “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Take time to praise God that He rejoices over His people.

Day 6Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 and Ephesians 4:32-5:2

Our response to God’s compassion and forgiveness is first to give Him thanks and praise, and second, to extend that compassion and forgiveness to others. Look for ways today that you can imitate God by being compassionate and walking in the way of love.

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