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December 31, 2022

The Father's Heart


Do you know the Father’s heart for you?

Pastor Eli Nelson continues in our Christmas series on the Parable of the Lost Son in Luke 15:11-32. This week, we are focusing on the Father in this story, which is representative of our Heavenly Father and how He sees us.

It’s a good place to know that you’re in need.

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:13-20 (NIV)

After the younger son squandered his inheritance by wild living, he realized that everything he wanted was actually where he left. Your deepest needs are only and always fulfilled in Christ. No matter how far you’ve gone, you are always welcome back to the Father’s house. When we don’t feel like we deserve to be in the presence of God, that’s when we need Him the most. Everything in our social media feed is only making us more hungry, but the thing we need can only be found in Christ.

“Hunger is a good motivator, but it’s not a good captain.” ~ Pastor Eli Nelson

It’s good to be hungry, because then you realize what you really need. Your spouse or significant other doesn’t fill you or complete you. Only Jesus can. Before you can selflessly love others, you first need to know how loved you are by God. Our Father has what we’ve been looking for all along. And we as Christians have what the world is hungry for.

If I left home, then I can go back home.

We have to go back home to the Father in our hearts regularly. Coming home means to be known. To be true to who you are. Being known means being vulnerable. And being vulnerable means having the chance to be rejected. We want to be seen, but we may not want to be known because of fear of rejection. But in spite of your faults and shortcomings, you are still welcomed and loved. You are never rejected by God.

Can you see yourself beyond your pattern of behavior?

The younger son thought his behavior dictated his belonging, but it doesn’t. He belongs because of his birth. He’s a son, and that’s why he belongs. And the same is for you. The Father sees you, and He still loves you. After everything you’ve done, He chose to forgive you anyway. He doesn’t see you by what you did. He sees you like He sees His son Jesus: worthy, righteous, and loved.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27 (NKJV)
It’s Time to Come Home

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