ODJ: loving a prodigal

December 28, 2015 

READ: Luke 15:11-32 

Your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found! (v.32).

I’ve known and looked up to a special friend for many years. She’s a ministry leader and also the wife of a ministry leader. My admiration runs deep not because of the global ministry she helps to lead but because of the profound and sacrificial love that she, along with her husband, have lavished on their children, particularly a (former) prodigal son.

“[My son] took us on a 12-year journey into this world of prodigaldom,” she writes. “He was the founder of World Wide Day of Prayer for Prodigals [a ministry my friend launched], though he didn’t know it at the time.

“This day of prayer began as a day to pray for [him]. He has come a long way and is making many good choices now. But Satan always lurks, hoping to trip him up, draw him back, recapture him.”

The prodigal son we find in Scripture said callously to his father, “‘I want my share of your estate now before you die” (Luke 15:12). And then, after receiving his inheritance early, he “packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living” (v.13).

The prodigal son was disrespectful, selfish, and irresponsible. It wasn’t until he lost everything that he decided to return home and confess his sins to his father who welcomed him with open arms (vv.20-21).

“It’s hard to keep loving sometimes, isn’t it?” asks my friend. “But you don’t give up, because you do love that wayward one. Which of course we learned from our God, who keeps on loving, keeps on believing, keeps on forgiving . . . never gives up on us.”

Praise God for His love for all of us . . . even the prodigals. He patiently calls to them, “Come back to life!” (v.32).

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day-plan: Jude 1:17-25

What does Isaiah 49:15-16 reveal about a mother’s love and God’s love? 
What prodigal can you pray for and reach out to today? How does God’s love for prodigals fill your heart with hope?