Luke 15:11-24 (KJV)

11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Humanity tends to project its own faulty habits onto God.

This is especially true regarding the nature of His love. We think we must barter, plead, or try hard to earn the Lord’s favor. But as the prodigal son learned, the Father’s love is unconditional.

The wayward son expected his father’s love to be diminished.

Therefore, he went home hoping for a place among the family servants. Imagine the boy’s delight when Dad greeted him with a hug and a celebration. His actions certainly didn’t merit an outpouring of affection, but Jesus’ parable is all about a Father who doesn’t give people what they deserve.

A love based on conduct would keep people guessing, Have I done enough?

 Instead, God cares for you simply because you’re you, and He expects nothing in return. Consider the prodigal’s life after his homecoming party. He didn’t move into the servants’ quarters and get to work. He was reinstated to his place as the second son of a wealthy man, with all of the privilege that entails. In the same way, believers are the Lord’s cherished children (2 Cor. 6:18). When God looks at His loved ones, He doesn’t focus upon past failures, faults, or sin. He sees the heirs to His kingdom—men and women who love Him and desire to spend eternity in His presence.

No matter how far we may wander from the Lord’s perfect will for our lives, we are always welcome back.

The Bible teaches that God’s love cannot be lost, regardless of sin or poor decisions (though we may have to live with the consequences).

Our Father’s arms are always open. 

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