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Posted by Karah

Pause

Take a minute to think of all the good things about your home and family. Think of at least five ways you’re thankful for each one, and then thank God for it.

Think about the longest amount of time you spent away from home? Was it camp? Where did you go? How did it feel to come home? Record your thoughts in your journal.

Read Luke 15:17-24 in your Bible.

“Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight . . . but while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him.” —Luke 15:18b,20

Take a look at verse 18. Highlight the phrase, “I have sinned against heaven and in your sight.” How did the son’s words represent a repentant heart? Explain.

The younger son represents those who rebel against God. Because you are a sinner, the younger son represents you. The Father represents God. Why is it important to understand God welcomes us back when we repent?

Circle the father’s actions in verses 20 and 21. What do the father’s actions reveal about his character? His love for his son? His desire for his son to return to Him?

Think of the father’s character. How does this parable help you understand the love and compassion of the Father? Explain.

Respond

Repentance means you realize your sin, confess it to God, and completely turn away from it to follow Him.

-Complete the following: I am like the rebellious child because I ________. God is like the loving Father because He ______________.

-Think about your answers to the statement above. Grab your journal and list the son’s characteristics from Luke 15:11-20. Do you have any of those same characteristics? What steps can you take to get your heart right with God?

-What does this parable teach you about salvation and the nature of God’s redemption? What does it teach you about His eagerness to accept repentant outcasts?

-Have you repented and decided to follow God? If not, talk to your parents, a pastor, or even a camp counselor about the Gospel.

Behind the Story

The phrase “came to his senses” in verse 17 was often used to describe someone recovering from being mentally unstable. It also implies repentance.

The son came to a place where he could think more clearly about his situation, but also a place of repentance and renewal.[1]

The Point

Though we rebel against God, He welcomes repentant children home with joy.

 

 

[1] Robert H. Stein, New American Commentary – Volume 24: Luke, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1992), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 407.

 


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