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A Father Forgives A Father Forgives

A Father Forgives


Evangelist D. L. Moody said his brother left home at age 15 in order to seek his fortune. Moody remembered his mother waiting for her son’s return, even setting a chair for him at Thanksgiving dinner. “I used to think she loved him more than all the rest of us put together,” Moody said. Many years later, a stranger came to their house, and when his mother answered the door, there stood her son—now a grown man. Moody’s mother threw her arms around him, and welcomed him home.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables about a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. In each, an individual has lost something of value. When the item was found, joy replaced the feelings of distress. The Parable of the Prodigal Son tells of a father with two sons. The younger son rebels, leaves home, and squanders his inheritance. He acts with reckless abandon until he is starving and considers eating from a pig’s trough (v. 16). Only then does he return to his father.

Some children would expect to return home to harsh words or a closed door, but this son found a parent waiting with expectant joy. Note the sincerity and humility of the son’s confession (vv. 18–19). He acknowledges his disobedience and unworthiness. He doesn’t ask to be restored to his former relationship but merely to be considered a servant.

But his father is overjoyed (v. 20). There is celebration, music, and dancing (v. 25). As D. L. Moody described the lesson of this parable, “Ah, sinner, if you but ask God to be merciful to you a sinner, ask Him for forgiveness, although your life has been bad—ask Him for mercy, and He will not keep you long waiting for an answer.”

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Thank the Lord in prayer for the ministry of our Public Safety officers at Moody and ask Him to bless Beau Pieniak, Brian Stoffer, Jacob Muscat, and Kyle Hopp. They serve behind the scenes, but they are always there to help!

BY Jamie Janosz

Jamie Janosz serves as a content development manager for Moody Bible Institute. She writes monthly devotionals for Today in the Word and has published non-fiction essays with Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog. Recently Jamie wrote a book titled When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up (Moody Publishers). Jamie studied theology and writing at Moody Bible Institute, Columbia College, and Illinois State University. She lives on the Atlantic coast of Florida with her husband, Milt, and daughter, Sabrina.

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