There are three stories in Luke 15. A sheep strays, is searched for, and is recovered. A coin is lost so the house is searched until it is found. A son makes foolish decisions, comes to his senses, and returns home. Each story tells us something important about God.

The sheep, the coin, and the son share one thing in common — each was treasured and considered to be of great worth by the person who missed them. Each required a great sacrifice to get back. What is important is not that they were lost but that they were found.

What does God see when he looks at you? A sheep so stupid he got lost? An irresponsible kid who left home? No! He sees a treasure recovered.

Listen! God looks to our future, not to our past. There is research that suggests it is easier for people to recall negative and painful events than positive ones. This tendency can lead to mistakes, errors, and sins consuming our mind and emotions. God is not like that. He thinks about who we are becoming.

The celebrations described in Luke 15 were not small. Friends, neighbors, and families were called to celebrate the once lost that were now found.

Our lives can be the same. God celebrates our return to him. The King James Bible puts it well, “It was meet (fit) that we should make merry and be glad.”

Father, remind me that I am your beloved child and that you rejoice when I return to you and confess my sins. Thank you for forgiving me with joy in your heart instead of condemnation. Amen.

Go Deeper — Think about the last time you lost something. How hard did you search for it? Will God not do that each time you stray from him?

Read Further — If you find it hard to ask God to forgive you, or to forgive yourself, read about these 7 Steps to Forgiveness.

Tags: The Gospel of Luke Luke 15
Photo Credit: Debby Hudson