Big Idea: Because of Jesus, we can now relate to God as a loving Father.
Text: Luke 15
"For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate."
The prodigal son was broken, humbled, and lost. Only from falling to a place of total desperation did he finally came to his senses and realize his father’s house was the place of true life and happiness.
For the Christian, we know from experience the misery which comes from searching for significance and joy apart from the Father. It always ultimately fails to satisfy and fulfill. God communicates this to us over and over in His Word, in passages like Jeremiah 2:13:
“For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!"
So why do we keep going back to these broken cisterns? For me, it's often impatience and a lack of trust in God and His plan. Many believers are not even aware of God's master plan--conforming His children into the image of Jesus (Colossians 3:10) as He works to redeem His sin-scarred creation:
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:22-23).
We must trust God and His work while refusing to prematurely abandon the safe and secure agenda of the Father. If you find yourself groaning inwardly today, look toward home and pray to your Father.
If you find yourself drinking from broken cisterns, return to your loving and gracious Father. He is looking for you. He runs toward His broken and weary children, with arms of grace wide open.
Identity Bible Study:
Read Romans 5:5-21
- While we are made in the image of God, because of Adam's sin, we bear the brokenness of his transgression. Apart from Christ, how does this passage describe you?
- What does this passage tell you that Christ has done for you?
- Compare the free gift of God to the trespass of Adam. What similarities do you notice? What differences?
Read Ephesians 4:20-5:2
- What does it look like to live as an imitator of God?
- How is it possible for us to live out this calling?
- How does centering our identity in Christ provide stability to our sense of self, even as our seasons and circumstances change? What truths about our identity in Christ are unchanging?
- How have you seen change-sometimes difficult and unwanted-lead to God's transformation in your life? How has that at times been a difficult, but needed transformation?
- How will you live differently in light of your understanding that you are made in the image of God?