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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries


January 17, 2007

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There is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10


Most of us remember Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son. If so, you will recall the joy shown by the father who saw his delinquent boy returning home. The Lord shared how the father ran to his boy, embraced him, and threw a party for him. Everyone would have empathized with the old man when he said, “let us celebrate … my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” Every generation loves that story, because they understand that story.

Last week, I asked you to pray for the safe return of 13-year-old Ben Ownby and many of you prayed for Ben and other children in distress. Thank you. I’d like to give you an update. On Friday, Ben, missing for four days, was found. But there was a big bonus to Ben’s recovery; another boy, who had been kidnapped four years earlier was also rescued.

Families, friends, sheriffs, searchers, civic organizations, and Christian congregations were overjoyed the two boys were found. The words of Scripture came alive as the video cameras recorded parents crying and saying, as if to say, “let us celebrate … my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

The story of the Prodigal Son is recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Luke. Jesus wanted us to realize that even as we give thanks to God for the return of a son, a sheep, a lost coin, the angels in heaven rejoice over a sinner who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, repents and is saved.

When Adam and Eve were put into the Garden of Eden, God loved them, for our first ancestors were His special children. Satan seduced and stole them away from the Father and kidnapped their souls. God was angry and grieved but He was also gracious.

In His love the Father decided to do whatever was necessary, pay whatever price was needed to rescue and restore us to His family of faith. To that end, our heavenly Father sent Jesus, His only Son into this world.

Jesus’ work was to: seek and save the lost, offer Himself, be the price of our redemption through a sinless life, through His sacrificial death, with His glorious resurrection. Jesus did all that was necessary to free us from our demonic kidnapper.

Because of what Jesus has done, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Because of Jesus’ blood, sons and daughters who were lost, have been found; because of the Savior’s sacrifice, you and I who were once were dead are alive again.

The PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks for the return of the two boys to their families; I also rejoice that You have, through Your holy, precious blood, and innocent suffering and death, redeemed me from my kidnapper and returned me to my heavenly Father. In Your Name. Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: Job 22-24    Matthew 12:1-23

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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