C. Bishop & Robert Harkness, 1880-1961

11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Luke 15:11-24

It's easy to talk sentimentally about love. It's much more difficult to apply it to needy people and situation. The Scriptures clearly teach, however, that the proof of God's presence within our lives is our willingness to share His love...His selfless, sacrificial love...with humanity. The earthly badge of our heavenly citizenship is our love relationship with others.

A life demonstrating Christ's love is a deliberate choice on our part. We must choose this lifestyle against our natural bent for self-centeredness. Soon, with the Holy Spirit's enablement, our new life of Christ-like love becomes a natural behavior when we realize our indebtedness to Him for His love for us. Responding to the needs of others will never be a duty; rather it should be a privilege of normal Christian living. Our love in action will bring joy to a brother or sister in Christ and even show nonbelievers that we are Christians not only in name but in deed as well.

That God should love a sinner such as I,
Should yearn to change my sorrow into bliss,
Nor rest till He had planned to bring me nigh,
How wonderful is love like this!

That Christ should join so freely in the plan,
Although it meant His death on Calvary,
Was even nobler theme sung by the tongue of man
Than love divine that ransomed me?

That for a willful outcast such as I,
The Father planned, the Savior bled and died;
Redemption for a worthless slave to buy,
Who long had law and grace defied.

And now He takes me to His heart--a son,
He asks me not to fill a servant's place;
The "Far-off country" wand'rings all are done,
Wide open are His arms of grace!

Such love, such wondrous love,
Such love, such wondrous love,
That God should love a sinner such as I,
How wonderful is love like this!

*For Today*: Matthew 22:39; John 17:22; I Corinthians 16:14; I Peter 1:22; I John 3:23

Like the prodigal of old, go home to the Father's loving welcome and accept your sonship with JOY, showing daily by your thankfulness for salvation by obedience your love for the Father!

Copyright 1929.
Renewed 1957 by Lillenas Publishing Co.

Adapted from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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