Unveiling the Heart of the Father

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. . . But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Luke 15:20, 22–24

One of the most beautiful parables in the Bible is the parable of the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32). Many commentators call this the parable of the prodigal son, but the real hero of this story is the father and his love for his two sons. It’s a parable that Jesus used to skillfully unveil to us the true heart of our gracious and loving heavenly Father.

Please take a few minutes to read through the full parable, and as you read through it, consider this: What is your opinion of God, especially when you’ve made a mistake? Do you see Him as an all-powerful, distant, and unfeeling judge who is angry whenever you fail and who constantly has to be appeased? Or do you know Him as your Daddy, your Abba Father whom you can run to anytime, even when you have fallen short? Do you see Him as unwaveringly and patiently waiting for you to return to Him and then racing down the road to meet you with tears streaming down His face, embracing you, and raining His kisses upon you?

As I was studying the Word, the Lord revealed to me that many believers have come to a place where they have forgotten their heavenly Father. They have forgotten about His love, His grace, and His loving-kindness. They relate to God in a judicial and transactional fashion, coming before Him with apprehension and trepidation, presenting their failings to Him and quickly leaving before they get the punishment and condemnation they think they rightly deserve from Him. They perceive Him exclusively as a God of holiness, judgment, and justice—His face steely and stern, His mighty arms folded in dissatisfaction and disapproval. They see a God who is easily displeased, quick to anger, perpetually disappointed with them, and waiting impatiently to be placated.

This wrong belief of who God really is has driven many into fear, guilt, depression, and insecurity. And that is why it’s so vital we see the heart of the Father as unveiled by Jesus in this timeless parable.

Beloved, do you see His heart of love for you? There is a vacuum in our hearts that can only be filled by the Father’s love. I believe that if you would allow the Father to come into your heart today and fill you up with His perfect love, you will find the joy, confidence, fulfillment, and freedom that you have been looking for in life.

This devotional is taken from the book 100 Days of Right Believing—Daily Readings from The Power of Right Believing.

If you or a loved one are facing a health issue, know that we are praying for you. We would also like to encourage you to read "How do I walk in faith and wisdom as I look to the Lord for healing?" to help you build your faith as you wait for your breakthrough.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version ®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.