DAY 13 - SHARING THE GOOD NEWS
In 1997, a Chinese couple’s 2-year-old son was stolen, and the police found no leads. The father set off to search for his son all across China with a bag of fliers and a picture of his son on the flag attached to his motorcycle. The father rode 310,000 miles, wore out 10 motorcycles, spent all of his money, and created a big debt. In the summer of 2021, using DNA analysis his son was found and the suspect confessed to the crime. The son who had been missing for 22 years was reunited with his family.
Think about the father who had only one goal, find my son. He traveled from village after village with no luck asking “Have you seen my son? He was taken from me and I want him home.”
This story is a picture of the God searching for His children who don’t know their father. Our heavenly Father won’t stop looking till all the lost are found.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 tells us that God brings us back to himself by blotting out our sins and making us right with Him. When we trust in Christ, we are no longer God’s enemies because we have been reconciled to God. We have the privilege of encouraging others to do the same. We have been given the task of reconciling people to Jesus. God makes his appeal through us. We need to display the character of Jesus through our love for one another. Our job is to spread the good news, and the Holy Spirit’s job is to move the person into a relationship with Christ.
Henri Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son suggests that all Christians at some point in their faith walk are represented by each of the three main characters: the wayward child who needs repentance and forgiveness; the big brother who wants to hold on to resentment and withhold forgiveness; and when we mature, we become like the father who has the highest desire to have all his children reconciled.
When I was dating my husband in high school, he loved old cars that needed restoring. When I looked at his latest “find” I would see chipped paint, worn upholstery and dented fenders. I thought the car was a wreck but what he saw was a work in progress. I saw the present. He saw the finished product. What does God see when he sees us? Does he see a wreck or a work in progress? God teaches, reveals and offers but he never pushes his way into the heart. God wants us to invite him in. God can turn a wreck into a magnificent masterpiece – a mighty work in progress.
Read aloud the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
- Why does the younger son leave? How does his leaving hurt the father?
- What eventually happens to the younger son?
- How did the younger son ask for forgiveness? What do you think the son expects from the father? What does the father offer to the son?
- Does the older brother forgive his brother? Why or why not?
- What will it take for the father and son to be reconciled? What will it take for the brothers to be reconciled?
- Who do you identify with most in the story?
PRAYER & REFLECTION
You have been given the Ministry of Reconciliation and the privilege and opportunity to bring others to Christ.
- Who has the Lord placed in your life that doesn’t know Jesus or has walked away from him? Pray for them daily that the Lord will touch their heart and they will be open the Lord’s promptings to want to know Jesus.
- Reflect on this as you go about your usual day: As a Minister of Reconciliation, how can I develop relationships with non-believers so they will want to know my story and I can share my testimony?