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“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” (Luke 11:22).

This was the unexpected reaction of a father when his wayward son returned home. The young man completely blew it! He lost all his inheritance on riotous living. He found himself broke, ashamed and in serious need. Things were so desperate, he ate dinner at a hog’s trough. After he came to his senses, he returned to his father a more humble and repentant man. Instead of giving his son a deserving punishment, the father embraced him in celebration.

This passage reveals the heart of God towards his children.

As we take time to celebrate our fathers during this season, let’s remember just how important their roles are to the family. Much research stresses the difference a father can make. Those with close relationships with their fathers were twice as likely to enter college, 75% less likely to have a child in their teen years, 80% less likely to be incarcerated and half as likely to show signs of depression (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993).

Not only do we need the discipline of a father, but the love as well. A great dad will spend quality time with his children and provide their needs.

If a dad can cause that much impact, how much more do we need our Heavenly Father? God doesn’t just contribute to a positive outcome, but he is our greatest need. Without him, we will live with a great spiritual void that will end in disaster.

Many look for fulfillment in the mirages of the world and the empty pleasures of sin. People find out that it is a waste of time and too costly a price.

It is not too late to return to the Lord. The prodigal son was elevated to a better life because of the love of his father. In spite of our shameful mistakes, he still loves us. Even in our lowest state, he still wants the best for us and will give us the finest. It is time to repent, turn around and come back to God.

Ralph and Elizabeth Pyszkowski, your brother and sister In Christ. All comments are welcomed at rpyszkow@gmail.com.

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