Heart of the Father

We cannot end this week without discussing the father character in Jesus’ parable. The father offered his love, goodness, and heart to both sons. Unfortunately, one son decided he would reject his father by “doing all the right things,” and the other rejected his father by “doing all the wrong things”. Neither son simply wanted a relationship with the dad.        

The heart of this father must have been grieved to have his sons reject his love, goodness, and place in the family. As a father of eleven (Chris), learning that my kids did not want a relationship with me, but only what I could give them, would crush me. It would make me angry, hurt, and defensive. Initially, I would be tempted to withhold my love or blessing and become conditional, wishing that they’d learn their lesson, be grateful, and appreciate me more.

However, the dad in this story is different. He selflessly sees only the plight of his sons and desires what is best for each of them. He claims both boys and continues calling them his sons even while facing communal scrutiny and scorn. His wealth decreases, and he takes personal hits, but he continues loving and giving. He is steadfast and unmovable on behalf of his sons despite the cost.  

Oh, to be this kind of dad! To love unconditionally, completely, and undeservedly. To be keenly aware and “know” my kid’s needs. To provide in a way that shows the right balance of truth and grace.

The dad in the story is an example of a dad we all need and desire because we are these sons. All of us have rebelled against our heavenly Father like the older and younger brothers. We have all said, “I don’t want to be your son or daughter!” How His heart must break, and yet He is relentless in His pursuit of us. We need a dad who offers us a way home to be His sons and daughters again. A dad who offers all of the love, mercy, grace, and provision we so desperately need. The good news is - we do!

In the climax in this story, one son receives his father’s invitation to come home and is now back in the family. We are then left waiting as the older son is faced with the same offer. We are given the same opportunity, to be sons and daughters of an amazing Heavenly Dad again. He is patiently waiting for our answer. So what will you decide?        

Do you see the heart of your Heavenly Dad towards you?  Why or why not?
His offer has been made. What have you decided?  Are you going to be a son, daughter, or slave?






2020 Accept Adventure AncientLessons Answers BattlingThroughtheWilderness BillyHare Blogpost Burden Chaos Code CoreHeartQuestions Covid Detachment Deuteronomy30 DirectionDetermineDestination EnemyWithin EnemyWithout Ephesians1 Ephesians4 Ezekiel2626 FTN FalseTrueNorth Father Following Goodness Guide HNF HOME Heart Her New Fronier HolySpirit How do I live by a code? HowDoILive J.A.Hart Jesus is king Jesus: the Ultimate Example Jesus' example John10:10 John1 KingJesus Kingdom Series Kingdom of Heaven King Listening Livingasadaughter Livingasason Luke5 Mark2 Mentors MichealCassinari Montana NewCreation NewLife NewNature NewWine Normal OldNature OldWinskins Phillipians Question Reject Restoration Rhythmsofsonship Rhythms Romans8 SaintAugustine Shame Sons SouthAfrica THJ TN The New Normal TheCalltoAdventure TheCall TheGreaterStory TheHeroicJourney TheReturn TheVictory TheWilderness TrueNorth WanderingintheWilderness WhereDoIBelong WhoAmI WhyAmIHere WorkIn WorkOut a different story abide abiding above all else the heart above all else acceptance ancient lesson anxiety battle series battle weapons battle batttle blog post blog brother build the family cease-fire challenge change christmas church clarityvsunderstanding clarity community series community created order culture current daily path daughter defining effective environment exercises family fear forgiveness forgive four soils foursoils friendship fully known fully fundraising gift of rest giving grace in community god to man good soil goodsoil happy newyear hardpath healthy vs toxic shame healthy-fear healthy heart of the father heartofthefather heavenly dad heavenlyfather her new frontier home honor applied honor how can I rest how do we battle well? how to rest how to how we love how humility in true community humility image-bearer inner expirience interveiw interview janet joshua kingdom of chaos kingdom of rest kingdomofheaven kingdom known lifetothefull life love loyalty man to man mark sayers meditation methods mindsets miracle more than words moses motives movement of the heart movements myself new frontier new wine new year newyear of old vs new old wineskin older brother olderbrother older oneness vs unity oneness outer expirience parable of the sower parables parable part one part three parttwo paul peace poster child for burnout prayer life prayer warrior prayer problem of rest process prodigal son prodigal quote receive receiving rest receiving reconciles to me reconciliation reconnection reflections relationships relationship release and receive release rest series rest rhymths rhythms series rhythmsseries rhythm ruth hartenstein ruth sabbath scripture self-improvement self-sufficiency series soilseries soil sonship spiritual warfare stories aroundthefire stories surprise surrender vs self-improvement surrender the heart the older brother the path blog the path the prodigal son the prodigal thestorycircle the thorny soil three weeks tnfadventures toxic transform true community true truth understanding unity versesseries voices vs wantednotneeded warrior war way week three what I believe what kingdom do you live in what kingdom who sets my rhythms why abide why is rest important wilderness wineskin word study younger brother youngerbrother young