This is the free student devotional for Let Hope In, Session 3: Hope Personified.
Put away anything that might distract you. Thank God for the day He has given you and ask Him to use this time in His Word to transform your life, desires, and actions.
Read the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. What’s your favorite part of the story? Why? Sketch your favorite scene or jot down a few ideas about why this scene captures your heart.
So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. —Luke 15:20
Think through these questions:
• What does this parable teach you about God’s compassion for you?
• The rebellious son left home with his inheritance and squandered it. Later, he “came to his senses” and went home, admitting his sin to his father (v. 21). What does this passage teach you about true repentance and God’s response to it?
Because He is compassionate, God meets repentant sinners where they are. He celebrates when we return to Him.
Behind the Story
In the culture of Jesus’ day, it was considered degrading for an elderly man to run. But in Jesus’ story, the father ran to his son and threw his arms around him. This is a picture of how God responds to us when we come to Him for salvation. God is eager to receive sinners. When we come in repentance, He responds with love, joy, and acceptance.
God isn’t passive when it comes to His children. He seeks us out, provides opportunities for us to respond to the gospel, and—like the father in the parable—is actively waiting for us to return to Him.
• If you are a Christian, take some time to thank God for the way He drew you to Himself and continues to work in your life.
• If you are not a believer, know that God will not force you to follow Him. But He longs for you to admit your sin and come to Him, something He celebrates with great joy. Don’t let this opportunity to respond to His gospel pass you by.