What Jesus Did! 'Life Away from God' — Luke 15:13-16

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

[Jesus continued,] "A few days later [after the sons received their inheritance from their father, the younger son] packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything."

Note: This passage continues the third story (Luke 15:11-32) that Jesus told about the joy of recovering something or someone that is lost. The other two stories are Luke 15:3-7 and Luke 15:8-10.
— Luke 15:13-16 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus' story about a selfish, wasteful son who went away from his family and his father is an illustration of our condition without God. Life without God is a lonely, desolate, and disgraceful place without comfort and without genuine friends. While you may have companions who hang around when you have something to offer them, they are usually gone when hard times hit, and you are often left alone. Those conditions are such a contrast with every picture we see of the joy and love in the Father's house! [1]

[1] For example, John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Colossians 3:12-15; Galatians 6:2.

Today's Prayer

Righteous God, my heavenly Father, please help me keep my mind clear about my blessings of being in your family. Help me to see the comfort, love, and joy that are mine in your family. If I stray, please, dear Lord, humble me gently and bring me back home. My heart will find its true joy only in your presence. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Colossians 1:19-23
  • Ephesians 2:11-13
  • 1 Peter 1:9

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Illustration

Illustration of Luke 15:13-16 NLT — "A few days later [after the sons received their inheritance from their father, the younger son] packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.