Read Luke 15:11-32.

Sin is deceptive. Initially, the charm of sin is all we can see. When the prodigal son was drawn by the allure of the far country, he could only see the upside of leaving his father for a more exotic land. The prodigal’s self-centered thinking led him to believe that his father owed him his inheritance.

The prodigal son stayed prideful long after his money disappeared. Only when a famine destroyed his chances of even a menial job did he admit he had been wrong and that his father’s house was a pretty wonderful place after all. The son said to himself, “I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants” (Luke 15:18-19). All the way home the young man probably rehearsed his confession and his story of degradation.

As soon as the dirty, unkempt prodigal is seen approaching, the father runs to him (see v. 20). When the son confesses, the father cuts him off. He does not need the details of the terrible times in the far country. Instead, he calls for a robe and a ring and fully reinstates the young man as his son and not as a servant.

God is not in the business of making us slaves; He is in the adoption business. He makes us his sons and daughters and freely gives us all good things. When we ask for His forgiveness, He wipes away our sin and forgets it ever happened. What a loving Father!

Easter is about wiping away the guilt and shame we all carry. In one magnificent act on the cross, Jesus showed the inexhaustible grace of the Father to cleanse us of sin. He simply asks that we realize our sinful condition and repent. He will cleanse us, clothe us in the robe of His righteousness, and accept us into his household with open arms without condemnation.

Prayer: Father, thank You for adopting me as Your child. Thank You for Your grace and forgiveness. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“[H]e predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Ephesians 1:5).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Need Good News?, Part 5: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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