I Can Only Imagine
Embark on a journey through the Gospels to discover Jesus’ encounters with broken people. Each day will include scripture, reflective stories, and prayer—all working together to reveal God’s incredible heart for you. Each day of this 6-day devotional contains video content with Bart Millard of MercyMe and exclusive movie scenes from the I Can Only Imagine movie. 6 Days
I can Only Imagine Devotional
Devotional - Day 4
In I Can Only Imagine, Bart wanted nothing to do with his dad and left home as soon as he could. Years later, Bart hit rock bottom and finally did arrive back home. When he did, he certainly didn’t expect a transformed, loving dad. But God is full of surprises.
In one of his most famous stories, Jesus tells a parable about a son who ran away from home. Consider the story again, in a paraphrased form.
Jesus once told this story to a crowd who struggled to see God as Father. There was once a father who had two sons (Luke 15:11). The younger son wanted nothing to do with his dad, asked for his inheritance early, effectively wishing his father dead and breaking away from the family. Amazingly, the Father consented, sold off much of his assets, and let his son run away with his hard-earned life savings.
So the younger son set off for the big city, spending money like it would never run out. But it soon did. In fact, the economy bottomed out and he found himself broke and unemployed. The only job he could get was as a laborer on a farm. He was so desperate for food that he even tried the pig slop.
Finally, he hit rock bottom and knew his only way to stay alive was to go back home. As he walked, he rehearsed his apology speech over and over. He knew he’d have to explain himself; he’d have to get his story just right.
That’s when he saw something totally unexpected: His father running toward him. Before the son could get out a word of apology, his father tackled him, hugging him, and sobbing uncontrollably.
“Dad, I’m sorry…” the son began. But the father only shouted back to the family, “My son is home! My son is alive and he’s home! Stop everything. Let’s celebrate!”.
Jesus wasn’t telling his followers that they needed to turn from their lives of sin. If the son had been accepted back as a servant as the son had hoped, that would have made sense as a story about the son’s change of heart. But the parable is not about getting it right and pulling it together. It’s not about finding the right words to use or the right attitude to have.
The parable is about the love of the Father.
Jesus wants his followers to approach him just as we are without getting our stories straight. He wants us to come home and receive his love. He’s not looking for servants. He’s looking for his beloved children to come home.
The Passion Translation® Copyright © 2017 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.