“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.” Luke 15:22-24

Our worship leader was encouraging the congregation between songs.

“God can restore what has been lost!”

Amen

“God can restore what has been stolen!”

Preach!

“God can restore what has been squandered!”

Woah.

Do you know how much I have squandered in my life? How much time, how many relationships, how many resources, how many opportunities?

But my God can restore and redeem even what I was foolish with.

I was reminded of the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, and how a wise friend of mine once pointed out to me that the word “prodigal” doesn’t mean “lost.”

It means “wasteful.”

And it isn’t the inheritance that was wasted that makes this young man’s story so sad. It’s his potential. It’s his father’s love. It’s his rights as a son.

Whatever you’ve lost, had stolen, or squandered in your life. rest in the knowledge that God is in the restoration business. He can even redeem what we were wasteful with and restore us to our place in His family, just like the father in this parable did with the son.

The son just had to come humbly to the father and ask forgiveness. He didn’t even ask to be restored, just to be forgiven. But his father went above and beyond because of his love for the son, and our Father will do the same.

It’s a new year, folks. We have new opportunities and struggles ahead of us, and we serve a God who can and will restore what we left behind in the old one. Seek Him, and He will do more than you can even ask for.

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