Bible Reading: Psalm 119:9-16; Proverbs 3:1-6; Isaiah 53:6
Nathaniel gasped when he saw a quick flash of white through the trees. "A deer," he whispered. Carefully picking his way across sticks and fallen branches, Nathaniel quietly walked toward the deer. Glancing over his shoulder, he could still see his family's campsite, so he went on. When he got a little closer to the deer, it bounded off through the trees. Nathaniel ran after it, but soon it was lost from his sight. Nathaniel stopped beside a small stream. "Goodbye, Mr. Deer," he called as he turned back toward camp, but…where was camp? In one quick second Nathaniel knew he was lost.
Nathaniel's excitement turned to terror as he recalled the ranger's warning about bears in the area. Dear God, he prayed, I'm scared! I know I wasn't supposed to lose sight of our camp, but I forgot. I'm sorry! Please help me find my way back.
Just then Nathaniel heard a voice over the gurgling of the stream. "Nathaniel!" it called. "Nathaaaniel!"
"Dad!" Nathaniel called back. He ran toward the sound of the voice, and moments later, he was in his father's arms.
"Where have you been?" asked Dad. "We told you--" But the scolding stopped as Nathaniel's fears turned to tears. "It's okay, Nathaniel," Dad said, holding him tightly.
At family devotions around the campfire, Dad asked, "Nathaniel, what happened when you didn't follow our instructions today?"
"I got lost," said Nathaniel. "I knew I was supposed to stay close to our camp, and I didn't mean to disobey, but I just went my own way without thinking."
Dad nodded. "We all do that sometimes as Christians, don't we? Instead of obeying God, we do what we want instead."
"But you came and found me, Dad," Nathaniel said.
Dad smiled. "Yes, and Jesus does the same for us. He came to find us when we were lost sinners, taking the punishment for our sins Himself by dying on the cross so we could be saved. And He continues to show us love and forgiveness when we disobey Him and go our own way."
"I'm so glad you found me today, Dad" said Nathaniel. "And I'm glad Jesus comes to find us when we wander away."
-Daniel A. BurnsHow About You?
Have you wandered away from God's path by doing things your way instead of His? The Bible says we've all gone astray and disobeyed God, and that's why Jesus came to earth--to save lost sinners. No matter how many times you wander away, Jesus offers you forgiveness. Stop going your own way and turn back to His loving arms that are waiting to welcome you home. Today's Key Verse:
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost. (CSB) (Luke 19:10)Today's Key Thought:
Jesus offers forgiveness