The only way that we come to a right standing with God is through the cross – with no effort on our part.
Name a hobby, phase, commitment, party or anything else in your life that you’re glad has finally ended. Why did you feel relieved?
What does the Bible say?
Read Luke 15:21-32
The older brother spent most of his energy trying to obey his father but somehow lost sight of what it was all about along the way – love. Obedience without love becomes a type of slavery and eventually will kill us spiritually.
Has that happened to you before with your relationship with God? What allowed you to return to a relationship based on love, not rules?
Has there been someone in your life who really disappeared spiritually and came back? How did that go? Were you excited for them or were you hard on them? If so, why do you think that was?
Apply the message
We heard this week that people are often afraid of being judged by their local church as they return to a relationship with God. Who is someone who was “far away” and is returning right now that you can love and encourage?