Luke 15: Extravagant Love

December Devotional Readings

The Book of Luke has 24 chapters. It starts with the story of the birth of Christ and ends with His death and resurrection. This makes it the perfect Bible reading plan for the month of December. Read a chapter a day and you’ll have an overview of the story of Jesus by Christmas!

Carols implore us to rejoice during the Christmas season, but did you know God rejoices over you? He loves us extravagantly. Luke 15 prompts us to do the same.

It was Thanksgiving Day, and my brother and sister-in-law had surprised Mom by driving 13 hours across 3 provinces to be with her for that special event. 

The moment she saw them, Mom’s joy burst out of her in a flood of tears. Her knees, weak with emotion, could barely hold her up. She was speechless, but sung wordless exclamations anyway. Her uncontainable reaction to the return of her kids was unforgettable, and her love was unmistakable by the intensity of her rejoicing.

Did you know that God rejoices over you?

The Extravagant Love of God

Open your Bible and read Luke 15

Through three beloved parables, Jesus illustrates the invaluable worth of a single soul and the extravagant love of God for each of us. He searches for us, and when we return to Him, He rejoices. 

This truth is clear throughout Scripture. 

“… as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you (Isaiah 62:5b, ESV).”

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17, ESV).” 

Isn’t that beautiful?! Doesn’t it make you feel extravagantly loved?

Loving Others Extravagantly

Let’s love others extravagantly this Christmas season. Let’s rejoice over their presence. When your guests arrive, greet them at the door with a huge smile and a warm hug. 

And if you have loved ones who are “lost sheep”, “lost coins” or prodigals, ask God to help you show them their invaluable worth. 

This sounds simple. We can envision our own sappy Hallmark moment. But the reality is that this is sometimes excruciatingly difficult. 

Sometimes people are hard to love, especially if they’ve chosen to hurt you. But as we’re learning on our journey through the Book of Luke, followers of Jesus love others well. It’s the mark of a Christian. And, with God, all things are possible (as we learned in Luke 1) – even loving the unlovable.

That’s going to look different for every relationship. Sometimes it’s complicated and we need to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5). 

I encourage you to take some time to meditate on Luke 15. Note all the actions and characteristics of the shepherd, the woman with the coins, and the prodigal’s father. Remember how God loves you, then pray for Him to change your heart and help you love others the way He loves you. He can, and He will!

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I love the Lord because he hears my voice
and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath!
– Psalm 116:1-2 (NLT)