Bible Reading: Psalm 103:1-22

As we have looked at Jesus’ parable of the lost son we cannot help but notice the father of these two sons, and recognising that this parable is not just about the two sons but also about their father. Just as the two sons are representative of the worldly sinner and the religious sinner, both equally lost, so the father represents the Heavenly Father who deeply loves both His sons.

Over the final days of this series, we will take a closer look at the father and see something of the Father heart of God.

We see in this parable the some of the wonderful attributes of our Heavenly Father. He releases His children, patiently waits for them, is generous, rejoicing, and still pleading for the one whose heart is hardened and unchanged. Let’s look at each of these different aspects of the Father’s heart.

He releases His children. Even though it would have been painful for him to see His younger son go off and leave Him, the Father still releases Him. He knows the mess that this boy will make of his life, and that he needs to learn by hard experiences, but also knows that unless He lets him go then He will lose him forever!

For an earthly father who loves his children it is not easy to release them, and I had to learn the importance of releasing our son. My wife and I were living in Singapore when our 23-year-old son old joined us there. I found myself constantly trying to guide him and make sure that he made no mistakes. The pressure that I was putting on him was almost unbearable and he began to distance himself from us. The more he distanced himself from us, the more I telephoned him. I later realised that my inner, sub-conscious motives were actually selfish. As a well-known preacher in Singapore, I was afraid that my son would damage my “good” name. As I released him and stopped trying to control him, he began to flourish. This has enabled him to “come to himself” and find his own way with God and in life. There is a powerful principle operating here – what we release comes back to us, and what we hold tightly we lose!

God is not a controlling Father. He releases us and gives us the freedom to make our own choices. There will be no one in heaven that did not choose to be there. Control is a tool of Satan. Satan builds his kingdom on control and fear, but God’s kingdom is built on release and love.


In the same way that the Father released His son, is there someone that you love but need to release? Will you ask God to help you to do that?

“God does not impose His will on people.” Do you agree with this statement, and if so why do you agree with it?