Matthew 6:9-13
    9Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your Name.
    10Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
    11Give us this day our daily bread.
    12And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors.
    13And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
 
Matthew 6:25-34
    25Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?
    26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?
    27And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?
    28And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.
    29Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence was not arrayed like one of these.
    30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?
    31Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?
    32For the Gentiles wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.
    33But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.
    34So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.
 
Matthew 7:7-11
    7Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.
    8For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.
    9Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone?
    10Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent?
    11If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!
 
Matthew 7:15-20
    15Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves.
    16You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
    17Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit.
    18A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration].
    19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
    20Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits.
 
Matthew 10:40-42
    40He who receives and welcomes and accepts you receives and welcomes and accepts Me, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts Me receives and welcomes and accepts Him Who sent Me.
    41He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
    42And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.
 
Matthew 12:17-21
    17This was in fulfillment of what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah,
    18Behold, My Servant Whom I have chosen, My Beloved in and with Whom My soul is well pleased and has found its delight. I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim and show forth justice to the nations.
    19He will not strive or wrangle or cry out loudly; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets;
    20A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering (dimly burning) wick He will not quench, till He brings justice and a just cause to victory.
    21And in and on His Name will the Gentiles (non-Jews) set their hopes.
 
Matthew 13:36-43
    36Then He left the throngs and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him saying, Explain to us the parable of the darnel in the field.
    37He answered, He Who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
    38The field is the world, and the good seed means the children of the kingdom; the darnel is the children of the evil one,
    39And the enemy who sowed it is the devil. The harvest is the close and consummation of the age, and the reapers are angels.
    40Just as the darnel (weeds resembling wheat) is gathered and burned with fire, so it will be at the close of the age.
    41The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of offense [persons by whom others are drawn into error or sin] and all who do iniquity and act wickedly,
    42And will cast them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth.
    43Then will the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God) shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let him who has ears [to hear] be listening, and let him consider and perceive and understand by hearing.
 
Matthew 25:21
    21His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.
 
Matthew 25:31-40
    31When the Son of Man comes in His glory (His majesty and splendor), and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
    32All nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them [the people] from one another as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats;
    33And He will cause the sheep to stand at His right hand, but the goats at His left.
    34Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
    35For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged Me,
    36I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me.
    37Then the just and upright will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You something to drink?
    38And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You?
    39And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You?
    40And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me.
 
Matthew 28:18-20
    18Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.
    19Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
    20Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I AM with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).
 
Mark 1:15
    15And saying, The [appointed period of] time is fulfilled (completed), and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent (have a change of mind which issues in regret for past sins and in change of conduct for the better) and believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to) the good news (the Gospel).
 
Mark 1:21-27
    21And they entered into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He went into the synagogue and began to teach.
    22And they were completely astonished at His teaching, for He was teaching as One Who possessed authority, and not as the scribes.
    23Just at that time there was in their synagogue a man [who was in the power] of an unclean spirit; and now [immediately] he raised a deep and terrible cry from the depths of his throat, saying,
    24What have You to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!
    25And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hush up (be muzzled, gagged), and come out of him!
    26And the unclean spirit, throwing the man into convulsions and screeching with a loud voice, came out of him.
    27And they were all so amazed and almost terrified that they kept questioning and demanding one of another, saying, What is this? What new (fresh) teaching! With authority He gives orders even to the unclean spirits and they obey Him!
 
Mark 2:1-12
    1And Jesus having returned to Capernaum, after some days it was rumored about that He was in the house [probably Peter's].
    2And so many people gathered together there that there was no longer room [for them], not even around the door; and He was discussing the Word.
    3Then they came, bringing a paralytic to Him, who had been picked up and was being carried by four men.
    4And when they could not get him to a place in front of Jesus because of the throng, they dug through the roof above Him; and when they had scooped out an opening, they let down the [thickly padded] quilt or mat upon which the paralyzed man lay.
    5And when Jesus saw their faith [their confidence in God through Him], He said to the paralyzed man, Son, your sins are forgiven [you] and put away [that is, the penalty is remitted, the sense of guilt removed, and you are made upright and in right standing with God].
    6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, holding a dialogue with themselves as they questioned in their hearts,
    7Why does this Man talk like this? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins [remove guilt, remit the penalty, and bestow righteousness instead] except God alone?
    8And at once Jesus, becoming fully aware in His spirit that they thus debated within themselves, said to them, Why do you argue (debate, reason) about all this in your hearts?
    9Which is easier: to say to the paralyzed man, Your sins are forgiven and put away, or to say, Rise, take up your sleeping pad or mat, and start walking about [and keep on walking]?
    10But that you may know positively and beyond a doubt that the Son of Man has right and authority and power on earth to forgive sins--He said to the paralyzed man,
    11I say to you, arise, pick up and carry your sleeping pad or mat, and be going on home.
    12And he arose at once and picked up the sleeping pad or mat and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and recognized and praised and thanked God, saying, We have never seen anything like this before!
 
Mark 2:17
    17And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, Those who are strong and well have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick; I came not to call the righteous ones to repentance, but sinners (the erring ones and all those not free from sin).
 
Mark 4:21-24
    21And He said to them, Is the lamp brought in to be put under a peck measure or under a bed, and not [to be put] on the lampstand?
    22[Things are hidden temporarily only as a means to revelation.] For there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything [temporarily] kept secret except in order that it may be made known.
    23If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him perceive and comprehend.
    24And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you--and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.
 
Mark 10:17-27
    17And as He was setting out on His journey, a man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, Teacher, [You are essentially and perfectly morally] good, what must I do to inherit eternal life [that is, to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah's kingdom]?
    18And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me [essentially and perfectly morally] good? There is no one [essentially and perfectly morally] good--except God alone.
    19You know the commandments: Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.
    20And he replied to Him, Teacher, I have carefully guarded and observed all these and taken care not to violate them from my boyhood.
    21And Jesus, looking upon him, loved him, and He said to him, You lack one thing; go and sell all you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come [and] accompany Me [walking the same road that I walk].
    22At that saying the man's countenance fell and was gloomy, and he went away grieved and sorrowing, for he was holding great possessions.
    23And Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, With what difficulty will those who possess wealth and keep on holding it enter the kingdom of God!
    24And the disciples were amazed and bewildered and perplexed at His words. But Jesus said to them again, Children, how hard it is for those who trust (place their confidence, their sense of safety) in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
    25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
    26And they were shocked and exceedingly astonished, and said to Him and to one another, Then who can be saved?
    27Jesus glanced around at them and said, With men [it is] impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.
 
Luke 4:1-14
   1Then Jesus, full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led in [by] the [Holy] Spirit
    2For (during) forty days in the wilderness (desert), where He was tempted (tried, tested exceedingly) by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, He was hungry.
    3Then the devil said to Him, If You are the Son of God, order this stone to turn into a loaf [of bread].
    4And Jesus replied to him, It is written, Man shall not live and be sustained by (on) bread alone but by every word and expression of God.
    5Then the devil took Him up to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the habitable world in a moment of time [in the twinkling of an eye].
    6And he said to Him, To You I will give all this power and authority and their glory (all their magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, and grace), for it has been turned over to me, and I give it to whomever I will.
    7Therefore if You will do homage to and worship me [just once], it shall all be Yours.
    8And Jesus replied to him, Get behind Me, Satan! It is written, You shall do homage to and worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.
    9Then he took Him to Jerusalem and set Him on a gable of the temple, and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down from here;
    10For it is written, He will give His angels charge over you to guard and watch over you closely and carefully;
    11And on their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
    12And Jesus replied to him, [The Scripture] says, You shall not tempt (try, test exceedingly) the Lord your God.
    13And when the devil had ended every [the complete cycle of] temptation, he [temporarily] left Him [that is, stood off from Him] until another more opportune and favorable time.
    14Then Jesus went back full of and under the power of the [Holy] Spirit into Galilee, and the fame of Him spread through the whole region round about.
 
Luke 4:33-36
    33Now in the synagogue there was a man who was possessed by the foul spirit of a demon; and he cried out with a loud (deep, terrible) cry,
    34Ah, let us alone! What have You to do with us [What have we in common], Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know Who You are--the Holy One of God!
    35But Jesus rebuked him, saying, Be silent (muzzled, gagged), and come out of him! And when the demon had thrown the man down in their midst, he came out of him without injuring him in any possible way.
    36And they were all amazed and said to one another, What kind of talk is this? For with authority and power He commands the foul spirits and they come out!
 
Luke 5:29-32
    29And Levi (Matthew) made a great banquet for Him in his own house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others who were reclining [at the table] with them.
    30Now the Pharisees and their scribes were grumbling against Jesus' disciples, saying, Why are you eating and drinking with tax collectors and [preeminently] sinful people?
    31And Jesus replied to them, It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.
    32I have not come to arouse and invite and call the righteous, but the erring ones (those not free from sin) to repentance [to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins].
 
Luke 6:39-45
    39He further told them a proverb: Can a blind [man] guide and direct a blind [man]? Will they not both stumble into a ditch or a hole in the ground?
    40A pupil is not superior to his teacher, but everyone [when he is] completely trained (readjusted, restored, set to rights, and perfected) will be like his teacher.
    41Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye but do not notice or consider the beam [of timber] that is in your own eye?
    42Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, allow me to take out the speck that is in your eye, when you yourself do not see the beam that is in your own eye? You actor (pretender, hypocrite)! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.
    43For there is no good (healthy) tree that bears decayed (worthless, stale) fruit, nor on the other hand does a decayed (worthless, sickly) tree bear good fruit.
    44For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit; for figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a bramblebush.
    45The upright (honorable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honorable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.
 
Luke 8:4-18
    4And when a very great throng was gathering together and people from town after town kept coming to Jesus, He said in a parable:
    5A sower went out to sow seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the traveled path and was trodden underfoot, and the birds of the air ate it up.
    6And some [seed] fell on the rock, and as soon as it sprouted, it withered away because it had no moisture.
    7And other [seed] fell in the midst of the thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it [off].
    8And some seed fell into good soil, and grew up and yielded a crop a hundred times [as great]. As He said these things, He called out, He who has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him consider and understand by hearing!
    9And when His disciples asked Him the meaning of this parable,
    10He said to them, To you it has been given to [come progressively to] know (to recognize and understand more strongly and clearly) the mysteries and secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that, [though] looking, they may not see; and hearing, they may not comprehend.
    11Now the meaning of the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God.
    12Those along the traveled road are the people who have heard; then the devil comes and carries away the message out of their hearts, that they may not believe (acknowledge Me as their Savior and devote themselves to Me) and be saved [here and hereafter].
    13And those upon the rock [are the people] who, when they hear [the Word], receive and welcome it with joy; but these have no root. They believe for a while, and in time of trial and temptation fall away (withdraw and stand aloof).
    14And as for what fell among the thorns, these are [the people] who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked and suffocated with the anxieties and cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not ripen (come to maturity and perfection).
    15But as for that [seed] in the good soil, these are [the people] who, hearing the Word, hold it fast in a just (noble, virtuous) and worthy heart, and steadily bring forth fruit with patience.
    16No one after he has lighted a lamp covers it with a vessel or puts it under a [dining table] couch; but he puts it on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.
    17For there is nothing hidden that shall not be disclosed, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come out into the open.
    18Be careful therefore how you listen. For to him who has [spiritual knowledge] will more be given; and from him who does not have [spiritual knowledge], even what he thinks and guesses and supposes that he has will be taken away.
 
Luke 10:21-24
    21In that same hour He rejoiced and gloried in the Holy Spirit and said, I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have concealed these things [relating to salvation] from the wise and understanding and learned, and revealed them to babes (the childish, unskilled, and untaught). Yes, Father, for such was Your gracious will and choice and good pleasure.
    22All things have been given over into My power by My Father; and no one knows Who the Son is except the Father, or Who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son may choose to reveal and make Him known.
    23Then turning to His disciples, He said privately, Blessed (happy, to be envied) are those whose eyes see what you see!
    24For I tell you that many prophets and kings longed to see what you see and they did not see it, and to hear what you hear and they did not hear it.
 
Luke 11:1-4
    1Then He was praying in a certain place; and when He stopped, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, [just] as John taught his disciples.
    2And He said to them, When you pray, say: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your kingdom come. Your will be done [held holy and revered] on earth as it is in heaven.
    3Give us daily our bread [food for the morrow].
    4And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us [who has offended us or done us wrong]. And bring us not into temptation but rescue us from evil.
 
Luke 11:9-13
    9So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.
    10For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.
    11What father among you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent?
    12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
    13If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!
 
Luke 12:11-12
    11And when they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be anxious [beforehand] how you shall reply in defense or what you are to say.
    12For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour and moment what [you] ought to say.
 
Luke 14:7-14
    7Now He told a parable to those who were invited, [when] He noticed how they were selecting the places of honor, saying to them,
    8When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, do not recline on the chief seat [in the place of honor], lest a more distinguished person than you has been invited by him,
    9And he who invited both of you will come to you and say, Let this man have the place [you have taken]. Then, with humiliation and a guilty sense of impropriety, you will begin to take the lowest place.
    10But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest place, so that when your host comes in, he may say to you, Friend, go up higher! Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit [at table] with you.
    11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled (ranked below others who are honored or rewarded), and he who humbles himself (keeps a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly) will be exalted (elevated in rank).
    12Jesus also said to the man who had invited Him, When you give a dinner or a supper, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, lest perhaps they also invite you in return, and so you are paid back.
    13But when you give a banquet or a reception, invite the poor, the disabled, the lame, and the blind.
    14Then you will be blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied), because they have no way of repaying you, and you will be recompensed at the resurrection of the just (upright).
 
Luke 15:1-7
    1Now the tax collectors and [notorious and especially wicked] sinners were all coming near to [Jesus] to listen to Him.
    2And the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering and indignantly complaining, saying, This man accepts and receives and welcomes [preeminently wicked] sinners and eats with them.
    3So He told them this parable:
    4What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and should lose one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness (desert) and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?
    5And when he has found it, he lays it on his [own] shoulders, rejoicing.
    6And when he gets home, he summons together [his] friends and [his] neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep which was lost.
    7Thus, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one [especially] wicked person who repents (changes his mind, abhorring his errors and misdeeds, and determines to enter upon a better course of life) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance.


Alternate Text
 
In Luke 15:11-32, just below, Jesus tells a story about a father who had every right to be angry at his son, but who proved his father's heart of love as he waited and watched for his son to return home to him. This story excellently describes the heart of a loving father, and gives insights into the heart of God. God names Himself your Father.
 
Notice how the father waits in verse 20. Compare his waiting to this verse:
 
Isaiah 30:18
    18And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!



There is an English song which speaks of “the only time I saw God run.” Often, in the English language, “run” means “to run away from.”
 
This song, though, puts the writer in the place of the younger son in this story. In the song, the younger son marvels that the only time he saw his father run, his father was running toward him. Even as the father ran, his arms opened wide to welcome his son back home.
 
As you read this story, put yourself in the place of the younger son.
 
Luke 15:11-32
    11And He said, There was a certain man who had two sons;
    12And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the part of the property that falls [to me]. And he divided the estate between them.
    13And not many days after that, the younger son gathered up all that he had and journeyed into a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and loose [from restraint] living.
    14And when he had spent all he had, a mighty famine came upon that country, and he began to fall behind and be in want.
    15So he went and forced (glued) himself upon one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed hogs.
    16And he would gladly have fed on and filled his belly with the carob pods that the hogs were eating, but [they could not satisfy his hunger and] nobody gave him anything [better].
    17Then when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father have enough food, and [even food] to spare, but I am perishing (dying) here of hunger!
    18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight.
    19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] make me like one of your hired servants.
    20So he got up and came to his [own] father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity [compassion] and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [fervently].
    21And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son [I no longer deserve to be recognized as a son of yours]!
    22But the father said to his bond servants, Bring quickly the best robe (the festive robe of honor) and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet.
    23And bring out that [wheat-]fattened calf and kill it; and let us revel and feast and be happy and make merry,
    24Because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to revel and feast and make merry.
    25But his older son was in the field; and as he returned and came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
    26And having called one of the servant [boys] to him, he began to ask what this meant.
    27And he said to him, Your brother has come, and your father has killed that [wheat-]fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and well.
    28But [the elder brother] was angry [with deep-seated wrath] and resolved not to go in. Then his father came out and began to plead with him,
    29But he answered his father, Look! These many years I have served you, and I have never disobeyed your command. Yet you never gave me [so much as] a [little] kid, that I might revel and feast and be happy and make merry with my friends;
    30But when this son of yours arrived, who has devoured your estate with immoral women, you have killed for him that [wheat-] fattened calf!
    31And the father said to him, Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
    32But it was fitting to make merry, to revel and feast and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and is alive again! He was lost and is found!
 

For further insights into God's love for you, individually, go to the section called His Father's Heart Expressed.

Alternate Text
 
Luke 18:9-14
    9He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and were confident that they were righteous [that they were upright and in right standing with God] and scorned and made nothing of all the rest of men:
    10Two men went up into the temple [enclosure] to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
    11The Pharisee took his stand ostentatiously and began to pray thus before and with himself: God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men--extortioners (robbers), swindlers [unrighteous in heart and life], adulterers--or even like this tax collector here.
    12I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I gain.
    13But the tax collector, [merely] standing at a distance, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, O God, be favorable (be gracious, be merciful) to me, the especially wicked sinner that I am!
    14I tell you, this man went down to his home justified (forgiven and made upright and in right standing with God), rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.