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Jesus told a story about a son who didn’t like his father’s rules, so he decided to leave home. He went to his father and asked for money. His father didn’t want him to go away, but the son was determined to go. So the father gave him money, and the son left home to live the way he wanted to live.

At first the boy had lots of money, and he soon made a lot of new friends. He paid for parties for all his friends. But when he had spent all his money, his friends left him. They weren’t his friends anymore. Without money or friends, the boy had no place to stay and no food to eat.

Soon he was hungry, so he began to look for a job. But the only job he could find was on a pig farm. It was a horrible job! The pigs were filthy and smelly, and their food was even worse. But the boy was so hungry, he even thought about eating the pigs’ food!

Then he started to think about his father and his home. No one at his father’s home lived like this. Even the servants who were paid to work for his father had plenty to eat. The son thought to himself, I haven’t been a very good son. I don’t deserve to have my father take me back. But maybe he’ll give me a job working for him. I’ll go back and ask my father to let me be one of his servants.

So the boy left the filthy pigs and their smelly food, and he began the long walk back to his father’s house. While he was still a long way from the house, his father saw him and ran out to meet him. He was so happy to see his son!

The son tried to tell his father that he hadn’t been a very good son, and he didn’t deserve to be his son anymore, but his father wouldn’t even listen. He hugged and kissed his son. He ordered a servant to bring the best clothes and shoes for his son. Then he told the servant to fix the best food and to prepare a party to welcome the boy home.

Does that sound like a father who was angry at his son for the bad things he had done? Does that sound like a father who didn’t love his son anymore?

Just as that father loved his son and forgave him, God loves you, and He will always forgive you when you are truly sorry for doing wrong. Just ask God to forgive you. He loves you so much! He wants to keep you close to Him. He will always be your friend. And someday He will welcome you to His home in heaven.