January 23, 2018

Love is the Home for Both

encouragementbloggraphicromans15

In the fifteenth chapter of Luke, starting with verse 11, we read the story of the prodigal son.  I’m sure you have read or heard this so many times but bear with me for a minute.  The actual word ‘prodigal’ means ‘the squanderer or the waster’.  And the prodigal son did squander his inheritance and totally wasted all that his father gave him.

If you think about it, we have all played both roles at some time in our lives.  Maybe at one point we are the older, responsible son—keeping everything in order and never disappointing our Father, and looking down on those who do and those who give the sinner a break.  We have also been the younger one—wasting our inheritance from our Father, turning to anyone or anything that will make us “happy”, and running so far the other way.  But instead of finding happiness and freedom, we find ourselves in slavery to this other life that we thought we wanted so desperately.  We find ourselves starving for real substance and we are desperate for the life we had before.

And then there’s the father who never gave up on his son, and continued to search and wait and believe that they will one day be a family again. The son returns and the father lavishes love and compassion and hugs. He gives him his best robe and a ring and acts as if nothing happened. Even when the older son gets mad and protests, the father does not judge him. He is fair and just, resembling our Father in Heaven.

Here is the story:

The Parable of the Lost Son

Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.  After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.  When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’  So he got up and went to his father.  But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.  Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.  ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’  The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’  ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”

Luke 15:11-32 (NIV)

Which son do you relate to?  Have you run so far or are you a slave to something other than God?  Have you wasted all that God has given you for something you thought was better?  Or are you the older brother, looking down on the one who made the bad choices, and maybe a little bitter when he is given mercy by others?

God is your Father and He loves you.  If you have run away, He is ready to meet you where you are.  He is willing to accept you just the way you are and give you the finest life and the abundant blessings that are yours!  All you have to do is ask.  God’s arm reaches so far and you can’t ever outrun Him.

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Do you know this Father I’m talking about?  Do you want this unconditional love that you’ve just read about?  Then pray this with me:

Dear God, I know I am a sinner and I need forgiveness.  I believe that Jesus, Your Son, died on the cross to save me from my sins and I will have Him in my heart forever.  I love You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Love is the Home for Both

encouragementbloggraphicromans15

In the fifteenth chapter of Luke, starting with verse 11, we read the story of the prodigal son.  I’m sure you have read or heard this so many times but bear with me for a minute.  The actual word ‘prodigal’ means the squanderer or the waster. And the “prodigal son” did squander his inheritance and totally wasted all that his father gave him.

If you think about it, we have all played both roles at some time in our lives. Maybe at one point we are the older, responsible son—keeping everything in order and never disappointing our Father, and looking down on those who do and those who give the sinner a break. We have also been the younger one—wasting our inheritance from our Father, turning to anyone or anything that will make us “happy”, and running so far the other way.  But instead of finding happiness and freedom, we find ourselves in slavery to this other life that we thought we wanted so desperately.  We find ourselves starving for real substance and we are desperate for the life we had before.

And then there’s the father who never gave up on his son, and continued to search and wait and believe that they will one day be a family again. The son returns and the father lavishes love and compassion and hugs. He gives him his best robe and a ring and acts as if nothing happened. Even when the older son gets mad and protests, the father does not judge him. He is fair and just, resembling our Father in Heaven.

Here is the story:

Luke 15:11-32 (NIV)
The Parable of the Lost Son

Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.  After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.  When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’  So he got up and went to his father.  But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.  Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.  ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’  The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’  ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”

Which son do you relate to?  Have you run so far or are you a slave to something other than God?  Have you wasted all that God has given you for something you thought was better?  Or are you the older brother, looking down on the one who made the bad choices, and maybe a little bitter when he is given mercy by others?

God is your Father and He loves you.  If you have run away, He is ready to meet you where you are.  He is willing to accept you just the way you are and give you the finest life and the abundant blessings that are yours!  All you have to do is ask.  God’s arm reaches so far and you can’t ever outrun Him.

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Do you know this Father I’m talking about?  Do you want this unconditional love that you’ve just read about?  Then pray this with me:

Dear God, I know I am a sinner and I need forgiveness.  I believe that Jesus, Your Son, died on the cross to save me from my sins and I will have Him in my heart forever.  I love You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.