The Father

“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20

Yesterday, I talked about how the older brother resembles the average Christian, in how they lack care when a wayward Christian returns home. Today, I want to look at the father and just point out a few things about how he reacted to his son coming home.

The first thing I see is the father WATCHING for his son. He saw his son while he was a great way off, which means that he was watching. The father wanted to be the first one there when his son came home. We as Christians, should be watching for that wayward Christian to walk through the doors of our church so that we can be the first ones to greet them!

The next thing I see from the father is he WELCOMED his son home. The Bible says he ran to him and fell on his neck! The father welcomed his son home, we don’t only see it here in his actions but also through the celebration that he threw. Hey Christian, welcome that brother or sister back to church with open arms and a loving heart! That is what they need the most! Don’t just sit there in your pew watching them come back and than be like the older brother and criticize but welcome them back and encourage them!

The last thing that I want to point out about the father is that he WAITED. When his son left, he didn’t go after him and get him and bring him back. I am sure the father prayed everyday that his son would return home. The father longed for the day that his son would return home. The point I want to make about waiting is that if the father would have went after him, what if the father got caught up in riotous living? He would have wasted his life and all the good that he done would have been for naught. We as Christians need to wait or stay at home in the Christian life. If we go chasing after someone who left, even with good intentions, we could get bogged down and ensnared while we are away from home. We need to wait and pray earnestly for those who leave, but make sure that we stay faithful to the Word of God and what we are commanded to do!

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And He Divided Unto Them

I have been thinking a lot about the story of the prodigal son the last few days. There is so many different truths wrapped up in that story. You can take the people involved and look at their lives through this time and learn great lessons from them. You can take the events and learn from them! You can even take the places that are defined in this story and get great truths and practical lessons from them. So because of that, I still have a few more truths that I noticed during the multiple times of reading this story the last few days, that I want to share with you!

“And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.” Luke 15:11-12

I find the phrase, “And he divided unto them his living.” very intriguing. I have read this story many times and I guess I have never noticed that pronoun, ‘them.’ When I usually read this story, I am thinking to myself about the prodigal son and how he is about to take his inheritance and go waste it in a far land. That pronoun ‘them’ signifies that it is plural, meaning the father divided his inheritance to both his sons.

The younger son went to his father and demanded his portion of the inheritance. He wanted whatever was coming to him now. He was acting like a selfish, spoiled brat that we see so much in society today…kids demanding of their parents to give them whatever they want.

The father took his living, his wealth, his property, everything he had and he divided it out to (‘them’) his sons. I wonder how this father felt. Was he sad because his son was demanding his inheritance? Was he happy because he knew that what he was giving/leaving for his sons would set them up for life? Was his heart full of love as he decided who was going to get what? I am sure a little of each one of these emotions was running through him!

The oldest son was probably a little taken back when his father handed him his inheritance. He probably wondered what happened to make his father do that. Was his father sick? Did his father think that something was going to happen to him and he wanted to make sure he gave his sons their inheritance before he was gone? I am sure the oldest son had a lot of questions in his mind when this event happened!

Once the father handed his sons their inheritance, they both had a decision to make…

God has given us, His children, our inheritance in that we don’t have to go to Hell. We have Heaven as our future home. We have His Word and all the promises that are in it. We have everything that we need to be a successful servant of God.

We, as Christians, like those two sons, also have a decision to make…

The oldest son decided to stay home and serve for and with his father.

The youngest son decided to leave and do his own thing in a far country.

Each son had a CHANCE to do right. We live a life of 50-50 odds. We either choose right or we choose wrong. Everyday we are faced with a chance of succeeding or failing.

Each son had to make a CHOICE. We make choices everyday. The outcome of those choices affect the rest of our life. One decision made in a moment of emotion can affect the rest of your life.

Each son had to deal with the CONSEQUENCES. We are faced with a chance to make the right choice, but whether we make the right choice or not, we have to live with the consequences. We have to live with the outcome of our choice.

The youngest son wasn’t a prodigal son at the beginning of the story. It could have been the older son that ended up being the prodigal son. Both of them could have left and both of them could have stayed. But they each had a chance to affect the rest of their life when that inheritance was handed to him. The oldest took it and I believe he put it right back into his father’s business and made a wise investment with it. The youngest took it and left, and instead of investing it, he wasted it with a lifestyle full of pleasure and parties and lost everything. The consequences were that the oldest had a steady job in need of nothing and the youngest had nothing in need of everything.

God our Father has given us, as His children, everything we need….what are we going to do with it?

What the Prodigal Son Realized in the Pigpen

In the last post we talked about what the prodigal son left behind, what he left at home. He left the presence of a loving father, the provisions and livelihood of his father and also the protection that came from living with his father. When we as the children of God, decide to leave, we are also leaving these things behind.

When the prodigal son left and went to the far country, he had everything. He got to the far country and we see what happened to his life.

“And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:13-19‬ ‭KJV

The prodigal son went from having the best to having nothing at all. He found out that life outside the walls, life away from home, wasn’t all it was cracked up to be!

3 Lessons from the Pigpen

  1. He LOST everything he had – The verses above use the the terms ‘wasted’ and ‘spent all he had.’ This signifies that he had nothing left after a while. He had no money, no friends, no dignity. When you leave the castle, you will end up with nothing. Yes, you may have a lot of things but you lost the treasure that you could have had from the Father. You lost the time that could have been spent serving the Father. You wasted the talent that the Father gave you on something earthly instead of eternal. You lost. The world wants you to think that you won, that you gained everything when you left home, when you left the Father, but all it gave you was emptiness of life.
  2. He was LONELY – Once you lose your money and your things, you lose your so-called friends. The prodigal son came to his senses one day while sitting in that pigpen and he realized that even his father’s servants were better off than he was. When you leave the father’s house, you will realize that it is lonely out in the world. No one loves you. No one cares for you. No one wants the best for you. Everyone is out for themselves, they are the only person they care about!
  3. He was a LONG way from home – The verse says he went to a far country, he was physically far from home when he came to his senses. No matter how far away you go from God, it is a long way back with extra baggage. Yes, God will forgive you but it takes time for others to forgive and even to forgive yourself.

To make it simple, stay home, stay in the will of God! The world has absolutely nothing to offer except emptiness!

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