Monday, July 29, 2013

The Prodigal Son

The Parable of the Prodigal Son and a Loving Father


Then he said, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’ “So the father divided the property between them. It wasn't long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any. “That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father. “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’ “But the father wasn't listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time. “All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day’s work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.’ “The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I've stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’ “His father said, ‘Son, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found!’”

 
SECOND CHANCE:
 And just like the Prodigal son, we too are welcomed back into the family of Christ. Too many times we find ourselves looking at what has been or what could be in the world. The most valuable possession we can have is that which is found in Christ! "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33


MERCY:   
 One great thing about our God is that, "He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs" (Psalm 103:10). Because His mercies renew every morning, we always have a chance to line back up with Him and His unchanging word (Lamentations 3:22-23). Although we serve a merciful God, He is no fool. God isn't surprised at your slips, trips and hiccups. He wants to see more progression and less recession.  "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).  


YOU CAN CHANGE WHO YOU ARE:
   
There is always an opportunity for change and advancement in God. He purposely made us the head and not the tail. There is nothing we can do that can surprise Him, however, there can be a time where we may be unpleasant and spewed out. "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:16).


MAKE YOUR ELECTION SURE: 
   And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15). Make sure the family you choose to represent through your lifestyle is one that will have your best interest at hand. Jesus has already made His choice for you when He have up His life so that your life can be full of abundance.
 The choice is yours.



NO GREATER LOVE: 
     Let us not allow the biggest love sign of all be taken for granted. We have a chance to come back to Christ and if you've never left, here is your chance to bring yourself and others closer than ever before.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:12-13).

Authored by:
Sis. Joy Jones