My teaching this week has a beautiful picture of Jesus that is often missed in the story of the Prodigal son and the Loving Father. This was something I began to understand in my second year of Charis in 2017.
Let’s read Luke 15:11-32 It’s a little long, but don’t pass this by, God wants to reveal truth to us today.
11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So, he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with [a]prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the [b]pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”
20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, [c]‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore, his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.”
Let’s start with a short overview of both sons; it appears that both had a self-righteous attitude, (deeming yourself worthy of receiving). The prodigal showed this when he said, “give me what’s mine”, he had an entitlement attitude. He didn’t want his father or relationship with him, he just wanted what he had. Think about that for a moment! Do we want Him or just what He has for us? I know that I had slipped over into that until I began to understand that Christianity is all about relationship with Him, not a bunch of formulas or self-effort, or becoming self-dependent, like I can handle this.
The father, gave, both son’s their inheritance, not just the younger son. (And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So, he divided to them his livelihood). The son leaves and takes the inheritance with him. He now thinks he knows what is best for himself and doesn’t need to rely on his father anymore.
When I allowed deception and lies to lead me, just like the prodigal, I joined myself with citizens of another country (the kingdom of darkness), and it only produced more darkness, deception and lies.
Once this happens then the devil loves using the guilt and the shame to keep you from running back to your Father. This story is not over, however.
If you have strayed away from your sonship with the Father, He is waiting and watching for you. He’s not mad at you, He’s not waiting to make an example out of you, or any of that kind of thinking.
Remember what God said in Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11
Are you listening to other thoughts, like “your sin is/was too bad”, “God would never use you now”, “what you’ve done is unforgivable”, “life will ever be the same”, or “God won’t heal you now” or, last but not least, “I guess I deserve this”?
All of those are lies that the devil tells us, and we are agreeing with him. This is where we must trust what God says more than any other voice we hear, internally or from others.
Next week we will see our Father’s full redemption plan that proves His love and forgiveness to all of us who belong to Him. If you let it, His truth will set you free. See you next week.
Remember, you are Loved, you are Righteous, and you are His!