Seeking Jesus First - Aug 15, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - Aug 15, 2023
Photo by John Riojas / Unsplash

Salvation Message Three

How long has it been since you’ve read the parable of The Prodigal Son?

It is a story of redemption.

With God, there is life after stupid.

Then Jesus said, “Once there was a father with two sons. The younger son came to his father and said, ‘Father, don’t you think it’s time to give me the share of your estate that belongs to me?’ So the father went ahead and distributed among the two sons their inheritance. Shortly afterward, the younger son packed up all his belongings and traveled off to see the world. He journeyed to a far-off land where he soon wasted all he was given in a binge of extravagant and reckless living. “With everything spent and nothing left, he grew hungry, for there was a severe famine in that land. So he begged a farmer in that country to hire him. The farmer hired him and sent him out to feed the pigs. The son was so famished, he was willing to even eat the slop given to the pigs, because no one would feed him a thing. “Humiliated, the son finally realized what he was doing and he thought, ‘There are many workers at my father’s house who have all the food they want with plenty to spare. They lack nothing. Why am I here dying of hunger, feeding these pigs and eating their slop? I want to go back home to my father’s house, and I’ll say to him, “Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I’ll never be worthy to be called your son. Please, Father, just treat me like one of your employees.” ’ “So the young son set off for home. From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So the father raced out to meet him. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love. “Then the son said, ‘Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I could never deserve to be called your son. Just let me be—’ “The father interrupted and said, ‘Son, you’re home now!’ “Turning to his servants, the father said, ‘Quick, bring me the best robe, my very own robe, and I will place it on his shoulders. Bring the ring, the seal of sonship, and I will put it on his finger. And bring out the best shoes you can find for my son. Let’s prepare a great feast and celebrate. For this beloved son of mine was once dead, but now he’s alive again. Once he was lost, but now he is found!’ And everyone celebrated with overflowing joy. “Now, the older son was out working in the field when his brother returned, and as he approached the house he heard the music of celebration and dancing. So he called over one of the servants and asked, ‘What’s going on?’ “The servant replied, ‘It’s your younger brother. He’s returned home and your father is throwing a party to celebrate his homecoming.’ “The older son became angry and refused to go in and celebrate. So his father came out and pleaded with him, ‘Come and enjoy the feast with us!’ “The son said, ‘Father, listen! How many years have I been working like a slave for you, performing every duty you’ve asked as a faithful son? And I’ve never once disobeyed you. But you’ve never thrown a party for me because of my faithfulness. Never once have you even given me a goat that I could feast on and celebrate with my friends like he’s doing now. But look at this son of yours! He comes back after wasting your wealth on prostitutes and reckless living, and here you are throwing a great feast to celebrate—for him!’ “The father said, ‘My son, you are always with me by my side. Everything I have is yours to enjoy. It’s only right to celebrate like this and be overjoyed, because this brother of yours was once dead and gone, but now he is alive and back with us again. He was lost but now he is found!’ ”” (Luke 15:11–32, TPT)

How many of us have run off and “sown our wild oats”? Only to find someone who loves us anyway after all of that stupid living and those bad choices? God is The Father in this parable who patiently awaits his son, looking for him every day and hoping that he is still alive and can come home. We can tell by The Father’s actions that He was full of mercy towards the prodigal son. He let him go in the first place because he knew there would be a lifetime of resentment in this foolish son otherwise. The son learned humility. And after, the son learned The Father’s love, forgiveness and restoration.

But there seems to always be someone who resents the fact that we have received glorious redemption. Usually, it is someone who sees themselves in a good light and they are comparing themselves to the one who has messed up so badly. Why do they get that? Why are they so anointed? Why are they walking in so much blessing? They screwed around for so long while I stayed faithful.

But something happened in the relationship between The Father and the prodigal. Whoever is forgiven much, loves much. The prodigal knew his own need. He needed forgiveness and did not know it was available. When The Father forgave him, he came into a previously unknown loving relationship with The Father. When the elder brother complained, The Father told him that the very same loving relationship was available all along to him. He lived in close proximity to The Father but without intimacy. His heart was separated. The elder brother was living with internal resentment and pride. But The Father took the opportunity to reveal a part of Himself to the elder brother that the elder brother had never experienced.

God is standing at the door of your heart awaiting your response. Whether you are near or far, in action or in heart, The Father is knocking and calling your name. God loves you. He has proved His love and will continue to prove it. But He will not force you to come to Him. Call on The Father who loves you enough to provide the way of redemption. Call on His Son Jesus and believe that He loves you and forgives you. Restoration is waiting.