So one Sunday I was sitting in church and I happened to be scrolling on my Facebook timeline…sorry…but it hit me as I put my phone to sleep. The thought that hit me was, “Don’t give up on the prodigal son.” I don’t know if I hid it well, but my instant reaction was, “Wow!”
Most of us know the story of the prodigal son in the bible. IF you don’t know, where have you been? Anyway, the story is found in Luke 15: 11-32. To summarize, this father had two sons, and the youngest son decided to take his share of his father’s estate and go out and enjoy life. To put in a terms of now, the youngest son wanted to turn up. Wanted to go wild. Etc. So the son left his father’s house where he had everything he could’ve wanted, but yet he wanted more. It’s amazing you can have everything, and yet you feel like that’s not enough. So the son blew his money and ended up finding work feeding pigs. Being hungry as he was, he gladly ate the stuff he fed the pigs with to get something to eat. Later on he came to his senses.
“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.” (verses 17-19)
So he went to his dad’s house. The father saw the son coming towards home, and before the son came to the house, the dad ran to him and embraced him with hugs and kisses. So son said what he had to say, and the father decided to have a big celebration because, “…for this my son was dead, and is now alive again; he was lost, and is found.” (verse 24)
Now the oldest son, the one was home the whole time, felt some kind of way about this. Like why would you celebrate the fact that wasted your money living with prostitutes. The father put it like this, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” (verse 31)
So that’s the story. So why bring that story up in 2018? Cause I believe it won’t be long until that prodigal son or daughter will come back to the “father’s house.” We used to sing a song at church that said, “Come and go with me, to my Father’s house. There is joy. Joy! Great Joy!” It is written, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”
Now when they do come back in the forefront, and there’s a praise break, don’t fold your arms and be like the big brother to the prodigal son and be bitter. I think we all know or have seen people like that. Get so easily jealous of someone’s deliverance. Rather than praises God with the prodigal person, they become like the Pharisees were in the Bible days. I read somewhere that the Pharisees were “angry and resentful that sinners were being welcomed into God’s Kingdom.” The question would often come up in Bible Study at church, do Pharisees exist today? Yep.
Some are already in the “eating pig food” situation, or close to it, but when it comes, just know that soon they’ll be coming back home. And it’s I believe it’s on us to be like the father in the story and embrace them. Not to disregard the ones that has been there long, but I believe the bible says, “Likewise I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” And we are created in God’s image, and yet and still when they come back home, some of us hold that sin or sins over their head until they leave again. We got to remember that we were all once lost in sin until Jesus took us in, and that little light from heaven filled our soul.
You may be that future prodigal son or daughter reading this, and I say to you go ahead and come back home. Fred Hammond pinned a long time ago, “I’m running back to you, I see you standing there for me. Your arms are opened wide, and I don’t have to cry no more. You’re standing there for me and I am running back to you. Why do I go away when I know I am no good when I’m on my own?” I think Fred was speaking for a lot of people. God is not going to just take you back and let you go astray. The same promise he made back in Jeremiah 4 still rings true today: “I will give you pastors according to mind heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” So come back prodigal son. Come back prodigal daughter. Don’t wait until you have to eat pig food to survive. There’s a saying that goes, “After you tried everything else, try Jesus.” No. Try Jesus now. Come back now.