The Prodigal Son

By Harrison Woodard

At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy. — John 16:23-24 NLT

Based on Luke 15:11-32

Once there was a very wealthy man who had two sons. The younger son came to his father and demanded his share of the inheritance. The father gladly split the assets and gave the younger son his share.

A few weeks later, the younger son packed his bags and journeyed to a very distant land. He spent his money lavishly on friends and wild parties. Within a very short time, he had squandered every penny of his inheritance. His new friends abandoned him and he was alone in a foreign land.

At the same time, a great famine spread throughout the land. There was no work and very little food. The younger son became desperate and took a job feeding pigs – the most humiliating job he could possibly get. He was so hungry that he wanted to eat the scraps that he fed them.

After many days, he finally came to his senses.

“How many of my father’s servants have more than enough to eat while I am starving? I will return to my father and ask him to forgive me and make me one of his servants,” said the younger son.

So the young son headed home.

While still a distance from the farm, the father saw his younger son approaching. The father sprinted across the field and threw his arms around his son and kissed him.

“Father I have sinned. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Please make me one of your servants,” said the younger son.

But the father would have none of that. He told the servants that had followed him to bring a robe to put around him, a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. He then instructed them to prepare a feast to celebrate his son’s return.

“My son was dead, but now he is alive! He was lost, but now he is found!” announced the father.

The servants prepared a massive celebration with food, music and dancing. Out in the fields the older brother heard the noise.

The older brother grabbed a servant and asked,

“What is happening?”

“Your father is celebrating the return of your brother,” said the servant.

The older brother was very angry and refused to attend the party. His father came out to the field to talk to him.

“Please come and join the celebration,” said the father.

“All these years I have served you and I have never even thrown a party,” said the older son. “But this son of yours who has wasted his inheritance in a far away land is treated as an honored guest!”

The father put his arm around his older son and said, “You are always with me and all that I have is yours. But we must celebrate. Your brother was dead, but now he lives! He was lost, but now he is home!”

 

Some Things To Think About

The Prodigal Son is one of the best parables in the Bible illustrating God’s love for sinners. The father represents God and his great compassion for sinners who repent. The younger son represents any and all people who have drifted away from God’s love and protection. The older son represents anyone who might let pride or resentment stand in their way of rejoicing with God and His angels on the return of someone lost. Don’t ever look down on sinners or new Christians. Remember that we were all sinners at one time. And besides, wouldn’t you prefer to celebrate than to sulk outside?

The older son did everything right. In fact, he was very proud that he was the one who stayed behind and obeyed his father. But he let that pride blind him to all the benefits of being his father’s son. All that his father had was his. All he had to do was ask. He could have had a celebration every night! His brother returned and received all the blessings a son could ever desire. The older son could have experienced the very same thing, but he really didn’t know all that his father would do for him. Make sure you know all your rights as a child of God. You don’t want to miss anything that God has provided for you!

Just like the older brother didn’t realize all that was his, the younger brother didn’t understand what he was leaving. Instead of staying with his father and enjoying all the benefits of being his father’s son, he wanted something else. He thought there would be an even more exciting life for him away from his father. But all he found was suffering and want. Always remember that God has the very best planned for you. It is up to you to ask and receive all the blessings that are yours as a child of God.

 

Faith Building Exercise

Faith comes by continually hearing God’s Word. When you confess (speak) God’s Word out loud you are planting God’s incorruptible seed in your heart (spirit). In time, God’s Word will take root in your spirit (heart) and produce a plentiful harvest of all God’s blessings and promises in your life.

Confess these out loud every day until you believe them in your spirit. They will build your faith. Look up these verses and read them as they appear in your Bible. You can always trust God’s Word because He cannot lie.

 

I have full understanding of every good thing I have in Christ.
(Philemon 6)

I see the goodness of the Lord in this life.
(Psalm 27:13)

The Lord guides me always and satisfies all my needs.
(Isaiah 58:11)

I called upon the name of the Lord and I am saved.
(Romans 10:13)

God has given me every blessing in abundance. In every circumstance, I have whatever I need in abundance to share with others.
(2 Corinthians 9:8)

God’s Word renews my mind and transforms my life. I know what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God for my life.(Romans 12:2)

I do not give the devil a foothold. The sun does not set on my anger nor do I sin when I am angry. No evil or worthless words come out of my mouth. I only say what is fitting and beneficial to others that it may be a blessing to them. I do not grieve the Holy Spirit in anything I do. I am kind, helpful and useful to others. I forgive them as Christ forgave me.
(Ephesians 4:26-32)

God has given me health and healing. He has forgiven my sins and cleansed me from all guilt and iniquity. He has turned my captivity. The people of the earth are in awe of all the good, peace, prosperity, security and stability God has given me.
(Jeremiah 33:6-9)

Nothing can separate me from God’s love!
(Romans 8:35)

The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing.
(Psalm 23:1)

 

 

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