40 DAYS WITH GOD for personal growth
Edited By Lena Joseph
DAY 14 The Prodigal Son
Personal Reflection with Matthew Myers
This is a story that is familiar to most. Being it is a very long segment compared to most of what I have been commenting on, I am not going to include the verses here. Please read them from your bible. I will however attempt to tell the story in my own words a bit shorter.
Luke 15: 11-31
The Parable of the Lost Son
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours
Rich father has two sons. The younger son convinces the father to give him his inheritance immediately. The father complies and soon the son takes off with his share of the money. A while later after he has blown all the money and starving he gets a job feeding pig, with one of the locals.
He is starving but the pigs are eating better than he is. He remembers how well his father took care of his employees, and knows they would have an abundance of food. He decides to swallow his pride and go throw himself at his father’s mercy and beg for a servant’s place for his father. His father sees him coming and orders all his needs to be met (food clothing shoes) and orders the killing of a fattened calf for a party. When his older brother comes home, he gets mad because his father is having a party for the returning brother, while he feels he has gotten the short end of the stick. The father then tells him everything will be his but they are partying because the one son that he had basically written off as dead has returned.
There are several good lessons in this story from Jesus. One is the father’s joy at his son’s return. Much as we know heaven celebrates whenever one of God’s children returns to the fold so to speak. Every life that goes from darkness to light in Jesus’ name sparks a party in heaven because God loves each of his children regardless of what we do. When we return to him and give ourselves over to him we are like the prodigal son returning after going out and squandering all that God has given us up to that point. Our life and everything in it is a gift from God. Our time living in the world outside of the house of God is like the prodigal son out blowing his inheritance.
God is ecstatic to see us return to the fold, however. This brings me to the next lesson and that is realizing all of our life is a gift from God. The water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, the life we have, our body, our soul, all of it come from heaven. It is ours but only because God first gave it to us. So running around outside his will is truly wasting these gifts from him.
Next, is don’t be jealous of another’s blessing. The older brother should have been happy to see his brother as well. Instead, he grows angry because his father threw a party. His jealousy over the treatment of his brother prevented him from being part of the celebration. Had he set his jealousy aside, and been thankful to his father for what he had, he could have then shared in the joy at seeing his brother and the party.
Don’t be angry if you see your fellow Christian or otherwise receive a great blessing from God. God is in charge and takes pleasure in new/returning Christians. Our fellow Christian may need this greater blessing while our needs have always been fulfilled. We should celebrate our brothers’ blessings with them and be happy for them. Not looking at the invisible scoreboard to tally up who is winning.
And lastly, it is never too late to come back to God. No matter how you have been, you can always come, Home. God will welcome you back with love and open arms even after you have squandered all he has done for you previously. Going to stop as this is getting very lengthy, but I encourage you to read it in the bible. I find it uplifting to know that God rejoices in each of us as the father did in the story. No matter what we have done.
THINK ABOUT IT
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