TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, May 08, 2018:
One who spends money with wasteful extravagance; a spend thrift.
And he arose and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
The message that is at the heart of Luke 15 is that we are lost and separated from God. But the message does not end there. It continues by assuring us that God in His great love for us is seeking for us to return to Him. When we do, our God and Father will open up His arms wide and welcome us home.
Jesus was teaching His disciples and soon a crowd of people came around Him as He spoke. Along with those who believed in Him, the crowd included Pharisees, Scribes, tax collectors and sinners. They were all lost. Jesus often used parables to help people understand His message so He spoke three parables to them: the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son.
In the parable of the lost son, known to us as the parable of the prodigal Son, Jesus has given us five stages in the prodigal son’s life that we can learn from and that will help us understand God’s plan of salvation. Take the time to read Luke 15 today.
We first see a wayward son who was selfish, hard-hearted, independent, stubborn, and worldly. He was the son of his father by birth but did not belong to his father in heart, mind and spirit as God wants us to belong to Him. The son demanded from his father his inheritance even though he had not earned his portion or even deserved it. He showed arrogant disregard for his father’s authority as head of the family. He was not entitled to any of his inheritance while his father was alive. He was only thinking of himself and did not take into consideration how it would hurt his father’s estate. He was in a stage of rebellion.
Secondly, we read that the son wasted his life in riotous living. He rebelled, revolted and journeyed into a faraway country (verse 13). Now he was in the stage of revelry. But he finally came to a day when all began to go wrong for him. He had been living a worldly life, living for the pleasures of this world only. When his money was gone he was left with the fruits of his life of sin: poverty, bondage, enslavement, suffering, no friends, dissatisfaction, emptiness, destitution and hunger. He was alone, broken, humiliated, and facing starvation. You see, when one gets into the position that he was in, without the support and safety net of a caring father, he had no one to turn to who would help him. He had rejected his father and was left with nowhere to go.
Thirdly, the young prodigal son sees himself as he really is. He found himself in a stage of brokenness. He came to himself and snapped out of his insanity and remembered how good life was in the home of his father. He constantly thought of his father and the enormous provision that he had given him. He evaluated what his life was like now. No man would help him. His life had been reduced to feeding swine and eating what the swine ate. Through this he finally came to the recognition that he needed to humble himself and confess his sin and unworthiness to his father. He had come to such a low state that he had to acknowledge his sin.
Fourthly, he responded to the conviction in his heart and took action He got up and began the long journey to see his father. When the father came running to meet his son he repented and confessed his sin and unworthiness. He was fully in the stage of repentance.
And finally, the fifth stage of restoration. We see a restored son, forgiven by a loving father. When the father saw his prodigal son he had already forgiven him, even before the son had a chance to give his confession of sin. The father not only accepted the son’s repentance and forgave him, but he restored him to his place in the family.
What a lesson there is for us in this parable. We are the prodigal son. We have turned and left God to live a life of sin. When we leave God, our Father, we are like the prodigal son with no one to help us. Our Father is waiting for us to repent and return to the loving embrace of His arms and the forgiveness of our sins. He wants to restore us to our position in His family as one of His children.
In verse 31 we read that the father said to his son, “You are always with me, and all that I have is yours.” That is what our heavenly Father says to each of us. That is the God we serve. He is an awesome God. Our God never stops loving us.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Philippians 1:3.
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
Thank You that You are my loving Father who has forgiven me of my sins. Help me to realize how awesome You are and make it my desire to serve You and live in obedience to Your will.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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