2001-02-28 - The Prodigal Son
Luke 15:14 (The Message) So the father divided the property between them. It wasnt long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had.
Last week, we focused on the younger sons "give me" and his "when and then" attitudes. This week, we will follow the results of his "give it to me now" attitude.
Surprisingly, the father granted the son his request for his early inheritance. It is interesting to me that the son went to a "distant" land. He wanted nothing to do with his family; he wanted to be completely on his own. I am sure the son was riding sky high with anticipation of what seemed to him to be newfound freedom. I can imagine him rubbing his hands together with greed, pride and false freedom from the rules and boundaries set by his father.
When all is seemingly going well, we have the tendency to think, "Okay God, thanks for the gift; now I will take it from here." Just as the son did with his father, we sometimes enter a phase of rebellion against God. My biggest stage of rebellion came when I went away from home to college. Perhaps a difficult situation in your life drives you away from God and into a "distant land." We are deceived into thinking that we have freedom apart from God, when in fact we become slaves to sin. Away from God, we tend to have the same rebellious spirit as the younger son.
Many people have told me that they want nothing to do with the church or Christ. They dont want to be restricted by Gods rules. They are scared of what God may ask them to give up. What they miss is the huge gain that Gods protective boundaries give us. Living by Gods plan frees us from much of the pain the younger son goes through apart from God.
Apart from the Father he was undisciplined and dissipated. I can imagine the son going to the local tavern and buying rounds of drinks for everyone, thinking he was gaining true friends and happiness. His wild living was spent on sinful, temporal pleasures. I am sure he probably tried to fulfill his insatiable desire for instant gratification with sex, drugs, materialistic items and through other sinful means.
John 15:5 (NIV) I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Apart from Christ we can do nothing that bears fruit. Apart from Christ, the younger son wasted everything (Luke 15:14). Apart from Christ, I waste things. I waste money, I waste time, I waste good memories and I waste His blessings that He so freely gives out to those who are walking in close fellowship with Him.
Lets keep following the prodigal son. Next week, we will follow him to the bottom of his journey. This week, lets pray for Gods wisdom and for us to keep growing closer to Him so that we dont waste this one and only life He has given us. I pray this week you will search out areas in your life where you are rebelling against God and start reveling in Him. Lets not miss out on His blessings.
Father - Forgive us for our rebellious spirits. Keep drawing us back to you. Help us to move toward building up our foundation on a personal relationship with your Son Jesus. In His name, Amen.