Published 2:46 pm Thursday, February 28, 2019

By Vicki Dowell

The Prodigal
Luke 15:11-32

Mom! I’m in jail! Come bail me out pleeaasse!! Have you ever received this phone call? Oh, yes. I have. That’s why Sunday’s sermon was so pertinent to my life and probably to many of yours. With the epidemic of drugs in our country it is easy to say that more than likely one out of two families have been affected in some way whether it’s a child, brother, sister, mother, father, or neighbor. It’s a sad thing to say, though, that I would rather receive THIS phone call than one saying it’s too late. At least with this call, there is still time, still a chance for God to work.

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What if your child is not involved with drugs or drinking? That’s great! But what if he’s just wayward, rebellious, self-seeking, wanting nothing to do with God? He’s still lost. He’s still being led by sin. Pastor Steve has a favorite saying. “Sin makes you stupid!” It’s true. Sin leads you down a road to losing everything. Isn’t that what John 10:10 says? “The thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill and destroy.”

In this story of the prodigal son we see Seven Steps Down: SELF WILL- he wanted his portion to do with what he pleased. SELFISHNESS-something in our fallen nature always thinks there is something better. SEPARATION-he separated himself from his family. SENSUALITY-he wasted everything he had on temporary pleasures. STRICKEN-he began to be in want when the money was all gone. SELF-ABASEMENT-he was sent to feed pigs, nothing positive left in his life. STARVATON-sin costs you, hooks you and binds you. Sin takes everything from you and leaves you with nothing.

However, there are steps up. REALIZATION-the son “came to himself”. RESOLUTION- “I will arise!” REPENTANCE- “I have sinned.” RETURN-arise and return to the father. This son “came to himself, rose up, repented and returned home. But what if your child is not there yet? Let’s take a look at the father. Luke 15:20 “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness and he ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Wow! After this son took everything, wasted it, partied, slept with prostitutes, ate with pigs? YES! Not only did he embrace him, HE WAS WATCHING AND WAITING FOR HIS SON’S RETURN! This brings me to another lesson I learned, again, during praise and worship.

“Jesus has overcome and THE VICTORY IS WON!” Have I, have you, been praying from a place of victory, the victory we have in Jesus? Are we seeing from afar off? Or are we begging, pleading and just hoping God will “get through to this kid!”

Our faith tells us the victory has already been won but we must see that victory with the eyes of faith. We must see that child saved, delivered and coming back to the Father. This father embraced his son, he didn’t chastise him, remind him of his sins or lecture him about how stupid he was to waste his inheritance. Perhaps the father gave him another inheritance?

I had to really have an attitude check, pray for forgiveness and set my eyes on the victory. I choose to see my children saved and walking with God, hungry for more of Him every day. I choose to have a good attitude when my wayward child comes calling. I choose to watch and wait for his return to God. And I will rejoice with the angels when he does. How about you? The Bible doesn’t tell us how long the father watched and waited. It might have been weeks or months. What if it was years or even decades? Would WE still be watching and waiting?

The Prodigal Son is a lesson of God’s great love for us and God’s love and compassion is never diminished. This is how compassionate He is when WE have sinned and return to Him. How could we do any less?

Join us on Sundays at 10:30 a.m., at 12130 US Highway 27 S, Waynesburg, KY. If you have any questions, call the church at (606) 365-2257.