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The Return


The Return

There is something sweet about the parable of The Prodigal Son.  It is a sermon/series that has been taught throughout the years. I find the story very interesting and quite real. The older I become, the more I understand the heart of the Father, Son and the older brother.   For the full text, his story can be found in Luke 15: 11-32.  In summary, the son goes to His Father and ask that he receive his inheritance before his father dies.   The Father agreed to give his son the inheritance. This is important because it is not tradition that one would receive it before the death of the father.

Once the son received the funds, he begin to live as a wild man. In modern terms he went crazy! He spent money on lavish living and sleeping around. He had no desire to stop. He was living what he deemed as the good life. He didn’t stop until the money ran low. He went from having abundance to scraping and begging for food and a place to stay. How could this have happened? We may look at this situation and think that he was foolish and that he behaved immaturely.  While I don’t disagree, I am careful to acknowledge that we all have been the prodigal son (or daughter) at some point within our journey. At some point, we steered away from the order that God has given us because we believed “it was taking to long”. At some point, we have  lived wildly even know we are under the love of our Father.

The Son soon realized that he would need help. He gathered enough courage to come back home. He was prepared to work as a servant on his Father’s land, but his father refused. His father would not allow him to be a slave upon his land. (whew, the grace).  His father adorned him in the best robe and prepared the best food for him upon his return. There was a celebration because he had returned.

What I love about this story is that although the son had moved away from his Father, although he had squandered his funds, although he chose to live beneath the integrity and honor that His father carried, he was still welcomed back  into the family without questioning or shame. Our Father in Heaven does the same for us. He runs to us with open arms when we come back to him. He removes the shame and guilt that we may have felt. He washes away our sins and allows us a second (or hundredth ) chance at restoration.

Jesus shares this parable to remind us that even in our mess he desires us. Even in our shame, there is stability in Him. Even in our guilt, he holds our goodness. Even in our sin, he covers us. Let this parable  a reminder that the love of God is never ending. There is nothing you can do that he wont guide you through. If you feel like your sin is too great, I implore you to change that mindset. I implore you to remember that your repented heart is what God desires. He does NOT expect perfection. He does not expect you to never mess up. God understands that we struggle. God understands that you may struggle over and over in the same area. Please rest in the knowledge that there is grace for that.

Don’t ever believe that you are too far from God. Don’t believe that your sin is too great to be forgiven. God knew you before you were born. He knew what you would struggle with and how you would handle that. Give it over to God and allow Him to heal you. There is a celebration waiting on you, just return.

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

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