Good morning everyone. I pray your year is starting off great and that it only gets better as time goes on. Once again, I would like to encourage any of you that desire to, to post comments, thoughts or replies to these, as you feel lead to do so. I welcome your input as to what you feel God is trying to say to you through these. You may also submit prayer request or concerns either publicly through these devotions, or privately through email or personal messages.
This weeks topic was inspired through a visit with a sister in Christ during our fellowship time at church Sunday morning. During our short meeting, she told me she had been out church for some time and had been meaning to come back and thought coming back on the first day of a new year was a good time to start back. I also think of all the soldiers that have come home recently and the ones coming home. Then I think about those who are so filled with pride, that wish they were home, but just cannot make themselves swallow that pride and take the first step. Then I think of those who are in nursing homes and hospitals and wish they could come home, but never will see their earthly homes again. While all of this is rolling around in my mind, I cannot stop thinking about the parable of the prodigal son.
Luke 15:10-20 says, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." 11 Then He said: "A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants." ' 20 And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
This story, of the prodigal son, has to be one of the best in the Bible. This parable is one of the best comparisons to our relationship with Christ as I think you will find.
A parable can be defined as a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson; a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.
This parable relates to all of us at some point and time in our lives. The picture is of a man who love his sons and wanted to please them. When the one thought he knew what was best for himself and ask for his portion of the wealth, the father, unconditionally gave to his son that for which he ask and allowed his son to leave and go down the path he chose. When things didn’t work out like he thought they would, he spent time in great despair. Then once he swallowed his pride and made the first step in coming back home, his dad, who had been anticipating his return, ran to him, and welcomed him home.
This is the story of how God loves us. We are His children and like the prodigal, we think we know what is best for us and have sought what we think we are due from God. God has given us everything we have and allowed us to go down whatever path we choose. For most of us, we have made many wrong choices and lost so much of what God has blessed us with. Now we sit in need and want. We have this giant lump in our throats that is pride and we cannot seem to swallow it down and just come home. BUT, when we do, all we have to do is take that first step of faith, an act of repentance, and God being the loving Father He is, is waiting, anticipating our return, and when He sees us from a far, coming towards Him, He runs to us and welcomes us home.
Remember: This is not our home. We have to make a choice as to where home will be. Then we have to live like that is where we want to be. SMOKING,,,,OR NON-SMOKING SECTION??? Please, come home.
Until next time, please continue to pray for each other and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Love in CHRIST,
Bethel Baptist Church