Jesus taught the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. This young man really showed the classic mentality guiding his decision-making: “I don’t need authority or rules because it’s all about what I need and want … now!” We’ve all been there, even in our adult life.
Deciding to set out on his own, he asked his father for his inheritance and off he went. He proceeded to make more bad choices, squandering his money on wild living. Eventually, the money was gone and he fell to the position of feeding another man’s livestock. He was so hungry, even the food he was feeding the pigs looked good. He thought of home … even his father’s servants were eating better than he was.
“I think I’ll return home and become one of my father’s servants”, he thought. “I don’t deserve more than that, but I believe he’ll hire me.” Several good decisions here: to admit his error, stop blaming others, and most importantly, to face up to and take responsibility for his actions.
The young man’s father was waiting for him and when he saw his lost son coming home, he ran out to meet him with open arms, killed the fat calf, and had a huge party to celebrate his son’s homecoming. This is one of the most powerful messages provided in the Word of God’s incredible love, yearning, and forgiveness for us.
Don’t we often ask God for our inheritance, our salvation and other spiritual assets, and say, “thanks, but I don’t need you anymore. I’m off to satisfy my needs, my way, on my timeline, with no regard for my future growth?” Like the prodigal’s father, God gives us free will, hopes we choose to follow His instruction, but is always waiting with forgiveness and open arms when we come to our senses.
Have you made some bad decisions? Wandered off and squandered your talents or your opportunities to do good? Felt that your way was a better way than God’s? We all have, but don’t continue to wallow in the pig slop of your wrong decisions. Return to Him and enjoy the contentment and celebration of letting Him be your Father, Teacher, Counselor, Coach, and Lord.
Today, many opportunities exist to run with your inheritance and do life on your own. When you get that urge, stop! Count to 5 then say a prayer asking God for wisdom. Make the right choice to follow the stepping-stones to your Heavenly Father and submit to His authority and guidance. Make good decisions, because you have to live with the consequences, or get to reap the rewards. Your choice, choose well.
Dear Father God, I’ve made so many mistakes. I know many of the things I’ve done have not pleased You, but I thank You for this assurance of Your love and forgiveness. Please forgive me and take me into Your loving arms. I need You Father … I need more of You. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the one who opened His arms on the cross for me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.