prodigal son

Forgiveness and The Prodigal Son

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One of the most difficult tasks we have as human beings is forgiving those who betray our trust. What is even more difficult, is that after we have forgiven them, we find it hard to trust them again. Perhaps that is why we very often feel that way with God. We think to ourselves, oh He has forgiven me, but He will NEVER trust me again, of that I am sure. NOT TRUE!

Do you remember the story of the Prodigal Son? He took one third of the family fortune in an early inheritance. He was so selfish that he could not even wait for his father to die! Then, he spent that fortune on an incredibly sinful lifestyle. Finally, destitute, he came home to his father with his tail between his legs, wondering if his father would receive him back. At that point, the father put his own robe on the boy, shoes on his feet (so no one would know he had been a slave), and then he gave the boy his ring. This my friend, was no simple ring. It was the family signet ring, the credit cart of the ancient world. 

Think about that! He took one third of the family fortune and wasted it, and the father provides him the rest of the family fortune at his fingertips. In essence, the father was saying, “Son, I want you to know, that in spite of what you have done, I believe in you and I trust you!” Amazing? 

Yes, but let’s go even more outlandish! Consider the Apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul. He was the great arch enemy of the church. He hunted down and killed Christians! Do not read that lightly! He killed our heavenly Father’s kids! Then, he comes to faith, and what does our heavenly Father do? He makes this man an apostle, the supreme caretaker of the rest of His kids! Paul, not only do I believe in you, I trust you with my other children. 

Dear Child of God, you may have sinned horribly, but know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the mercy and grace of God is so great, that He not only forgives you, He believes in you, and He trusts you. He is truly a great, great God!

We Are Heading Home - to Enjoy Relationship!

HOME! It is a great word, isn’t it? Far much better than the word “house”… for a house is just wood, brick, and shingles, but a “home”? Well, that is a place where there is safety, acceptance, a safe harbor from the world. Home is a place where you can put your feet up and be yourself, and shake off all those social niceties that the world requires and just “be”…

But what is it that transforms a house, into a home. It is people. It is relationship. Hollywood understood this. Remember the “Wizard of Oz?” Dorothy, was willing to travel down that dangerous yellow brick road full of lions and tigers and bears, oh my! She traveled that road even though there was a desperately evil arch enemy known as the Wicked Witch of the West. Why was she willing to take so much risk? Because the yellow brick road led to Oz, and Oz led to “HOME”… and home was where Auntie Em and Uncle Henry were!

The Bible stresses this too. Remember the Prodigal Son? He was living in the far country, embracing a life that was wretched and empty, that is, until he had thoughts of home! And what was it that made home so special? There was a Father waiting there, Who was good and kind. And so he risked heralding the shame of how he had been living to go “HOME”.

As believers, we have a home, and it is not here on planet earth. Here, we are travelers, sojourners, sometimes called ambassadors. While here, we have business to do, but soon our business will be done and we will be called “HOME”… not so much to a place, but to a Person. That is what makes heaven home. Far too many people reduce heaven to thoughts of gold streets, tiaras with jewels on them, and big fancy houses. NO! NO! NO! To believe that heaven is about crowns, and gold, and mansions is trivialize the work of Jesus Christ! None of those things make heaven home...

When we go home, we are going home to enjoy a relationship, with an incredibly kind and gracious Father, and that is what makes heaven, our home! This is what the work of Jesus was really about… He restored us to a relationship with Himself… the Three Persons of God!