Lessons From the Prodigal

 

choices

And he began to be in need….

This story is all of our stories in one way or another.
We are either on the outside of the loving father’s house looking in, or on the inside looking out.
But to place the importance of the story on the younger brother or the older brother is to miss the main point of this parable.
Jesus was clear about “the first shall be last, the last shall be first”, and where we are in the line is mostly important to those who are willing to to shove others out of the way in order to be first.
The point of the story is to understand the heart of God towards us.
No matter where we are in line.

In reality both the younger and older son had the same agenda.
They wanted what the father had to offer on their own terms.
One so he could go his own way and do as he pleased, the other because he felt his father owed it to him.
They both missed the the simple truth.
A Fathers love does not require the prerequisites of what we have done or not done.
Grace is not earned nor can it be.

The message over 2000 years later has not changed.
God still welcomes everyone to the party.
Those who have just arrived and those who are willing to come outside.
Come on in!

Lessons from the Prodigal
Free to choose
You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.*
Luke 15:11-12

Wants and needs.
What we want does not always deliver what we need.
Luke 15:13

It’s never enough.
Our self centered desires will always outrun our ability to satisfy them.
Luke 15:14-15

Let go.
When you get to the end of your rope don’t tie a knot and hang on. Let go.
There is only one direction from bottom. Up.
Luke 15:16-17

Own your decisions.
You are not a victim of circumstance, you are a product of your decisions.
Luke 15:18-21

Go home.
Dorothy was right. There is no place like home.
Luke 15:22-24

Conclusion.
Luke 15:25-32
We do not know if the older brother ever joined the party or not.
But sometimes like him we are guilty of judging the goodness of God towards others and we miss the party. We do not understand that the rain of God’s grace falls on the unjust as well as the just and is a testimony of God’s unrelenting desire that none should perish. (2 Peter 3:9)

It does not matter when or how you get home.
It only matters that you arrive.
“For this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.”

And so the party began.

 

 

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About HCliffCraig.com

“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
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