‘Coming home, coming home never more to roam, open wide those arms of love, Lord I’m coming home. I’ve wasted many precious years…’ and the old Gospel song continues with words of repentance for living a life estranged from the presence of the loving Father God.
One of the most heartwarming stories in the Bible is the one of the Prodigal Son. The story is found in the 15th Chapter of Luke.
Yes I have ‘been in church most of my life’ and heard many sermons preached on the Prodigal Son but let me give you another perspective of the parable.
Can we compare the son that left with his inheritance to all of us that are alive, all of us that have the knowledge of Jesus (Yeshua) and knowing that he died on the cross for all of our sins? Yes I know there was another son and he was the ‘good’ son and the ‘obedient’ son and I will want you to decide which son’s role do you portray, is it ‘grace’ or ‘works’???
There is a lot of preaching and teaching on ‘grace’ and ‘works’ in this day and age. I do disagree with the teaching that allows the ‘Christian’ to live an unholy, ungodly life and chalk all their sins up to, “well God’s grace will ‘overlook’ all my sins and weaknesses and I am okay in his eyes”. This is baloney (pardon my vernacular) and false teaching.
Sure we all sin and God does forgive ALL our sins but to deliberately sin over and over and use God’s grace??? Well my friend I can’t judge but I believe this is treacherous waters that you tread on.
But, let’s get back to the 2 sons and their situation.
The Bible states that the Father ‘gave all’ to his sons at the time of the younger son’s decision to leave and go out on his own. The older one surely lived by ‘works’ didn’t he? He stated to his Father in so many words that he ‘always done right’ and yet the Father never prepared a party for him or killed the fatted calf, or gave him a ring and certainly not put ‘new’ shoes on his feet.
The younger son, let’s call him by the verb ‘grace’; he spent his portion of his inheritance didn’t he? He spent it on whatever he wanted, all kinds of sins. When we are in the world, before our conversion to Christianity we commit various sins of our own choosing don’t we? Nobody but us picks the ‘sins and pleasures’, we do. Just like the younger son in our story.
Now the older son, who we will name use the noun ‘works’, was one who actually, physically worked. Luke tells us that it was when the older son was ‘working’ in the fields that he heard the commotion coming from the house and he asked his Father’s servants ‘what was going on in the house’?
‘Works’ (and I think he immediately went to the house) questioned his Father as to what was going on? Is that you?? Do you resent that a sinner can be changed immediately regardless of their past life and God can elevate them and prosper them and bless them? Are you the older son or the younger son? Now I know, don’t think ‘how can I be a ‘son’ when I am a female? Just put gender aside and let’s try to place ourselves in the role not the gender.
Do we question, why to God? Do you realize that all the promises in the Bible are yours? Do you realize that it is ‘grace’ that gives you faith to believe in what the Bible says to you?
Works is just that, works! You try to follow the 10 commandments, you attend church, you tithe, you dress right and as that saying goes, you don’t chew and you don’t hang around with the ones that do’. Please hear what I am saying. We do and should live a holy life just as Jesus (Yeshua) did when he was on this earth. But it isn’t works that will save you and guarantee an eternal life in Heaven, it is ‘grace’.
The message of the younger prodigal son is such a sweet message and it covers such promises that we have. I feel that there are some reading this who see themselves as the Father or parent. Don’t be discouraged. The Father ‘was looking’ when he saw his son coming down the road. Please keep looking for your son or daughter, never stop! Keep praying for that lost son or daughter, never stop! If your role in this story can fit the Father and that you have lost hope as the parent, then dust off your feet, pick yourself up and go look down the road and with faith and hope, see that son or daughter walking back to you and God. Nothing is impossible with God. He knows your pain and your suffering. Please start looking, I pray hope to you and this very moment for that lost child….i pray and command the forces of evil and darkness to release that child now and that they have clarity of thought and purpose no matter where they are or what they are doing. God IS going to bring them home.
‘Works’ or the older son had strong resentment against his younger brother. He couldn’t understand ‘grace’ and I think all of us that were raised or taught by the church and maybe our parents that rewards come from ‘works’ have a tougher time understanding.
My prayer to you if your role is ‘works’ in this story, is that you allow the Holy Spirit, who is the great teacher, to open your mind, heart and will to see what ‘grace’ is all about.
If you are like the younger son and you need ‘grace’ then at this very moment I pray for God’s grace to surround you and assure you that he loves you and will forgive you and restore all that you ‘gave away’. Trust me, I have so needed God’s grace and you know what? He is the Father and my Heavenly Father he welcomed me back home and he put a robe on me and he put a ring on my finger and best of all, he put new shoes on my feet. He put new shoes that is a symbol of my new walk, my walk of grace.
Do you need the Father to put ‘new shoes’ on you? He will you know. He loves you just as he loves me. You are his child, oh you may be in the pig pen or out in the world willfully sinning, but he will take you and restore you. Turn to him, talk to him and let his ‘grace’ do the rest.