Monday, October 19, 2015

Pastor's Ponderings, October 19, 2015

God Is Looking For Prodigals

In the Bible, the parable of the prodigal or wasteful son is about a young man who demands his inheritance and then promptly squanders it in a foreign land.  Falling on hard times, he has a change of mind, and decides to return home.  He had recognized the error of his ways and simply sought to be a servant in his father’s home.  But when he returned home, repenting of his misdeeds, his father chose to restore him to his place and to celebrate his return (Luke 15:20-23).

Like that young man, many of us think that we are beyond redemption.  We conclude that we have made too many mistakes, destroyed too many relationships, and God has given up on us.  We can see no way to have a relationship with God because we feel we are unworthy of His love. As a result, many come to the sad conclusion like the character, Nick Romano, from the 1947 book “Knock On Any Door” by the African-American novelist Willard Motley who said, “Live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse!”

However, like the father in the parable, God does not want any of us to be destroyed (2 Peter 3:9).  He wants us all to return to our place in Him. He has many rooms in heaven and wants us to be with Him eternally (John 14:2-3).  We must know that God is not in heaven trying to find ways to keep us out, but He joyfully wants us in heaven with Him (Luke 15:7). 

This week let us remember that God gave His Son, Jesus, because He loved the whole sinful world, not just the righteous folks, but especially that prodigal.  Therefore, let us receive His love, His forgiveness, and then love and obey Him fully.

Luke 15:20-23
20 So he got up and went to his father.
" But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate." 

2 Peter 3:9
New International Version (NIV)
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

John 14:2-3
New International Version (NIV)
2 My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Luke 15:7
New International Version (NIV)
7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

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