Children are a blessing from the Lord.  The Bible speaks in special way when it comes to children. Jesus held them on His lap, and said to His disciples to allow them to come freely to Him. In Mark 10 verses 13-16 people were trying to see Jesus, “And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, ‘Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.’ And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them” 

Many places in scripture the Bible tells that parenting is a special privilege.   If you are a parent, then you know the anxiety you have when your child is in danger.  And this anxiety grows as your child grows into adulthood and may choose a path that is not in the way you would have chosen for him/her.  When Jesus was here on earth, He spoke in stories we call parables. And one of these stories was about a man who had two sons.  The scripture is found in Luke 15 verses 11-32.  The story is of a man,; Jesus was speaking to a crowd, teaching them, “And He said, ‘A man had two sons. (12) The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them.”  So you see, the son wanted what was due him, and what is interesting to me, it that the father gave it without even arguing with the son.  I am sure he gave it with great heartache as well.  I can just imagine seeing him as he gathered the money and inheritance to his son together, knowing this was all that his son was to have to his name – ever! He was handing it over to and impulsive young man bent on having his wealth much sooner than he was capable of handling it. How sad it must have been.  Today, it is not like this, but as a mother with a wandering son, I have given of my wealth to him only to see him take out into the world to be used for worldly pleasures.

So the father gathers all the moneys together, and gives it to the son that is due to him. And what does the son do?  ( 13) “And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. (14) Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.”  So the young man went out and lived the high life until all was spent and he was broke and had nothing left. I am sure he had a great time while it lasted. Satan always lets the good times roll if we are willing to follow the flesh. But when it is all spent, and we are broke, he will let us rot in our sin.  

Eventually the young man had nowhere to turn. (15) ”So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. (16) And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.” The only job he could get was feeding pigs. To a young Jewish boy, this was the lowest job you could ever have.  And he was starving to the point of wanting to eat the very slop he was giving to the swine  he was forced to care for.

Then he had a bright idea, finally, after such riotous living, spending all he had, and suffering to near starvation. (17) “But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! (18) I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; (19) I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’  So it took a lot to get him to the point he was here. He had to reach bottom. Many times in life that is where we must come. To the end of ourselves, where we know there is nothing else to do but turn to God and cry for Him to take us back and restore us. So this was his plan; to go and beg his father to take him back, but not as a son, as a hired servant. You must understand the custom in those days. He had no more rights to his inheritance at this point. When he left his father’s home with his money that was it, he took everything it was over for him as an heir at that point. If he were to ever be able to stay in his father’s house again, it would not be as in the role of a son, because that would mean he would be in line to inherit something. And he was saying that all he wanted was to just come home, even if it meant to remain in the most humble positions for the rest of his natural life. He just wanted to come home to his father.  

(20) “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”  The son’s father was not away on a journey. He was not working in the field. He was not busy with some business deal. He was waiting, watching and looking for his son. And when his son came back it was not the riot act he received, but a hug, and a kiss, and love.  When we have wayward children, or perhaps you are a wayward child, so many times there are many opinions about how to treat our sons and daughters. Believe me I have heard them all, tough love, don’t enable them, I know the feeling of maintaining the grey fine line between making sure your child knows you love them but you will not tolerate an un-Godly lifestyle. The father here is loving, he does not argue with his son. He lets his son realize for himself that what the world has to offer is not better than what he can give him. The story does not go into the pain the father was in while the son was away, but by the joy shown in the verses here, we can see that he was truly missing his wayward son.  

So the son recites his planned speech to his father. (21) “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”  But his father would not let him finish his prepared speech. (22) “But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; (23) and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; (24) for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.”  You know the joy that must have been in this father’s heart. To see true repentance in his son, what a wonderful time that must have been!

But not everyone was celebrating.  (25) “’Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. (26) And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. (27) And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ (28) But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. (29) But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; (30) but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ (31) And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. (32) But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”  So you see, the other brother was not so happy that this fuss was about this rebel coming home. So it is with many people. When someone repents and turns their life around, there are those who do not believe it because of past actions. Let us hope these two brothers reconciled and made peace with each other.

Are you out there wandering, in need of answers? Has the things that this world offers: Money, Pleasures, Houses, Cars, Riches left a hole in your heart. Inside every one of us there is a God Shaped place that only He can fill and truly satisfy. Won’t you consider giving your life to Jesus today? It is a simple as A-B-C.

A. ADMIT THAT YOU’RE A SINNER. This is where that godly sorrow leads to genuine repentance for sinning against the righteous god and there is a change of heart, we change our mind and God changes our hearts and regenerates us from the inside out.

B. BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOUR SINS, WAS BURIED, AND THAT GOD RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD. Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Jesus from the dead. This is trusting with all of your heart that Jesus Christ is who he said he was.

C. CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD. This is trusting with all of your heart that Jesus Christ is who he said he was. Every single person who ever lived since Adam will bend their knee and confess with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.

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