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This is a story based on a well known parable about the prodigal son.

It is a story that I hope to present in a different way to the normal. We often think of the son who left home and went through extreme hardships, mostly because of his poor choices in life.

This story is also about a loving father who never gave up hope and a brother who had a bad attitude...  

I have lost many things and I guess that you have also. Sometimes the misplaced item is precious to us. It represents fond memories, or an achievement or may be the loss of a loved one. I hear of many heart-wrenching stories about such losses and often wish that I could take the hurt away or make restoration of what was lost. I also hear of the sheer joy that is often experienced when the loss has been reversed.

Jesus told three stories of loss and the joy of finding them. He told these stories in response to criticism that he was fellowshipping with sinners. It is often too easy to criticize and make unrighteous judgment of others because of our supposed stand for truth and righteousness, but only too often such actions are not honorable and are motivated by such things as religious unbalance, self-righteousness and intolerance. Jesus hung between heaven and earth two thousand years ago, being mocked, derided and scorned when He was on the cruel Roman cross. His own Father had to turn from Him because He became sin for us, causing Jesus to cry out in anguish, asking why He had been forsaken.  Jesus did not take sin away—He became sin!

God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21.
 

I want you to know and understand that it is God who determines your status before Himself! If you have received Jesus as your Lord and savior, repented of your sin, been washed in the Blood of the Lamb, then you are the very righteousness of God Himself and no human being can tell you otherwise. Try as you may, you will never be able to please man. Strive however to please God. Do you best to live in harmony with your fellow man, live right and don’t be a rebel of course but never allow any human being be the instrument of the devil to accuse you.  Jesus did not yell back at those who were taunting and abusing Him, “I’ll get even with you when I come back.” Instead He asked the Father to forgive them. That is a hard thing to do when your own brethren use and abuse you. It is difficult to refuse to retaliate and remain silent when those you thought would understand you when you have problems or stand with you I difficult times, but they fail you. It hurts when the church shoots you when you are wounded, but it happens all too often and it should not be so! In such instances, you do lose something, but I am here to tell you that God is in the restoration business, so look up, God loves you!

Those criticizing Jesus were self-righteous, pompous, opinionated religious people who never really cared for others at all. A caste issue was involved. They were the elite and privileged ones (at least in their own eyes) and those people Jesus was spending time with were commoners who did not fit into their mould. I’ve seen this in many churches where cliques are formed and preferential treatment is given to people with money, prestige and status, whist others of lesser standing are treated with disdain. It is wrong! James warns of this, yet it happens.

Many years ago, I visited a church in the denomination to which I once belonged and the song leader asked everyone to circulate and greet each other. I saw a man stand there who was being ignored. He was one of those unfortunate impaired folk who looked the part and he was standing there whilst the people in the Church walked around and past him to slap each other on the back, hug each other and love on each other and he stood there alone and forsaken. I heard the Lord’s voice tell me, “Go to him.” That was not what I wanted to hear, but I went to him and introduced myself. That made his day! He told me that his name was Charlie and I gave him a big hug. I must be honest. He repulsed me. His clothes looked like they had not been washed for months. He smelt terrible! His breath was disgusting. He drooled over my shoulder. His words were very difficult to understand because of his condition, yet as I hugged him, I felt a wave of sheer joy envelope me as if the Lord hugged me! It was sheer pleasure as He whispered gently in my ear, “Thank you!” He witnesses how we treat each other and I am mindful of the fact that How we treat each other is likened to the way we treat Him.

Continued >>

Jesus loves everyone, even the unlovely. Never reject a soul. We are all precious in His sight and He does see everything we do! You are His representative on the earth. You are His hands and His feet and something we often overlook—His voice! When someone looks at you, they should see Christ in you; which is often the only time they may ever be able to do that! Jesus has a very soft spot for simple minded people who have a hunger for truth, yet those supposed second class people had all come to Jesus to listen to Him speak. They hungered for truth, but the religious ones came to criticize, judge and condemn! I see this only too often in churches today and it saddens me. Please never do that!

    It happened when Peter and John went to the Temple at 3o’clock to pray and they saw a lame man sitting at the door.
He had been lame all of his life and had been taken to the temple every day to beg. Not one person helped him! They probably wished he were not there. What happened when he needed to go to the bathroom? Did anyone give him a drink of cold water? These are the sorts of things I often ask, because I know that The Lord sees how we treat each other. I don’t know about you, but I for one, want to hear Him say to me, “Well done!”

“Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me.
If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet.
And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs.
And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:40-42 

Peter stopped and told that man to look at him! You see, Peter had something and he knew it! That approach is not being self-opinionated. It is not falsely boasting if you make your boast in the Lord and tell others who you are, what God has done for you and what you are able to do in Him. Give Him the credit. If you are a follower of Jesus, you also have something. Use it! Give it away! Do what Jesus did and told us to do! The world would be a much better place if we all believed that and did it.

The stories I mentioned are seen in Luke’s Gospel. The account is as follows-

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming to hear him.
But the Pharisees and the experts in the law were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So Jesus told them this parable:
“Which one of you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go look for the one that is lost until he finds it?
Then when he has found it, he places it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
Returning home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.’
I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.
“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search thoroughly until she finds it?
Then when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’
In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.”
Then Jesus said, “A man had two sons. Luke 15:1-11.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Continued >>>

Let us look at the second one of the three stories in Luke 15:8-10. Jesus spoke of a woman who had ten pieces of silver or10 Drachmē and lost one. Today’s value would be approximately $7 (the Greek Drachma was replaced by the Euro in 2001) and in today’s economy that might not seem to be a great amount to many people, but for her, this was massive loss. It was the equivalent of a day’s wages, but the loss was more than the monetary value alone. She could work another day and regain the worth of the coin but there was something more at stake here that was of much more value than a single coin worth 70 cents.

What she lost represented a part of her being. It signified her ability to live well. It destroyed her peace. It was something that caused great emotional upheaval and turmoil.

The associated word in the Greek is Drassomai. It has meanings that relate to one’s ability to hold on to things, or to capture, take or grasp something and keep it. It is a terrible thing to not be able to retain something when it comes your way. Imagine working a full month and be given your pay, put it in a pocket and arrive back home only to discover that you had lost it! Her position was worse than that because she had totally lost her ability to keep anything permanently. Her ability to buy anything, such as food or clothing was gone, not only with that one coin but with all coins she would ever possess in the future. At best, she would pay top dollar for inferior goods, would never get any bargains and would only be able to buy food that had gone past its use-by date and possibly be ruined before she ate it. That coin represented her Shalom which means Nothing missing, nothing broken.

She still had nine coins in her possession, but the loss of that one was so significant, she had to find it, for if she did not, it could be possible that the remaining nine could never be used, or would never be used properly. Her situation was therefore rather urgent so she carefully and diligently moved furniture around, lit the lamp and kept sweeping the house until she found it. She went from corner to corner and back. Over and over she went; peering into every nook and cranny until she recovered it and when she found it, she called her neighbors, asking them to rejoice with her.
Why bother telling friends that you found a  fifty cent or a dollar coin?
As I said, its value to her was more than what the coin was worth!
The word used for Loss is Apollymi and it relates to such things as destroy, destroyer, destruction, destructive, loss, lost, die, mar and perish! That one coin would thus seem to represent her ability to maintain much more than monetary value, but the very ability to live, or to live well.

Jesus linked this with the account of how the angels in Heaven rejoice when one sinner is found. The day you invited Jesus into your life and became born again, they held a party in Heaven. You were taken from death to life; from darkness into light; transformed from a lost being into a son of God and a joint heir with Jesus.
That’s celebration time indeed! One sinner is of enormous value to God. You are worth much. I am worth much. Always keep in mind that you and I are so precious that God sent His only Son to redeem us. Little wonder that He rejoices when one of His lost ones are found.

This was about the woman, but the first story Jesus told was about a shepherd and his sheep and Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.
A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock.
The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
John 10:11-16.

Continued >>>

There are many things we could consider with this account, but I wish to concentrate on one thing—Jesus knows His own sheep and His sheep know Him in the same way that He and the Father know each other!
The word Know describes the closest most intimate relationship any two persons possess that He likened to the relationship He enjoyed with His Father. We need to look at the story He told now-

If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?
And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders.
When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! Luke 15:4-7.

I am the kind of person who likes to ask questions and find out why things happened, why the Lord said a certain thing, or why He did something in a particular way. One such question is, “Why or how did that sheep get lost? What happened to bring this loss”? After all, any decent shepherd, especially one like the Good Shepherd will not abandon one. A shepherd guards and protects his flock. He watches over them, seeks good grazing for them, often sleeps in the doorway of the sheep pen at night and knows each one its name.
The relationship Jesus portrayed is so close and intimate that the shepherd can walk away and simply call, “Follow me” and walk off. The sheep follow him. They trust him. They spend so much time together that the sheep instinctively recognize his footsteps, his posture and gait as he walks and recognize his voice, even from a distance. Anyone with a pet dog will testify that they can drive home and turn around the corner and the pet is waiting for them. There could be ten cars like that in the street, but this car was unique. It sounded different.  It smells different. It could possibly look different to the pet, but whatever it is that pets possess, they recognize that one car and ignore all others.

Such closeness does not come lightly. We can have such an intimacy of relationship with Jesus if we wish that we can similarly learn everything there is to learn about Him and follow Him. We can learn to discern his silhouette, His shadow, the sound of His footfall and of course the tones of His voice.
This only comes by close association. It only comes when we spend much quality time together.
My wife Marjorie and I know each other so well because of the closeness of our intimacy we even think alike. We often start doing the same thing at the same time without saying a word. We can tell when the other one wants a coffee, how much milk to add, how much sugar to add and so on. We can be studying at the same time and suddenly get up and turn to each other simultaneously without a spoken word to make that coffee.
This is the kind of closeness with the Lord that I mean. We can be confident in the knowledge that He never changes, that He will never forsake us and that He knows us often better than we know ourselves.
God has promised that He will never fail us and that He will never abandon us. See Deuteronomy 31:6-8; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5-8. I tell you this right now. There is absolutely nothing in all of creation that can separate you from God. Paul knew this when he encouraged us with these words-

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39.

It is inconceivable that the shepherd would abandon any one of his sheep and allow them to wander in a wilderness situation. The sheep got lost because of some other reason and the only conclusion I can reach is that it made a decision to wander off. The prodigal son decided to leave home and wander away. The problems that he experienced came only because he made a wrong decision. When people fling Job up in debate, with such statements as, “What about Job?”, they really do not know God and His ways. They do not read the whole story and leap to conclusions, forgetting that his problems were self-inflicted and that God restored him to a much better state than before, in a very short time. Job had exposed himself to the devil’s influence because he feared what eventually came. He did not correct his children when they erred and made sacrifice to God just in case that had offended Him. The remedy should have been to correct it before it happened!
Satan came into God’s presence because Job gave him legal grounds to do so. God had to concede that but placed strict restrictions on his activity. God never sends anything to teach us lessons or test us because the Holy Spirit and the Word of God does that!

This sheep got lost because it left the fold, but the shepherd still loved it.

God loves you, regardless of what you do and where you are. You or I can be like Job and get out of step with God and possibly give the devil a legal opportunity to act as he did with job. It is very possible to totally avoid this of course. One way is to submit to God and resist the devil. James says that when we do that, the devil has to flee from us. He is not as all-powerful as some people make out, but a toothless tiger wandering around like a pussy cat, pretending to be a roaring lion whom we can resist steadfast in the faith! That’s bible folks!

God does not like the sin, but loves the one who sins and He has made provision for you and for me if we ever stumble. When we do fail, the remedy is to repent, seek God’s forgiveness and deal with the issue. John wrote about such things in his epistle. An example is found in 1 John 2:1 that says-

 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.

Sometimes it takes effort, but we can have victory. Paul struggled with repetitive failures saying that the good things he knew that he should do were omitted and the things he knew he should not do kept plaguing him until he received the revelation that as far as sin goes, he was a dead man! If you repeatedly struggle, the secret is to live out of your spirit man and not allow yourself to be ruled by the old flesh nature. Keep it dead by confession of the word and saying what God says about you.
See Romans chapter seven.

Perhaps that sheep had not yet learned this lesson and so strayed but the shepherd thought so much of that one sheep, he left the 99 behind. If he knew them so well and intimately, he could safely leave them in what is termed to be a wilderness. They were not lost. They were not suffering. He had so much confidence in them that he could allow them to care for themselves.

My friend, God trusts you. You are not really alone even if it seems so and this supposed separation, is not separation at all. I confidently say that because Jesus promised to never leave us or forsake us. He is the Good Shepherd, and the Holy Spirit lives within us to represent Jesus, so we are not alone after all.

This shepherd thought so much of that one sheep that he went out looking for it and he may have put his own life at risk in the process. Once he discovered that sheep, the shepherd was so overjoyed that he lifted it up and placed it upon his shoulders and carried it back home! This was not a little lamb but a sheep that are not easy to carry. Depending on the variety, sheep can weigh anything from 45 to 160 kilograms. That shepherd could have carried a 350Lb living weight on his shoulder!
My present weight is 76Kg. Try carrying me and I know that Jesus has carried me at times and I think that He has carried you also. This is a good place to stop and thank Him. 

This shepherd asked his friends to join him in the celebration. Heaven is a happy place. There is great joy there and when someone like you and me comes into an intimate relationship with God, His joy truly floods our souls. David said

LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.
The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!
I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 16:5-11 

There is a pattern here. Nehemiah said that God’s joy gives us strength. God also rejoices and He rejoices over us!

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

 When the load seems to great for you to carry, allow the Lord to carry it and you. When things seem to be going wrong for you, stop and consider what things God has already done for you. If you feel unwanted and unloved, rest in His love and allow Him to joy over you and you will soon find that a song comes into your heart. When it does, sing it! Share it! Start to rejoice in it!

The woman and the shepherd both experienced great joy and shared it with others.


We now come to the main part of our story and this is what is known as the parable of the prodigal son that is recorded in Luke 15:11-32.

Jesus told these stories in response to criticism that he was welcoming sinners and eating with them. Those criticizing Him were self-righteous, pompous, opinionated religious people. Jesus loves everyone, but it seems that He has a very soft spot for simple minded people who have a hunger for truth. Jesus told those first two stories then switched to the prodigal son. It is so close to life, I really wonder if it is a parable at all but a real event in which Jesus merely withheld peoples’ names.

Whether this is so or not, the story concerns a father who has two sons, one of whom went astray. Relate this to the 100 sheep, one of which went astray and the coins, one of which was lost. This father never gave up on his son. Our heavenly Father will never give up on us! 

The younger one asked for his share of the family inheritance and then squanders it in a far land. His steps were deliberately calculated. He made up his mind. He knew what he was doing and became sin conscious. That reinforces the truth that we are capable of making decisions. God often says to make choices and there is no neutral place whatsoever. Either we are on His side or we are not. Both Matthew and Luke report Jesus as saying that if we have not made such a commitment to Him, we are against Him.

 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.
“Every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. 

Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come. Matthew 12:30-32 

 Please notice how Jesus also relate to the Holy Spirit here. This is getting onto a different subject now but those who blatantly oppose the word concerning the Holy Spirit God and His Gifts, risks what the King James puts it as blaspheming against the Holy Spirit!

God encourages us to choose Him and His way.  See Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15; 1 Kings 18:21 and Matthew 6:33. Unfortunately the son made the wrong choice a this point. In so doing, the he removed himself from the close and intimate embrace of the family circle. This was a serious matter because he forsook the fellow heirs of a covenant and entered into a covenant with foreigners he had no right to associate with.

And He said, There was a certain man who had two sons; And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the part of the property that falls [to me]. And he divided the estate between them.
And not many days after that, the younger son gathered up all that he had and journeyed into a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and loose [from restraint] living.
And when he had spent all he had, a mighty famine came upon that country, and he began to fall behind and be in want.
So he went and forced (glued) himself upon one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed hogs. Luke 15:11-15. 

Being the younger son, he was entitled to part of the inheritance, but the first son was really the rightful heir. If the firstborn was the one to inherit the father’s estate, I wonder if he felt threatened, fearing that he may not get anything at all, so took the bold step of making sure he got his share immediately. If my assumption is correct then he became focussed on the self life and pampered to his fleshly nature. What made it worse is that he turned his back on his homeland and went to a foreign land.

When anyone does such a thing, restraint is diminished and one’s lifestyle often becomes less than admirable. Proverbs 29:18 says-

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.

The aspect of keeping the law is not merely the religious observance of keeping the Ten Commandments and the like, but living the way God wants us to live, or living in the Kingdom. Kingdom living is essentially doing things the way God does them and when we do that as Jesus did, we have the same results. Jesus told us that we do not live by bread alone (by natural resources) but by the word of God. This word of God to us is the Rhema word, or a specific word that has been given for a specific occasion.  Elijah received a word from God and he did as God instructed. It worked! A widow was sustained in famine by doing what he told her. The accounts are seen in 1 Kings 17 and 18. Elisha provided for the needs of a widow in 1 Kings 18. The multitudes were miraculously fed by the disciples who did what Jesus told them. Peter received a net breaking, boat swamping catch of fish because he did what Jesus said.

God’s word has not changed and when we are faced with what may seem to be an impossible situation, the best thing we can do is to ask God for the solution and when He speaks, to do what He says.

This son had walked away from the protection and covering of the father and his counsel and when we do that, it is like walking outside in a storm without shelter. You will get wet. You will be exposed to whatever comes and no amount of claiming protection promises and the like will work for you. The reason is that you have walked out from under God’s sheltering and protecting wings.
Psalm 91 is a wonderful Psalm, giving assurance and promise of protection and provision but we must meet God’s criteria, which is He who abides under His shelter-

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].
I will say of the Lord, 
He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!
For [
then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. Psalm 91:1-3 (emphsis mine. read the entire Psalm).

A famine came and because this son had removed himself from the protection and covering of his father and his homeland, he was alone. At such a point, the best thing one could do is to return home, but he did not. It is amazing how many people know what to do when the going gets difficult but do not do it.
Help is at hand, but they seem to want to go down and continue in a downward spiral until the reach rock bottom. When you reach that point, there is only one place to go and that is to look up!

Alone, this lad deliberately went to one of the citizens of that country for help, but he should have immediately returned home! Jesus said that he glued himself to a stranger, forcing himself upon him.
This is the equivalent of a Christian going to a heathen for help. Image asking a practicing witch to help you. Imagine asking advice from a tarot card reader.
It does not make sense. It is like opening a porthole in a submarine. 

That is the equivalent of craving a covenant relationship with a Gentile, so much that you keep knocking on his door until his request is granted. 

When we do that, we risk losing the respect of our peers and strangers alike. It is like being too good for the world and not good enough for Heaven. No one wants you. No one likes or respects you. You have become salt that is no longer salt. You have become dark when light once shone from you and Jesus said that such darkness is great.

The very people he went to treated him like a leper. They sent him to a pig pen to live and to a pig pen to eat. He was a Jew and as pigs were unclean beasts to Jews, they were treating him with absolute contempt. It was the worst possible insult and treatment they could give him. They wouldn’t give him food, so he had to eat the husks that the pigs ate. I regard them as what the pigs left over. I cannot imagine eating pig swill and living in a pig pen, but this is symptomatic of what a person becomes like when they deliberately reject what they once enjoyed in covenant with God. Peter said-

 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 

It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life.
They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.” 2 Peter 2:20-22. 

The Holy Spirit inspired Peter to say that a deliberate decision to reject the Lord after once receiving him as savior is a serious matter. It is not like making a mistake and sinning, but a deliberate choice process.

When a man and a woman marry, they make vows to each other before God when the minister asks the bride that wonderful question, “Do you take this man to be your husband?” and the groom, “Do you take this woman to be your wife?” They both say, “I do.” It is an oath. Marjorie and I made such vows to each other before God and in the presence of witnesses and we want to renew our commitment to each other one day by renewing our wedding vows. I renewed my commitment to Jesus when I wrote this by telling Him so. It is wonderful.

To do what Peter said and to do what the prodigal son did is a deliberate choice process, turning the back on God and it is like telling Him, “I reject you. I divorce you.” That is why it is so serious.
This son once lived under the roof of his father’s home. He once ate his food and wore the clothes his father provided but he rejected his father’s provision.  All he was interested in was living for himself and once that process started, what happened to him was completely out of his control. When those hard times hit, the son was alone in a hostile environment and remained there until he realized what he had done. Until we can see it, we have not option but to remain living like that. When the son saw what he had done he made another choice and that is the first step to recovery. He saw his condition, compared that to the condition of those around him and at that point, he remembered what things were like in his father’s home.

When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! Luke 15:17.

It is one thing to see where you are, but another to do something about it. Many people are on their life’s journey, but get lost along the way. It is foolish to realize that you are on the right freeway, but going in the wrong direction. It is like heading south, instead of going north. You are on the right road, but going in the wrong direction. Turn round! To do that, you must realize you are going the wrong way and then do something about it. This boy realized he was lost. The first step started in his heart, but he had to act on it. The second step was saying something which is very important, but it has to be the right things to speak. He said-

I will go home to my father.

This is important because once you speak it, you have made the first step and it is a creative step. Your words can be creative. When you hear yourself speaking it, things can start to happen, but at this point, one may be vulnerable. He should have stopped speaking at that point and started on his journey home, but kept making what were foolish declarations. Sometimes we must remain silent. Sometimes we say too much and talk ourselves out of it. Sometimes our declarations can be wrong, which is why we need to say what God says and only talk like that. We are to talk like God. It’s all in His word, so we can talk like Him by speaking His word.

When the difficulties and obstacles start to come, which often happens, the danger we face is starting to say things we should not say and discourage ourselves. A good example is seen in the book of Joshua. He had succeeded Moses and God told him that as He had been with Moses, He would be with him. He led the people into the Promised Land, but many things had to happen first in the buildup to his victory. God told him to meditate on the word. This meditation is not silent pondering but a process of repeating it, of saying it, of muttering it and as one translation puts it to roar over it the way a lion growls over its pray. It is the kind of process that a cow has when it chews the cud. We bring the word to mind, say what it says, listen to it with our own ears and think of what it means. Eventually it becomes a natural process or a way of life so that when a situation arrives, we can speak what God says on that matter.

Somewhere in the bible are the right words for your situation. Because God’s word does what it is designed to do, you will have the result that God intended. In the creation account, God said something and it was so.
He commanded the light to shine out of the darkness and light immediately dispelled the darkness.
The roman Centurion knew about delegate authority and asked that Jesus merely speak the word and whatever Jesus said would happen. Jesus cursed the fig tree and kept walking. He did not come back to dig it up and see if what He said was working. It was a done deal! To achieve the desired outcome, our task is to find what God has said and say it the way He said it. Hebrews 10:23 explain it thus-

 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).

That word profession is Homologia. It and associated words like Homologeō and Homeu when combined with the Greek word Logos, mean that we are to say the same things or words. When those words are sent forth, they will do what God intended them to do and all we are doing is getting on side with them. It is vitally important that we do not start talking differently. 

When Joshua succeeded Moses, he made plans to enter the Promised Land. We should make our plans but be ready for God to change them if necessary, prompted of course by the Holy Spirit. The best approach is to seek the mind and will of God first and plan accordingly. Joshua crossed the River Jordan when it was in flood and the waters opened up supernaturally. We deal with a supernatural God and should expect supernatural results.
When the people had crossed over the river, the men were circumcised—something that had not been performed for forty years. Circumcision represents a cutting off of the flesh nature or the old flesh life. Crossing the Jordan symbolized a death, burial and resurrection experience. These things are essential for success today. The boy had forsaken such a lifestyle and reverted to the old nature. He was living out of or controlled by the flesh life, or sense knowledge. Once we are in that place, all we can achieve is works of the flesh.

Joshua then met an angel who stood in front of him with a drawn sword. He asked the angel if he was on his side and the angel told him that he had come to take over. God fights for us. The drawn sword speaks of the word of God. There is a Godly pattern or plan for your success and He is to be in charge.
I am leading up to this. God told Joshua how to achieve victory and part of this required that the people circle Jericho for six days without saying a word! God did not want anyone to negate what He was going to do by saying wrong things! A bad confession will shut you down, whereas a good confession will produce the required results because there is creative power in your mouth!

This is where the prodigal son made a mistake. He should have simply said, “I will return to my father” and left it at that, but started to say things that were very negative. He continued- 

...and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ Luke 15:18-19.

He was right insofar as he had sinned against heaven and his father. We were all like that before we met Jesus, but things have changed now. If you have invited Jesus to come into your life and are born again, you are no longer a sinner! You are a saint! You are a son of God! When people say that they are just an old sinner saved by grace, they are doing despite to the work of Calvary. You can’t be both! Either you are born again or you are not. You are either a saint, declared to be so by God or you are not, so do not insult God by saying that you are a sinner. It is not being humble but rash foolishness and offending the Lord. If we look carefully into this, such humility is false. It really is pride in reverse. Think of that for a moment. Paul told us in Romans 12:1-3 to have the right balance in our opinion of ourselves. We must see ourselves the way God sees us and He looks at us through Jesus. He looks for the application of the blood.

You are not a servant, but a son of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. Even before Calvary, Jesus revealed His heart by telling the disciples and us, that we are not servants but friends.

 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. John 15:13-15. 

The prodigal son was never a servant—he was a son!
He was denying his bloodline. The father could hire servants, but he could not hire a son because sons are born! We are sons of God, not servants. Servants are ministering spirits, or angels, not sons. Servants do not receive the inheritance—sons do!

Each step the son took, he saw himself as a servant, bowing to the ground, groveling in the dust and fit only to live in a servant’s hut, wear a servant’s garb and work like a servant for a servant’s reward. Far too many Christians have that mentality, doing despite to the Father’s opinion of His sons.

Religion tries to make us think that we are lowly worms and that God is too holy for us to approach, but that is a blatant lie! See yourself as God sees you. You are accepted in the beloved. You are bone of His bone. You are partakers of His Divine Nature. You are no longer aliens and strangers, but citizens of Heaven and members of the household of God.

     I urge you to read Ephesians chapter two and similar scriptures very carefully.

This man’s father never quit on his son. God never quits on us This man’s father saw the good in his son. God sees the good in us. This man’s father rejoiced to see his son’s return. All of Heaven rejoices over our return.

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. 

Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. Luke 15:20.

Every day, the father peered down the road, looking for his son. That great day came when dad looked down the road and there he was. “My son is home” he cried. Jesus said that he ran towards his son and received him home. The first thing that he did was to cut off his son’s confession. He said, “You are not a servant—You are my son!” When he went to the door of his home and looked down the road, he was not looking for more servants but for One Son. That woman was looking for One Coin. The shepherd was looking for One Sheep.

The father instructed his servants-

Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him.

He was restoring the son to the status of righteousness.

We are clothed with the righteousness of God. If you read scripture closely, you will see that we have been made the righteousness of God in Jesus. Our garments are spotless. They are as white as snow. They are stained with the red blood of Jesus. They are not the rough, shapeless clothes of servants, but robes of royalty, because we are made to be priests and Kings unto our God.

Get a ring for his finger

The father put a signet ring on his son’s finger and restored his poition and status. That signet ring indicated ownership and authority. It bestowed or restored ownership of the father’s possessions and status to the son. When decrees were made by a King, they were often stamped in sealing wax with the insignia on the King’s signet ring. Such a seal displayed authority. It indicated possession and ownership. We are like signets on God’s finger; a royal diadem. See Isaiah 62:3. Haggai 2:23 says that God will make us as a signet!

The father continued-

...And sandals for his feet.

The father restored the son’s authority and lifestyle. He had been walking unsteadily in the dust of the world system, but now the father restored his confident gait, his sure step and his ability to walk with the authority of a son. God has told us that our own footsteps can be the same. Everywhere the souls of our feet tread upon can become ours. See Deuteronomy 11:24-25; 33:29; Joshua 1:3; Psalm 60:12, 91:13 and Luke 10:19.

  and kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast.

The father was cutting a covenant. Blood was shed. The calf had been prepared in readiness for that great day, because the father was expecting it. No matter what we have done, our Father is always ready to welcome us and receive us and it is always based on the sacrifice His Son, Jesus, made for us. On Passover, God commanded the people to apply the blood of the lamb to the doorposts and lintels of their homes saying that when He saw the blood, He would pass over them. God is looking for the blood! If were looking at you right now, would He see the Blood? If not, apply it. Ask Jesus to save you. Allow Him to wash you clean.

I occasionally stand beneath the cross symbolically and ask to be bathed in Jesus’ blood for without that, there is no hope. See Hebrews 9:22, 10:18.

for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. Luke 15:22-24.

That father wiped the slate clean. Our Father has wiped the slate clean.
    
Let the party begin.

In the early hours of the morning recently, as I was sitting with the Lord, we shared an intimate moment.
It was one of those special moments that I treasure and I cried out, “Father, I am your son. The warm reply came immediately and it felt as if my Father was embracing me saying, “My son. I am your Father.”
It reduced me to tears of joy. I would like you to experience this too.

Are you His son?

Have you “slipped” lately?

Tell Him about it and make a quality decision to return home. He is waiting for you and will welcome you.

Be blessed,

Robert

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