One of my favorite Jesus parables is the parable of the lost son— the prodigal. This story of betrayal, forgiveness and restoration beautifully illustrates God’s unconditional love.
A man had two sons.
The younger son told his father, “I want my share of your estate now before you die.”
So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land. And there he wasted all his money in wild living.
About the time his money ran out. A great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him, but no one gave him anything.
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! I will go home to my father 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.’”
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.
His son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you. I am no longer worthy of being called your son.”
But his father said to the servants, “Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast. 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.
Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home. He heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on.
“Your brother is back,” he was told, “and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.”
The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in.
His father came out and begged him. But he replied, “All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. In all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet, when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes. You celebrate by killing the fattened calf!”
His father said to him, “Look dear son. You have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!” Luke 15:11-32
Like the lost son, I was once a prodigal.
I accepted Jesus as my Savior and was baptized at the age of nineteen. But instead of seeking the Kingdom of God, I sought the treasures of this world. Foolishly believing family. Career. Hobbies. Vacations. The pleasures of life could fill the emptiness deep within my soul.
But when I turned to look at all that I had accomplished, and all the hard work I had put into it. I saw that it was all pointless. It was like trying to catch the wind. I gained nothing from any of my accomplishments under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:11
This all changed one summer morning when I walked into a church. Knowing I was lost and hungry for something more. My heavenly Father was there with arms opened wide for His prodigal child. Lovingly welcoming me home.
That day I had an unforgettable encounter with the Lord. His presence captivated me. Touching the innermost parts of my being. Gently reassuring me I was safe and loved unconditionally.
When I think of the woman who stepped into that church years ago. Once again I am overwhelmed by His love.
It was God’s unconditional love that began my transformational journey. A journey on which an insecure, introverted woman discovered her VOICE.
It is my prayer that if you too are a prodigal! Return home. Receive a treasure that is precious and worthy of your pursuit.
God’s treasure will never surrender to the ravages of time.
When given to others it will not diminish in value but increase exponentially.
Its truths will guarantee eternal life today and forever.
Treasure that one day will be revealed in its entirety, blessedness perfected.
This extraordinary treasure is the Kingdom of God, which Jesus embodied. A Kingdom birthed through the sacrifice of God’s only Son.
Yes, God so passionately loved us that He allowed His heart to be broken so that He could heal ours!
Be a VOICE shouting into the wilderness.
“CHRIST is returning!”