Luke 15 Part 2–The Prodigal

Of all the parables, few are better known than the parable of the prodigal son.  It is the story of men’s frailty and the love of our Heavenly father.  As the story unfolds, an impetuous and selfish young son took his inheritance and left home. He squandered the money and then fell into poverty and despair. In a moment of lucidity, the prodigal decides to go back to his Father and work for Him.  When the prodigal returned, he was met by a Father that loved him, and forgave his sin, restored his life, and celebrated the return. 

Next, we see the prodigal had a brother that was left behind to pick up the pieces.  the brother watched the Father endure pain and worry caused by the prodigal’s departure and absence. In addition, the brother assisted the Father in the work of rebuilding and maintaining their home and business and he remained faithful.

When the prodigal returned and all seemed forgotten, the brother was bitter and felt abandoned. Hadn’t he been faithful, hadn’t he done everything he was supposed to?  Why then was the celebration for the brother that failed? As the brother sat alone in the garden sad and bitter; the Father came and loved on the elder brother.  The Father recognized the brother’s faithfulness and promised to reward it.  But, for this day, the celebration of the return and life of His brother was the right thing for both Father and brother.

God reveals several great truths in this story. 

First, God the Father loves us. whether faithful or fallen, He never gives up or turns away from those that seek Him. He adores His faithful ones, and all He has is theirs.  He also has plenty for those who fall completely on their face, but then repent and return.  That is what makes our Heavenly Father so amazing. God wipes the slate clean and allows a fresh and full start.

Second, when we fall away and fall apart, if we will confess and return, the Father will accept us back with open arms of love and forgiveness. He is the God of another chance.  He wants our devotion, and He will love us through any trial or temptation.  It is critical, however that we return.  We must recognize where we have fallen and return to the Father on His terms.

Finally, God never forgets His faithful ones.  He will celebrate the ones that return, and rightly so.  Remember, however, He never forgets those that stay and follow faithfully.  The Lord reminds them that all He has is theirs.  He reminds them, they need not fear, they too can celebrate repentance and restoration.

As we face this chaotic world, we need to pray for revival, and, as God answers that prayer, we must welcome back all that return and celebrate the victory with our Heavenly Father.

God Bless You


Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 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. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Isaiah 58–Fasting Like This Slows You Down

Chapter 58 reads like God is expressing a moment of complete exasperation. Picture the scene as the rabbi’s and the people are leaving synagogue;  everyone is saying Shalom and God Bless You and oh, yes, we are doing well.  Inside, their lives are shattered and empty because they are not getting the fulfillment from checking off the boxes in their Jewish religion.  God, the creator, the master of the universe is feeling completely at a loss.  

In His mind, it was never, is never, and will never be about checking the boxes.  In the Lord’s construct, it is always about the state of one’s heart.  God takes joy in our obedience–not, our sacrifice.  God does not care if you ever skip a meal–if you are loving Him and loving others. If you want to skip a meal, fine, but at least take it to someone that is hungry.  God says in short, if you want to be spiritual, I am grateful–but, do the right things and do them for the right reasons.  Feed the hungry, cloth the ones who need clothes. House the homeless, visit the sick and the lonely ones.

God is not taking attendance at church.  He is not putting stars by your name for religious endeavors.  God has always looked at our lives and our hearts and simply asked that we surrender both to His leadership.  If we will do that, the actions we do in His name will be real, heartfelt, and selfless–some would even say Christ like. That was the message from Isaiah on that Sabbath afternoon, and that is still the message thousands of years later.  “Please, My dear ones, trust and follow Me.  Don’t try to keep score–it is not a competition.  Simply lose yourselves in learning to be like Me and serving others–that is the fasting that will bless Me!!!

God Bless You


“Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek Me daily,
And delight to know My ways,
As a nation that did righteousness,
And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
They take delight in approaching God.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
And [b]exploit all your laborers.
Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You will not fast as you do this day,
To make your voice heard on high.
Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord?

Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the [c]heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are [d]cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.

“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The [e]pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your [f]darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

Matthew 19 Final–With God all things are Possible

With God all things are possible.  It seems often that life is impossible.  Trials and temptations leave us stressed and feeling hopeless.  The great thing about God is that in the midst of the trials he is still in charge and executing his plan for our lives.  He is intimately concerned for us.  He is also amazingly generous in our lives.  We can never out give or out serve him.

God sees our hearts and is thrilled to prepare rewards for the efforts we have expended in our following him.  Like any dad, he does not love us based upon our efforts, but, he is thrilled to bless, direct and reward us for our faithfulness.  The distinction is understanding our behavior is not what saves us, but it is simply our faith that he is Lord and God has raised him from the dead that saves us.  Once saved, we cannot help but behave in a way that honors him.  We do it out of Love–not to obtain his Love.  None the less, he joyfully rewards our faithfulness and prepares for us an incredible inheritance in the kingdom to come.

Help me Lord to follow you knowing that I can never out give or out serve you.

God Bless You

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[e] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.