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Summary: There are some important lessons we can learn from the story of the Prodigal Son.

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Lesson #3 Failure can be a great teacher.

We live in a society that does not accept failure. The pressure is always on to be a winner. And yet I have heard great leader after leader say they have learned more from their failures than their successes. I think about the great inventors and how many times they must have failed before they finally got it right.

Charlie Lubin made great cheesecake. In fact it was so good he decided to open a cheesecake store, which he did on the north side of Chicago. It went so well that he opened a second store in South Chicago. That store did not do so well and eventually he lost both stores as a result. He sat in his room one night and while eating his cheesecake, thought "This is good cheesecake!" So he eventually opened his original store again. After a while he opened another store which did not do so well and he once again lost both stores.

A few months later, while eating his cheesecake he said to himself "This is good cheesecake!" And so he opened hs original sotre again. But after opening a second store, he went bankrupt again. This happened a fourth time.

Months later, Charlie sat in his house eating his cheesecake and thought to himself again "This is good cheesecake!" And so he decided to open another store, only this time he would name his cheesecakes after his daughter, Sara Lee. It became the largest bakery in the world.(Illustrations, Stories and Quotes- Jim Burns and Greg Mckinnon)

We need to learn from our failures. We need to encourage our children to strive for success, but when they fail, we need to show them how they can learn from it. The prodigal son failed. but his father was waiting with arms open wide.

No matter how many times we fail, God teaches us lessons through it, helps us back up, and continues to love us.

Lesson #4- It is never too late to go home.

It has been said, "You can never go home." I think a lesson we need to learn is that "It is never too late to go home." How hard must it have been for the son to go home. He had to swallow his pride. He had to face his father and tell him he has lost it all. He had to face his brother, his friends, how difficult it had to be.

There is a story told about a father and his teenage son. They had strained relationshiip, so much so that the young man finally ran away from home. Immediately the father began a journey across Spain in search of his rebellious young son. Finally after months and months of searching, he arrived in Madrid. In a last desperate effort to find his son, the father went down to the newspaper office and put an ad in the newspaper.

It simply said "Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father."

The next day at noon in front of the newspaper office, 800 Pacos showed up seeking forgiveness.

It is never too late to go home. .(Illustrations, Stories and Quotes- Jim Burns and Greg Mckinnon)

The story of the prodigal son is one with a happy ending. The son is greeted with open arms, a great celebration. Joy and love. That is what God wants for our lives.

We need to apply these lessons to our lives as we allow God to work in us making the children he wants us to be.

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