Summary: intentions turned into actions
The 15th chapter of Luke. I like this chapter. It is about things that were lost and were found and regained. A sheep that wandered astray and the shepherd went and found.
I like the parable of the 10 coins. One lost in the house. I believe it is a picture of the church in her finest: Lighting the light, sweeping the house, and diligently seeking that which is lost.
Also there are 9 spiritual gifts in the church, but if we have misplaced or lost our love, the gifts won’t work.
But today I want to go to the parable of the 2 sons.
Luke 15:20 - And he arose and came to his Father.
The parable of the prodigal son has been preached many ways and it holds many truths. I have preached from this text several messages, and even preached about the older son that was lost in his own backyard. How his heart may have been farther from his father than the one in the far country.
It is a lesson of how Satan tries to seperate us from the ones who care the most about us. How he tries to steal our inheritance. How the devil paints a pretty picture, but the picture is a lie. About how sin will draw us away by our own lusts. It also shows us the great love and forgiveness of the Father’s heart.
I want to talk about the turning point in this young man’s life.
Many things had led up to this place. You see, this young man had not lost his way, but had turned from it. He knew the way back.
You know, I picture a young man watching the pigs eat realizing the mistake he has made in his past, weighing it all up and seeing the hollowness of the pleasures of the world for a season.
As he looks at the prospect of staying in this far country, I believe if he could regain all his riches, he would trade them all just to see his father.
Verse 17 tells us he came to himself. He realized his need.
I believe many times he had thought about what he ought to do. You know many times the Holy Ghost deals with us about what we ought to do, and many times we put him off.
Verse 18 - He made a resolve. He said, I will arise and go to my father. I will admit my sin.
But he would have to go beyond realization and resolve. The prodigal son had come to a point of regret and remorse and that is necessary. But for him to be changed he would have to go beyond that point, or he could wallow in remorse and regret the rest of his life.
Life is not changed by intentions or even by resolve, but by actions!
Resolve without action is like blossoms without fruit. The promise is there, but not the reward.
I am always glad to hear that someone is thinking of turning their life over to the Lord, but the angels only rejoice when they actually do!
In verse 20 we find the turning point. He arose and came to his Father. The young man had to make a decision. Either serve the swine master and spend the rest of his days in slop, or go and trust in the mercy and love of his father. He could serve one or the other, but not both.
You know, he was a long way from the father in a far country. Satan always tries to put as much distance between you and God as he can. And scripture doesn’t say this, but I don’t think it was an easy trip home. He was already in need. He was already weak. I believe it took some determination.
If you will allow me to share my own imagination with you; here goes.
I can imagine a man starting for home, and a lying devil telling him, "You’ve went too far, you can’t make it back". I can imagine a man climbing to the top of a hill and looking far across the valley. He sees home in the distance, and the voice of Satan crying out, "Your father will never take you back". And as he draws nearer, Satan’s last effort to delay the reunion saying, "You had better go and clean yourself up first."
Friend, has Satan told you these lies? Has Satan told you that you have went too far? Has he told you the Father won’t receive you? Has he told you that you must clean yourself up before you come to Jesus?
If he has, please listen closely as we read verse 20 in it’s entirety.
Verse 20 - And he arose and came to his father: but when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.