Monday, October 21, 2013
The Prodigal Father
Ever read the Prodigal Son story in Scripture? The word prodigal means lavish so we could rename this story the prodigal father as it was the father's lavish love upon his backslidden son that comes to the forefront. This captures the gospel in a nutshell for both you and me! God didn't send his Son to die on the cross to turn us from bad people into good people (behavior modification). No, God sent his Son to die on the cross to turn us from dead people into alive people (spiritual transformation).
Why then, having so much to celebrate (forgiveness of sin, eternal life, relationship with God, etc.) do we party so little as believers? The prodigal father (representing Father God) is a party throwing father. He threw his son a party when he came back home! Likewise, when we come to repent of our sins and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ, the angels in heaven throw a party! At the opposite end of the spectrum sits the world. The world has so little to celebrate (whatever can be found in this temporal life) yet parties the most - Just observe a normal weekend. When will The Church recognize that we have so much more to celebrate or party about than just meeting together and eating ham and cheese sandwiches and oreo cookies in the fellowship hall?
Captured in this great love story of the prodigal father is the fact that the Father was found "going after" his lost son. Are we "going after" lost people - how about just one? Until the one matters to us, the many never will. All 7 billion people living on planet earth at this moment are valuable in God's eyes and was worth Him sending his only Son to die for their sins. Father God showed us what it means to "go after" the one when He came running after us.
This is a story we need to share in our postmodern culture. Many people are at the end of their ropes and need to hear about a God in heaven who is chasing after them despite the fact that they have run away from him. They need to hear the gospel answer for their life that their is someone who can relate to their story and who lavishes his love upon them despite their shortcomings. Perhaps we would share the gospel more with lost people if we partied more. Need to party? Watch this video and get lost in the chorus! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlA5IDnpGhc