Monday, March 12, 2018

All the Prodigal Children

Once I thought that my ancestry was American Indian and then I discovered that it was not and it has been wreaking havoc with my sense of who I am! I am having to reconfigure my identity in a manner of speaking. 

So it is when we get born again of God's spirit.  Our identity has CHANGED!

The Apostle's idea of repentance would have been formed by the Hebrew word shub, which means “To turn back and retrace your steps, in order to return by the right way.”

I experienced a most amazing revelation this morning concerning the prodigal son story involving the fact that I am a prodigal daughter!  When I was 7 years of age I was filled with the Holy Spirit.  I know this, because that is the age I began to "speak with other tongues" though I'd received no instruction from anyone concerning this spiritual phenomena, nor was I brought up in a pentecostal church.  I had asked God, in my ignorant innocence, to provide me a way to speak to Him without my family being aware, as I had been "forbidden" to bother them anymore with my requests to pray before dinner!

However, although I began reading a Bible at the age of six, and although I was aware of the Lord and his commands and principles that I read in the Bible, awareness and knowledge and understanding to the end we apply things in our lives are all very different things.

The prodigal son grew up in the home of his father where he had everything he could ever ask for or need.

Although he was aware of all his father's goodness and wealth and provision he obviously lacked any understanding concerning his father's provision and love and care for him. 

That lack of understanding led to his foolish decision to squander that which his father had provided to him in the most horrendous manner. 

And yet a day came when he, as the biblical story reveals to us, came to himself. He came to an understanding of that which previously he had only been aware of but lacked any wisdom concerning. That even the lowliest servant in his fathers house was well fed and well cared for. So he went back to his fathers house where he was welcomed by his father with open arms, the killing of the fatted calf took place along with a great banquet so the father could show his son the complete acceptance of him back into the family.

This parallels my own journey with the Lord.  Many of you may also see your own journey's in this story.

Although I was aware through my reading of Gods word, I lacked any maturity, wisdom, or understanding concerning the Lord and all that was available to me as a born-again child of the Living King. 

This led to my squandering what God was giving me as I moved through my life, which was clearly obvious as seen by the choices I made in my life. 

But when I "came to myself" - which meant that I went from being aware to gaining some wisdom and maturity and understanding, and I returned home to the heart of my Heavenly Father, I was welcomed back with open arms and complete forgiveness of all my sin. All of it!  Jesus had willingly sacrificed Himself on a cross so I had no debt to pay! (side note to the "big brother" in the prodigal story)

This is different then putting one's hand to the plow in wisdom and understanding and commitment and then turning away from it thereby making you not fit for the kingdom of the living God.

Just as the prodigal was able to return home and be fully restored to the family and fully fit for the kingdom of his father, so was I, as a prodigal daughter, able  be fully restored and fit for the kingdom AND SO ARE YOU!

That forgiveness and washing away of the stain of sin, separating you from SIN FOREVER and COMPLETELY is available to any and everyone who simply ACCEPTS the atoning work of Christ.  

The cry of Christianity has not changed.  Man may have added and subtracted and sometimes even twisted truth over the years, but the Bible still contains the truth revealed - and the answer for a sinner is still the same:

REPENT, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.  

At hand means close by - waiting for you and I to turn away from sin, ask for forgiveness and receive it from the only Wise God, Who created us, breathed the original breath of life into us and loves us with an unconditional and everlasting love.

John 3:16 is so famous precisely because it is so true!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life"

We are all prodigals in one fashion or another, either not having yet been saved by His grace or having sinned since that salvation experience and needing to confess (see 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness).

Every one of us has a loving Father waiting with OPEN arms to welcome us BACK into the Family of God, where we will be forgiven, washed clean, beautifully dressed in His righteousness through Christ, and delivered from eternal death into Eternal Life through Christ Jesus who paid the penalty IN FULL for all our sin!

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