“A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in the land and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed the swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
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. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” Luke 15: 11-23
What a beautiful portrayal of the mercy and compassion of Almighty God! This young soul had taken everything good that God had given him and had wasted it in low-living. So low, his brother said he spent it on harlots. He had shamed his father’s name and had nothing good to show for all his father had given to him.
But when he came to himself, when he got so low and could not be satisfied any longer in the hog pit of sin, he remembered his father’s house- a house of plenty; a house of love; a house of laughter. And he made a decision to leave the hog pit and go plead with his father to take him back, if only as a servant.
And how sweet- his father was watching and waiting for him, for he saw him afar off coming home. His father didn’t say, “Oh no, here he comes back. I hope he learned his lesson. I hope he doesn’t expect me to take care of him now that he wasted everything I gave him.” No! His father saw him and was moved with compassion, and ran to him- overjoyed that he was coming home!
And his son began to speak the words he had rehearsed, but he never finished. His father, overjoyed, called out, “Bring the BEST robe! Put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet! And let us rejoice and celebrate! Prepare the fatted calf- make a feast! Hallelujah! My son that was dead is ALIVE!!!”
So it is with the sinner, when one has wasted his life in sinful living. If you will just come to yourself, and realize the goodness and mercy of God, and LEAVE the hog pit of sin, and go- find a place, and get alone with God and tell him you are sorry for your sinful life- even as you are rehearsing in your mind what you will say, even as you are seeking an altar for prayer- GOD WILL COME RUNNING! He will FLOOD your soul with LOVE and he will REJOICE over you. He will call out, “Bring forth the BEST robe- a robe of righteousness, white and clean and put it on him!” And as you acknowledge your sin and begin to believe in the blood of Jesus Christ to wash it all away, the angels and all of heaven will be REJOICING! The Father will shout, “Put a ring on his hand- a sign that he is my son or she is my daughter- and put shoes on his feet! And lets CELEBRATE!”
You will leave that altar of prayer with more joy than you ever thought possible. You will be FORGIVEN and CLEAN, and have a NEW START on life. And most important, you will be a CHILD OF GOD– the apple of His eye!