This last Sunday I spoke on the Prodigal son, the well known story about an arrogant son, who demands his money from his dad, goes and blows it, hits rock bottom and then he gets the idea, maybe he could go back and work for his dad, as a servant.
But, the dad is waiting and watching for his son, AMAZING to me! How often do prodigals mistreat me or I have friends who are struggling with their kids and my first thought is to say..."Fine, be a jerk, get out of my life". But as I read this story over and over, I just can't get past the part where the father was waiting for his son, ran to him, and threw him a party to welcome him home. It is amazing to me that my God waits for me, because the moral of the story is, I am just like the prodigal...self-centered, a know it all, wanting immediate gratification and God still loves me for who I am, amazing.
My whole gist of the talk was, Now What? How do you deal with a prodigal? We looked at a couple of biblical principles:
1. Unwavering Prayer. Not the sunday school kind of prayer, but on your face, crying out to God. Side note: I have to say it is refreshing being at a church that prays that way. It's been a long time since I have been at a church that actually believes our prayers will be answered.
2. Unending Patience. How do we that? It is so hard, but God is patient with us, we need to be patient with our prodigals and our kids. This is where I mess up the most, losing my patience with my kids. Something everyday I pray about.
3. Unconditional Love. 1 John 3:11 kind of love, Romans 12:9-14 kind of love.
It just amazes me that a holy, loving God would wait and watch for me and welcome me with open arms.