Is It Too Late For God’s Love?
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. Luke 19:10
When a reporter interviewed a prostitute on a late night TV show, he noticed that she was wearing a small cross on a gold chain around her neck. “Are you a religious person?” he asked commenting on her cross. Somewhat embarrassed, she quickly said, “Oh, not at all. I got away from all of that.” She then told how she had gone to Sunday school as a girl, but then as a teenager she strayed far from the teaching of the little church she once attended.
Talk to any vice-squad detective in a large city, or to a probation officer trying to decide whether to put a boy in prison or give him another chance, and you will hear a thousand variations of the story which Jesus told long ago. We call it the story of the Prodigal Son—it’s the story of someone who, like the prostitute, “got away from all of that.”
A certain young man grew weary of the boredom of being good, of working hard, of taking direction from his father. He reasoned that his dad was going to die, and he would inherit half of the estate. “If I can get my hands on it now,” he thought, “I can enjoy it while I’m young enough to have some fun.” And that’s the motivation which prodded him to approach his dad and ask him for the money and his freedom.
The attraction of the big city, the glamour of the lights, and the thrill of the moment has caused more than a few to pack their belongings in a duffel bag, take their guitar, and run away from home. Most of them end up the same way—dirty, hungry, abused and very disappointed. It was true when Jesus told this story – it is still true today. In the story which you can read in Luke 15 of your New Testament, the lad “wasted everything he had on a wild lifestyle” so when tough times came, he ended up feeding slop to pigs in the field. Talk about hitting bottom. He stunk. He was filthy. He couldn’t even bum a cup of coffee from a kind-hearted little old lady. “Finally, he came to his senses,” says the text. He began to think straight, to see what a fool he had been, and the wisest part of the whole encounter is that he had the strength of character to realize he was wrong and do something about it. Here’s the text.
“So he went at once to his father. While he was still at a distance, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son, put his arms around him, and kissed him. Then his son said to him, ‘Father, I’ve sinned against heaven and you. I don’t deserve to be called your son anymore.’
“The father said to his servants, ‘Hurry! Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fatted calf, kill it, and let’s celebrate with a feast. My son was dead and has come back to life. He was lost but has been found.’ They began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:22-24, GWV).
“I got away from all that,” explained the girl, tracing the path she had trod with her back to God. Possibly you can relate to this as well. May I ask you, “What stops you from coming back, just as did the prodigal in the story which Jesus told?” Pride? Stubbornness? The refusal to admit that things were better, you were a lot happier, and you felt a lot better about yourself when you walked with the Lord? The turning point in the life of this young man was this: “Finally, he came to his senses.”
You can do an about-face and head back home.
The picture of the dad who throws his arms around the son and weeps with joy is a picture of God’s love for you, friend!
Resource reading: Luke 15:11-32