The Prodigal… Father?

Our Stories of God series began with a video testimony of Pastor Ryan Hurt, and how his life reflected the storyline of the story in Luke 15. The story tells of the prodigal son who squandered his property in reckless living, and how his father not only forgave him upon his return home, but lavished his love on him. Ryan revealed how the word ‘prodigal’ actually means to have or give something on a lavish scale. The word is often used to refer to the son, when actually it points to the actions of the father in the story. It’s important that we see the story through this lense, because Jesus was trying to paint the picture of what he was going to do throughout the entire gospel, including this parable. He knew that in order for this story to be applicable to our lives, to be able to come as we are and be forgiven, Jesus had to die on the cross. This is the ultimate picture of a father’s love for his children. He never expected us to be able to measure up, because we never will. We will never be able to clean up our lives good enough on our own. Our works aren’t a point system that get us into heaven. When we accept Christ, we serve him, we dont perfect ourselves. That should give us a joy knowing that we don’t have to move, that God finds us right where we are. The prodigal son never had to say anything, His father ran to him as soon as he saw him in the distance. God finds us in life, and reveals himself through people. In Ryan’s testimony, God used Daniel Hancock as His vessel. By sharing the Gospel with Ryan, Daniel played an instrumental part in changing his life. When this happened, by no means did Ryan’s life become perfect and spotless. He continued to have ups and downs, but the difference was his heart. With Christ in our hearts, we feel a new kind of love. We can face our sins differently, deal with situations differently and make it through day to day challenges and temptations. We no longer have to feel condemned or inadequate. God loves us, the messes that we are. He gives us stories to share with others. Where would Ryan be if Daniel hadn’t spoke to him?

With Christ in our hearts, we should be burdened for the lost. The father in Luke 15 was burdened, waiting for his son’s return. In our workplaces, homes, schools, and everyday lives, we should reach out to the lost, even if it’s through prayer. Ryan’s parents diligently prayed for Ryan to find Christ. Sharing our testimonies are a great way for lost people to relate to the Gospel. It doesn’t necessarily matter where you are in your story, whether you’re on a mountain top, or a valley. If you share with a lost person that God is sovereign in your life, no matter your circumstance, it will make a huge impact on them. When we’re covered in pig mess, God is good. When we’re on a mountain top, God is good. When we’re struggling with sin, God is good. When we are in the best spiritual places, God is good. That’s what you share with the lost. Not that you changed yourself, started going to bible studies, stopped wearing crop tops and now things are good, but that God changed you from the inside, and met you where you were. No matter how things change from day to day, His love empowers us to make it through all situations. Our stories are a reflection of God’s grace and love for us. The question is, are you sharing yours?
-Kinley Hurt