“Look, dear son,” his father said to him, “you and I are very close,
and everything I have is yours.” Luke 15:31 LBT
This devotional and several to follow are passages I discovered in my first Living Bible in 1974. Having been teethed on (and memorized) the King James Version, it was somewhat surreal to me to read this paraphrase. As I was reading it my mind and spirit were not only being affected, but my emotions as well. This is not to talk you out of your preferred Bible preference, it’s just me remembering some remarkable encounters.
The Scripture above give us the exciting conclusion of the story of the Prodigal son that Jesus shared with stiff necked religious people and their leaders as they heard Him offering forgiveness to ‘dishonest tax collectors and other notorious sinners.’
I heard a powerful sermon this morning about condemnation being eliminated by Jesus’ ability to justify repentant sinners. It’s strange how we attempt to talk God out of the forgiveness we’ve been given through His Son’s death. Grace can be extremely difficult to accept!
How desperately we all need to agree with God’s work when He forgives, pardons and then buries our past from further review. (Hebrews 8:12) We all need to tell the devil to mind his own business”
In this illustration of Jesus, the father in the verse above isn’t speaking to the returned prodigal. No… he’s saying this to his ‘stay-at-home’ prodigal! Yep, the obedient one, the one still pulling his weight in the fields of his father, the one willing to wait for his inheritance… he, too, was a prodigal.
A prodigal doesn’t need a physical journey… going away and coming back home. The word ‘prodigal’ simply denotes recklessness; the antonym is caution. We are all ‘occasional prodigals!’
In our day to day fight for spiritual maturity and Godly living, let’s not throw in the towel when we veer off the straight and narrow. Let’s keep our spirits consecrated to God and quickly turn a harmful turn into a repentant-laden U-turn. Because when we get back ‘home’ – from far away land or the back forty behind our house, we’ll meet our Father who will say to us: “You and I are very close and everything I have is yours.”