Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lost...and Found

Recently, our church started a study of Prodigal God.  Whenever I have thought of was always the Prodigal Son from Luke 15 in the Bible.  I always thought it meant the youngest son took all his inheritance, left home, spent it unwisely and then returned home. I thought the Prodigal part was the boy returning home.  As we're preparing for the study, I was thinking how is God a Prodigal then? I figured it is God welcoming us home after we have messed up.  And it is.  But, it is also so much more.

Prodigal ( characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditure : lavishrecklessly spendthriftyielding abundantly : luxuriant

Using the above definitions, I can see how we have a Prodigal God.  God is willing to lavishly and abundantly expend time and energy in finding us and helping us find our way back to Him.  I don't believe that He thinks it is wasteful because since we are made in His image, we are worth finding!

Luke 15 is about a lost animal, lost coin and a lost son. Luke 15 Bible Gateway
3 Parables (stories) The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin and the Lost Son
Jesus was talking to "tax collectors and sinners", but there were also religious people there.  Jesus talked about looking for the lost.  In both the lost sheep and lost coin, only 1 was lost.  The 99 sheep and the other 9 coins were accounted for.  However, in both stories, Jesus said there was much rejoicing over finding what was lost.  Many will find what God offers.  Some He searches after relentlessly waiting for them to be found and then there is much rejoicing.

More than likely, the son had a good life with his father.  However, he thought he knew better and there was more fun to be had off the farm. He wanted to experience life in the big city.  He took what by custom would be his later and went on his merry way.  After some hard living, partying and spending all his money, he realized he had been treated better at home.  He makes the tough decision to leave his pride behind and go home.

Even when the son is far off, the father sees him and runs out to greet him.  The son returns begging to be even a hired hand, but the father returns him to full son status.  The older brother is none too happy and lets his dad know it.  The father shares why he welcomes his young son home:

Luke 15:31-32 (NIV) “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

How about you?  Do you feel lost and like life could be better elsewhere?  Maybe you've been living in the big city and you're reaching rock bottom and realizing you should go home but you're worried about how you'll be received.   God shows and tells us many ways in the Bible that He searches and longs for us to return to Him.  He wants us to be found.

Praying today that any questions that are standing in your way will be answered.  That you will know you are loved and have been searched for and bought at a great cost.

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