5. Prepares for his children and grandchildren's future.
" A good man leaves an inheritance to his childrenís children, "
( Proverbs 13:22a )
I make sure to keep a copy of the latest encyclopedia CD Rom and yearly updates from the internet to prepare for the time when Faith will have to start writing book reports. The day will also come when it is time to send her to college. Fathers, start now to prepare for your children and grandchildren's future. Don't let college sneak up on you and catch you unprepared!
6. Blesses his children.
'The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.' "
( Numbers 6:22-26 )
" The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him. "
( Proverbs 20:7 )
It doesn't take much for Faith to get me to bless her. I bless her in word and gifts constantly. But things cannot replace love and I make sure she knows she is loved!
Which leads us to Ö.
Dining With The Pigs:
7. Loves his children unconditionally.
Now let's look at the rest of the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. As we have said, the younger son obtains his inheritance from his father and goes out and lives " the high life. " But eventually, the money runs out and he is forced to get a job. The only job he can find apparently is feeding pigs. By this time, he is broke and so hungry that not only is he willing, he longs to fill his belly full of the corn husks that the pigs are eating. If he can get some of them away from the pigs!
Finally, he comes to his senses. He says to himself; ďHow many of my fatherís servants have a roof over their head and food to eat and here I am homeless and starving. I know what Iíll do. Iíll go home to my father and tell him that Iím no longer worthy to be his son, but could he make me into one of his servants. At least that way Iíll have a roof over my head and food to eat.Ē With this plan in mind, he started home.
But his father had been watching for him every day since his departure. His father had plenty of servants. What he needed was a son. So, when the father saw his younger son coming up the road, he ran to him, embracing him and kissing him, welcoming him home. The younger son begins to tell his father; ďFather, I have sinned against heaven and against you and Iím no t worthy to be your son anymore. But, could you please make me into one our servants?Ē
But his father wouldnít hear of it. He gently told him (Iím visualizing this, so there may be a few liberties being taken here.); ďSon, hush. I know what youíve done. But I can replace money. I canít replace you, my son.Ē
Weíve already discussed what happened next (the welcome home party that was made and the butchering of the fatted calf in celebration), so we wonít go into it again here. But we will look at what the father told his older son when he began to complain about the father throwing a party in honor of the younger sonís return. He told him; ďMy dear son, we are very close. Everything I have is yours and always has been. It was fitting that we celebrate this happy day. I love both my sons. But your brother was once dead, but now heís alive again. He was lost and now heís found.Ē
The Father in this story is like God the Father. When one of His children goes astray, He watches and waits for them every day. And, oh, the joy in heaven when this lost one comes home! (Luke 15:10)
Maybe you see yourself in this description. Maybe you once were on fire for God, but youíve backed down a little. I have good news for you, and itís not that I saved a whole bunch of money by switching to a different insurance company! The good news is: you are not alone. All people have sinned and come short of the Glory of God during their lives. (Romans 3:23) But, you donít have to stay away from your Father. Heís not going to disown you if you go back to him. Instead, He is going to run to you with open arms to welcome you back into fellowship with Him.
God the Father knew that His children were subject to sin, but He made a way to overcome the problem! He gave His only begotten Son to pay our sin debt for us, because we couldnít pay it. Jesus could have refused to pay that price, but He loved His Father, and He loved you and I so much that He willingly paid the price for sin: death on the cross. But the story didnít end there on the cross. For three days, he stayed in hell, and took the keys of death, hell and the grave away from the devil. (Matthew 12:40, Revelation 1:17) Jesus defeated the devil then, and He will defeat him again at the end of time. (Revelation 20:7-10) For a good reference about the end times, may I suggest the Left Behind series.
In closing, if you can identify with the younger son in this story, and you want to go back to your Father, remember one thing: He wants to restore you to full sonship. You are still His son (or daughter) now, but your drifting from Him has disconnected you from the covenant you have with Him. Follow the younger sonís example. Go to your Father in prayer, saying;
ďFather, I have sinned against heaven and against You, but I know I am still Your son (or daughter). As I come home to You, I ask You to forgive my sin and restore me to full fellowship with You. I turn my back on the world. I turn back to You. Satan is not my master. You, Father, are my Lord. Thank you for your grace and mercy and for restoring me to You. In Jesusí Name I pray. Amen.Ē Now, welcome back!
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