The Key to the Prodigal


“Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

“But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ” ” Luke 15:11-32

Prodigal per includes in its definition “wastefully or recklessly extravagant” and “lavishly abundant” and “a person who spends, or has spent, his or her money or substance with wasteful extravagance; spendthrift.” The well known so-called prodigal son story in the Bible is about a young man who asks for his inheritance from his dad and runs off with it and spends it so “wastefully” and “recklessly” that he ends up poor and miserable and desperate until he “came to himself” and realizes his dad has everything he needs and that he simply needs to confess his wrongdoing and get help from his dad. That’s exactly what he does. What is the KEY to this PRODIGAL STORY, and how does this KEY apply to us?
Oftentimes when this story is preached it seems the focus is on how awesome it is when the boy’s dad comes running toward him and lavishes upon him his love and provision and how this mirrors the Lord’s love and forgiveness He has for us when we come to the end of ourselves and turn back to Him, right? Yes! But let’s not miss the KEY and the application for us.
The KEY is the boy TURNS from having his back turned toward God to having his face turned to God. He TURNS direction. He TURNS away from his lifestyle of sin and TURNS back to his father. He TURNS in his heart from pridefully wasting his inheritance away and trusting in himself and his riches to humbling himself by realizing his inability, his desperation, his need, and admitting and acknowledging his dad has what he needs and that he will need to TURN not just in his heart but in his actions back to his dad!
The KEY to the so-called prodigal son is not about his dad who has been there all along, but the KEY is that he needs to TURN in his heart AND in his actions from going in the wrong direction to going in the right direction – the direction of his dad. Of his father!
Friend, the KEY to an indescribably awesomely amazing forever relationship with God, and to all His spiritual blessings and His physical provision also, on earth and in heaven, is that we need to TURN in our hearts AND in our actions from going the wrong direction to going the right direction, to going the right way, and the ONLY WAY to God’s forgiveness and a forever relationship with Him is through the Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead.
Which way are you facing? Do you need to TURN? In your heart? In your actions? From facing the wrong direction? To the Lord? To His Word? With a genuine commitment to Christ as Savior AND AS LORD of your heart and life? Then turn, turn, turn! Turn to Jesus as Lord forevermore! Turn away from your wrongdoing. Believe Jesus is Lord and died for you and was raised from the dead. Genuinely commit your heart and life to Him forevermore! Turn, turn, turn to the Lord! A true TURN in our hearts will show forth in a TRUE turn in our actions. May we turn, turn, turn to the Lord! Forevermore!

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