Sermon Notes: The Prodigal Son
The following are notes from Pastor Crutchfield’s sermon at this morning’s service at Compassion Church of Katy.
What happens if you lose yourself in the attractions of the world, and lose focus on God and his way ? Can you ever go back ? Let’s see what Christ taught in this famous story found in,
“ Jesus said, “ A certain man had two sons. The younger son said to his father , Father give me my share of the inheritance. Then the father divided his estate between them. Soon afterward, the younger son gathered everything together and took a trip to a land far way. There he wasted his wealth through extravagant living.
When he had used up his resources a severe food shortage arose in that country and he began to be in need. He hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country who sent him out to feed his fields of pigs. He longed to eat his fill from what the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses he said “ How many of my fathers hired hands have more than enough food, but I am starving to death ! I will get up and go to my father and and say to him Father I have sinned against heaven and against you I no longer deserve to be called your son. Take me on as one of your hired hands. So he got up and went to his father.
While he was still a long way off , his father saw him and was moved with compassion. His father ran to him, hugged him ,and kissed him. Then his son said Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him ! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet ! Fetch the fattened calf and slaughter it. We must celebrate with feasting because this son of mine was dead, and come back to life ! He was lost and is found !And they began to celebrate.”
The first mistake the prodigal son made was of ego. He thought certainly he could do better than his father. In his actions he was disrespectful of his fathers wisdom and experience. How many of us have been guilty of the same thing with God, our heavenly father. Have we allowed our own egos to convince us that we know better than God ? Have we fooled ourselves into being disrespectful to HIS wisdom and experience ?
Second the prodigal son was wasteful of what his father had provided for him. His father worked a lifetime to gather what he had. He gave it freely to his son when asked. Yet the son moved away from the father and spent his entire inheritance foolishly on on things he really could not afford. How many of us have spent money on things we knew we could not afford ? I know I have. There is a difference between denying ourselves what we desire, and being wasteful. Even God does not want us to do without nice things. But just like the father in this story God knows our resources are not without limit. He doesn’t want us to be happy for only a season, but for a lifetime. He knows that this requires discipline and wisdom. If we find the discipline within ourselves to stay with God and his wisdom he will provide from his wisdom.
These verses also tell us that the prodigal son had to hit what we call “rock bottom” before he could wake up and understand his situation. How humbling it must have been for the prodigal son to realize that his father’s lowliest servant was better fed, and better clothed than he was. It must have been absolutely sobering to realize that his circumstances were of his own doing and not his father’s !
Have you ever had to hit “rock bottom “ to understand your life was on the wrong path ? Even if it has never gotten to that point can you see times in your life where ego, greed, immaturity have led you astray ?
The good news of this story is we can always return “home” to God. He will always be our father and he will always welcome us home. Of course like the prodigal son we will have to “repent” or in other words apologize to God for those things we have done that might have offended him. He must resubmit ourselves to becoming a member of his household even if as a hired servant. Like the father in the story God is filled with compassion for us, and waits for us to return.