Are you having fun yet?

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Sometimes, I wonder if I am the older brother in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. As I pastor, I have watched many turn from their relationship with God and run after whatever they think will make them happy and significant. I grieve for them. I grieve my loss of our friendship as I watch them wander off the road we were traveling together. Part of grief is anger; I admit I feel that urge to wallow in my anger when I hear that they are eating the pig slop of their choices. My “older brother” smugness says, “How’s that working for you?”

Rembrandt_Harmensz_van_Rijn_-_Return_of_the_Prodigal_Son_-_Google_Art_ProjectRembrandt’s Prodigal Son

Not Jesus. He is never smug toward me. In fact, his parable is really the story of the loving father, more than that of his troublesome sons. Here’s why:

It is certain that prodigals and prigs will lose everything. King David was inspired of God when he wrote that “the sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods.” (Psalm16:4) David’s sinful choices bear witness to that fact.

It is also just as certain that those who depend on the Father will sing, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing…LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance…I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:2, 5, 6, 8)

For example, consider the legacy of Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth. Watch this YouTube video of the tributes of her husband and children as Fernando Ortega sings Give Me Jesus:

So, Jesus’ loving Father welcomes prodigals, both those who have run away and those who have stayed away; if we would just change our minds about our relationship with our Father and believe that “you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11).

Let us, prodigal and prig alike, cry out, “Give me Jesus”,  and then we’ll be having real fun. As Jesus put it, “Let’s have a feast and celebrate.” (Luke 15:23)

For His glory,
Pastor Mike