VIDEO The Prodigal Son

 “Then He said, ‘A certain man had two sons.’” — Luke 15:11

Author Charles Dickens, who knew a great tale when he heard it, remarked that the greatest story in all literature was the parable of the Prodigal Son. For the next few days, we’ll examine this story that earned such distinction.

To begin our examination, let’s briefly review the story. You will recall that the parable is about a father and his two sons. The younger son came to his father, asking for his share of his inheritance. The father gave it, and the young man left for a far country and squandered the money he received on wild living (“prodigal” means wasteful). The younger son ended up broke and in dire straits, so he returned to his father in repentance. The father embraced him, rejoiced at his return, and celebrated with a feast. The older brother, who had never left home, was jealous of his father’s attention toward the younger brother. But the father told the older son that they had good cause to celebrate—the Prodigal Son had been dead and now was alive. (For the complete parable, read Luke 15:11–32.)

One theologian has pointed out that Christ is always crucified between two thieves: license and legalism. So it is with these two sons, the younger representing license and the older legalism. These two sons paint a picture of the entire human race, the depiction of two apparently opposite and yet related types of sinners. Both rebel in their own ways, alienating themselves from their father. Yet the father loves them both with a love beyond comprehension.

This rich parable teaches many deep truths, but the greatest of these is the love of the Father, who welcomes home those who have fallen into all kinds of sin. Whether we live wildly or we self-righteously judge those who do, the Father loves us and welcomes us home as His children.

““Love is God’s essence; power but his attribute; therefore is his love greater than his power.””

Richard Garnett

The Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32) — A Sermon by R.C. Sproul

Our Choices Matter

But he refused. Genesis 39:8

A swimming instructor in New Jersey saw a car sinking into Newark Bay and heard the driver inside screaming “I can’t swim” as his SUV quickly sank into the murky waters. As a crowd watched from shore, Anthony ran to the rocks along the edge, removed his prosthetic leg, and jumped in to rescue the sixty-eight-year-old man and help him safely to shore. Thanks to Anthony’s decisive action, another man was saved.

Our choices matter. Consider the patriarch Jacob, the father of many sons, who openly favored his seventeen-year-old son Joseph. He foolishly made Joseph “an ornate robe” (Genesis 37:3). The result? Joseph’s brothers hated him (v. 4); and when the opportunity arose, they sold him into slavery (v. 28). Yet because Joseph ended up in Egypt, God used him to preserve Jacob’s family and many others during a seven-year famine—despite Joseph’s brothers’ intention to harm him (see 50:20). The choice that set it all in motion was Joseph’s decision to be honorable and run from Potiphar’s wife (39:1–12). The result was prison (39:20) and an eventual meeting with Pharaoh (ch. 41).

Anthony may have had the advantage of training, but he still had to make a choice. When we love God and seek to serve Him, He helps us make life-affirming and God-honoring choices. If we haven’t already, we can begin by trusting Jesus.

By:  Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

What was the result of a recent choice you’ve made? How has God’s Spirit led you to make wise choices?

Dear God, help me to make wise decisions that honor You.

Sunday Reflection: Everyday Glory

Prioritizing spiritual disciplines is one way we express gratitude and love to our Savior

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the scriptures referenced throughout.

Have you ever tithed, volunteered at church, attended a Sunday service, or spent time in prayer? Of course I have, you’re probably thinking. But did you think of such activities as kingdom-building, mission-sustaining work?

It’s easy to accept these regular practices as essential to the formula of Christian life. You might even think they’re basic. But in those small acts, you’re actually doing something great: You’re demonstrating that you treasure everything God has provided you. Through generous giving, service, and worship, you’re not simply being a good steward—you’re offering these gifts back to Him in love.

Think about it

• Take a moment to consider the gifts God has given to you—talents and abilities, opportunities you’ve received, or things you own. Now ask God to help you enjoy them and to reveal ways they can bring Him glory.

• Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). In which areas do you feel confident you’re already doing this? What other areas could bring Him glory? 

God Has His Own Sovereignty

“And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11)

This divine rebuke to Moses was occasioned when Moses complained of his inability to speak eloquently for God before Pharaoh. It is also a rebuke to each of us who would dare question God’s wisdom in making us as we are—even with all our innate defects and handicaps. With our very limited knowledge of God’s purposes and our very short-range view of eternal priorities, we are ill-equipped to prejudge His ways with us.

To those who questioned why a man should be born blind, for example, Jesus answered: “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:3). As another example, when certain believers complained about the lethal illness of a loved one, Jesus replied: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (John 11:4).

The steadfastness of Stephen’s faith as he was stoned to death led to Paul’s conversion, though at the time it must have seemed difficult for his Christian brethren to understand and accept. In another context, but stating a principle highly relevant to such questions, Jesus reminds us, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter” (John 13:7). God is not capricious, but He is sovereign. Whatever He does is right, by definition, and whatever He allows is for a holy purpose. “Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Romans 9:20).

It should be enough for now to know that He knows, and that when suffering comes for His sake, it is “for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). HMM

Are You A Parochial Or World Christian?

Jesus made it abundantly clear that you and I are to think globally:

Go and make disciples of all nationsYou shall be My witnessesto the ends of the earth.“(Matthew 28:19a; Acts 1:8b)

As a business or professional person, you are uniquely positioned to help fulfill The Great Commission in three ways:


It takes money to get the message of the Cross to the ends of the earth. If God has given you the gift of making money (Romans 12:8), then you have a unique opportunity and responsibility to distribute resources toward His causes.

The late Dr. Richard C. Halverson wrote:

“There is a greater problem than need — Greed! — Commendable as it may be, compassion for the hungry and starving is not the best we can do — as long as we give simply out of our abundance, and allow such giving to justify continuing acquisition beyond our needs… “


It has been estimated that by the year 2000, 85% of the world’s lost lived in countries closed to traditional missionary entry. The only other means of personal “access” is through the business and professional person.

Today, most developing countries are crying out for the kind of expertise you possess. But this is big league stuff, so only those possessed of courage, vision, know how, and determination need apply.


Because the majority of the developing countries still recognize the West for its advanced expertise, you as a business or professional person have leverage to influence.


One acid test in answering that question is to take a hard look at the ledger in your checkbook. Does the pattern of your check-writing over the past several months reflect a person possessed with a PAROCHIAL OR WORLD PERSPECTIVE?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

“Judge not according to the appearance.”

John 7:2-24

John 7:6-8

Our Lord’s relatives did not yet understand him. Any trembling faith in his commission which they possessed, was exercised selfishly in wishing to see him become a man of influence, in whose honours they might share. Meanwhile he was bringing down upon his own head enmity and abuse for honestly rebuking the sins of the times. So wide a difference was there between the Lord Jesus and his nearest kindred. He lived for others, and they, until they became renewed in heart, sought only themselves.

John 7:13

By whom is chiefly meant the rulers. The people were so much in fear of these great ones, that they spoke with bated breath in reference to the object of their enmity.

John 7:14-16

His doctrine was not from himself, it was authorised by the Father, who had sent him.

John 7:17-19

How plaintive are these words! The loving heart of Jesus was wounded at their ingratitude and wanton malice.

John 7:20-24

Excellent advice, which we should all do well to follow. We ought not to allow ourselves to be swayed by prejudice and influenced by superficial appearances. Good men and good things are often despised. Truth and holiness have had to run the gauntlet of mankind. All is not gold that glitters, and there is much true gold which never glitters at all. May we be taught by the Holy Spirit to abhor that which is evil, and cleave only to that which is good and true. On the Saviour’s side may we always be found.

Faithful amid unfaithfulness,

‘Mid darkness only light,

Thou didst thy Father’s name confess,

And in his will delight.

Unmov’d by threats or flatt’ring wiles,

Or suffering, shame, and loss:

Thy path uncheer’d by earthly smiles,

Led only to the cross.

Give us thy meek and lowly mind;

We would obedient be;

And all our rest and pleasure find

In learning, Lord, of thee.


Geared into Things Eternal

Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God. (Hebrews 9:14)

The coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was a gracious experience of fulfillment and blessing and direction for the Christian church.

It was the continuing emphasis for believers that we must live to gear ourselves into things eternal and to live the life of heaven here upon earth. We must yield our first obedience and loyalty to Jesus Christ, at any cost!

Anything we try to offer God that is less than that really is a degradation of the Christian church.

Frankly, I would rather be a member of a group that meets in a little room on a side street than to be part of a great activity that is not New Testament in its doctrine, in its spirit, in its living, in its holiness, in all of its texture and tenor. The Spirit-filled and Spirit-led congregation will be a joyful people. Beyond that, it will be useful and caring and compassionate! I do believe that the Christian church ought to be a helpful influence to the whole community!