Time to Come Home

The Father’s Been Waiting

by Pastor John Hamel


“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)


In the Bible, Luke chapter 15, you’ll find a young man who thought he had a lease on life, not needing his Father’s help.  Packing his bags he headed into the world to seek pleasure, fortune and popularity.  This, of course, broke his Father’s heart. 


However, it was not long before this inexperienced young man discovered that life is not always fair and some people are not who or what they appear to be.  His “friends” drained him of his resources and then abandoned him.  He was forced to take a job on a pig farm.  The job paid so little that he was unable to feed himself. 


Suddenly he realized that life at home wasn’t so bad after all.  His Father, a prosperous businessman, fed his employees three times per day.  He gave them a warm, dry place to sleep and treated them with dignity and respect. 


This young man decided to simply return home, explaining to his Father that he had made a poor decision and would like to return.  Possibly he thought to himself, “Although he will no longer receive me as a son because of what I’ve done, maybe I can persuade him to hire me as a servant.  That would be far better than eating and living with pigs.  But what if he rejects me after all that I have done?  I’ve at least got to try.  Even if he tells me to go away, it will be good at least to see him one more time.  I do still love him.” 


So he mustered up his courage, beginning the long trip home, not knowing what to expect.  Then on the horizon appeared his Father’s house, coming closer and closer into view.  His heart pounding, he forced himself forward, not knowing what to expect. 


Suddenly someone was running towards him.  Was it a servant telling him to turn back, trying to spare him his Father’s wrath?  No, it wasn’t a servant.  It was his Father.  He had been watching, waiting daily, hoping his child would reappear over the hill.  Hoping he would come to himself and return to the place where he was so loved. 


The Father threw his arms around his child, calling for the servants to clothe him, be-jewel him and prepare a feast, jumping and shouting, “…for my son was dead and is alive again.  He was lost and now is found.” (Luke 15:22-24)  


The boy’s older brother was shocked when his Father responded with such mercy and not with justice.  The Father had to tell him, “Chill out.  Your brother is still as much my son as you are!” 


This is how God will respond to you if you once served Him only to run away to the “far country” of sin. (Luke 15:13)  


He’s been watching and waiting for you to return.  He desires to cover you again with the “robe” of righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), to place the “ring” of authority over Satan and demons back on your finger (Mark 16:15-20) and to place new “sandals” on your feet. (Luke 15:22)  


In the Bible slaves weren’t allowed to wear shoes.  The Father commanded his servants to place sandals back on his child’s feet, to symbolize that he was free from the slavery of his poor decision


You, too, will be released from the slavery of your backsliding by simply saying, “Father, forgive me in Jesus’ Name.  I have sinned against You.” 


If you’ve not made Jesus the Lord of your life yet, just say, “Jesus, You’re my choice.” (Romans 10:13)  You, too, will become God’s child and share in His riches and dominion. (Psalm 35:27)


Be Blessed.  Welcome Home.    John and Barbara Hamel



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