The Path to Rejoicing

I was reading in Luke Chapter 15 today, and was studying the parable of The Lost Son. This parable hits very close to home for me and is one of my favorite parables in the scriptures. I know the Bible is the absolute, complete and infallible Word of God. It cannot be changed and must never be wavered from.  Within its writings contain all the answers for man’s existence. As I studied, I began to trace a theme that is visibly seen in the life of everyone who comes to believe in Christ and be saved. It is the path to rejoicing.

The first destination is Rebellion:

Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.” – Luke 15:11-13

We all do this! God blesses our life. He gives us abundance and life each day, yet we decide to live for ourselves. Instead of pleasing God, we do things in order to please ourselves. We overspend money he has blessed us with, cut off family members we are asked to love and waste our God given talents on completely unproductive matters. In asking for his inheritance the son was basically saying to his father, “I would rather you be dead, than continue living under your rules and authority.” Just like the son, we all rebel against our Father in Heaven.

The second destination is Reversal:

And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him – Luke 15:14-17

When we choose to live a life of rebellion our lives will face a reversal. We go from a place of good standing to a place of darkness. Whether we go from a clean mind to addiction, or from financially balanced to financial debt, a blessed marriage to one on the brink of divorce, a life of fulfillment to a life of emptiness; when we rebel, a reversal will surely come.

The third destination is Repentance:

I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ – Luke 15:18-21

Our way to overcome the reversal of our lives is to repent for our rebellion. Here we see the son has finally hit rock bottom. After doing everything he can on his own in order to overcome this situation he faces, the son realizes that nothing is working, and the only way to have a chance for survival is his father’s mercy and help. This is such a great correlation to our spiritual life; after we have rebelled against God we have to repent. True repentance only comes from a broken heart and a contrite spirit. A person must recognize their need to be saved before they ever look for a savior.

The fourth destination is Restoration:

But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. – Luke 15:22-24

From this passage we clearly see that genuine repentance not only brings a pardon, but a complete restoration. The father, upon the return of his son, does not rebuke him or shun him. He restores him back to the same place he was when he left. He shows unbelievable excitement about his son’s return by displaying great mercy and grace. This is a perfect example of how God restores us once we humbly repent and forsake the rebellions that have caused the falling away in our lives. He longs for our return, He rejoices over our relationship with Him, and looks to bless us upon our return to Him.

The final destination is Rejoicing:

But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. – Luke 15:32

Friends, there is a great rejoicing that occurs in Heaven when we are restored in our relationship with God (Luke 15:7). Your lives will begin to fill with joy when we fully know that even in the worst state of rebellion, our Father in Heaven is waiting to embrace and restore us into his family, if we would just turn back to Him.

Where are you at in this path? No matter what things you have done, or what situation you are in, there is no situation that God will not restore you from. Are you tired, down and out, have you given up on life? Today pour your heart out to Him, give your life to Jesus Christ, confess and do away with those things that are dragging you down into the dark pits of this world. Grab Christ by his ever extended hand, and let His love restore you, that you may live a life of rejoicing. Will you return home today?

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