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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’”— Luke 15:21 (NLT)
Have you ever been told to come to your senses? I remember having a talk with my sister when I was in college. She sat me down on her couch and gave me a wake-up call about the way I’d been living for months. And while it was not pleasant, it worked. God used her to get through to me.
Sadly, for some people, a talk isn’t enough to bring them to a moment of breakthrough. Sometimes, it takes a catastrophe for us to come to our senses. This was the case for the lost son in Luke 15. One of the most profound and famous parables of Jesus, the Parable of the Prodigal Son, tells of a young man who asked his father for his inheritance WHILE HE WAS STILL ALIVE! And for some reason, the father grants his son’s demand. And what does he do with his newfound riches? He squanders them! The son winds up hungry, feeding pigs in a field.
But let me tell you . . . there’s nothing like a ton of bricks falling on your head to knock some sense into you. And that’s what happened to the prodigal son. He hit rock bottom, he was desperate, at the end of the line, with nowhere else to turn, with no relief in sight. And sometimes, that’s the best thing that can happen to us. Why? Because it’s often when we’re at the end of ourselves that we find the beginning of God in our lives.
The prodigal son understood the error of his ways. He knew he didn’t deserve to be called his father’s son anymore. And he also realized that all along, his father’s house was where he needed to be. But it wasn’t enough for him to realize he was wrong. He needed to make a U-turn and go back to his father. This is what true repentance looks like!
You see, he wasn’t just sorry because of the way it all turned out. He reached a place of true humility, which is essential for repentance, and he returned to his father.
This is the place we all need to find ourselves in—where we realize that apart from God, we are nothing, that we’re bankrupt apart from Christ. Is there something you’re holding onto in your life? Something you’re unrepentant toward the Lord about? Turn back today! Come to your senses now before you end up in the mud with the pigs.
DIG: Read Luke 15 and Jonah 2.
DISCOVER: Have you seen someone have to experience tragedy and rock bottom before coming to his or her senses and repenting? Have you ever gotten to this point?
DISPLAY: Evaluate your life today. Are you living like the lost son? Is there unrepentant sin in your life? Turn back now! Pray for the Lord’s forgiveness and come back to Him in that area. Live the abundant life He has for you; don’t wait until you’re in the mud! It’s not too late
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.