FEBRUARY 16: THIS IS THE STORY

THIS IS THE STORY
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

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. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee. And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 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. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and be merry. For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found, And they began to be merry.
Luke 15: 14-24
Today's Read: Luke 15; Colossians 3
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The prodigal son.
Here we have a son enveloped and entrenched in a lifestyle of deception and destruction.
Here we have a son made aware of his internal condition through external circumstantial conditionIt was the "famine" that brought the son to his senses and it was the starved impoverished soul that led him home.
Never underestimate the power of a "famine" in any arena of an individual's life.
That God-awful thing called a famine, which we would not wish on our loved ones or for ourselves, is often times the God-ordained affliction that pulls us magnetically and gloriously back into relationship and intimacy with the Father. 
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Try to imagine the journey home for the young man:
-Listen to the words of apology rearranged and rehearsed a thousand different ways.
-Listen to the second-guessing, the wondering, and the questioning on the long journey home. 
-Listen to the inaudible voice "within" suggesting the impossibility of acceptance in returning to the confines of a father's vast and reputable estate.
-Witness the hesitation of pausing feet,
-Furrowed brow,
-Falling tear,
-And feel the acceleration of a heartbeat so strong it feels like it has the power to beat right out of the skin.
This is the "sound" of the prodigal returning home.
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Hmmm ...
We don't read stories rightly, generally, until they become our own or situated into the life of a loved one. Only then do we understand, recognize, and realize the power and scope of redemptive grace that flows so freely from the Father ... upon a repentant heart.
Only then do we realize the power of redemption and its true defining.
The famine of the prodigal becomes the feast with the Father;
It is the Father who retains the right to translate one to the other.
Citizens from others countries and sons under the Father's roof do not make the determinants or call the shots about the extension of lavish grace Christ chooses to apply to the sin-impaired.
There are beautiful prodigals all about me,
Young "proteges" of the Father,
Learning to become better and more able ministers of the Father's grace.
Praise Him for the "famine" and praise Him for the feast;
And praise Him for His never-ending love.
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Three Study Suggestions:
1) Read the story of the prodigal with eyes focused on only the Father. What do you see of Him?
2) Where have you most recently observed this story illustrated in your own life or the life of a loved one? What do you see about God in the picture?
3) Do you think of "yourself" as the prodigal?
If not, "who" do you consider to be a prodigal?
Until we see "ourselves" the prodigal it is not likely we will effectively love the prodigal.
I'm interested in your insights.
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