Tag: father

Just wait until your father gets home!

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Most people know what I’m talking about when I say growing up has its challenges.

Do you agree?

And many people (especially baby boomers) can remember those seven terrifying words which struck fear into the heart of every kid; words only a frustrated and frazzled mother could say.

“Just wait until your father gets home!”

I heard it so much as a kid, I always knew when I was about to hear it again. Moms seem to develop that certain kind of look when they’re about ready to lower the boom.

No, I didn’t need to have the gift of prophecy or any special anointing to know when judgment was soon to come. The “look” let me know I was in a heap of trouble.

I can still hear the sound of my dad’s car, as he pulled up to the house. The brakes on his 1958 Ford station wagon screeched when he was just about to stop completely, and I knew…

I knew judgment was about to be meted out. 

Funny, but I can’t remember much of what took place afterwards; I was so consumed by the thought, “Dad’s coming home, and he’s not gonna be happy.”

Whew. Thank God I finally outgrew that. I finally grew up and became a responsible adult; never more to hear “just wait until your father gets home.”

Uh, sorry. But that’s not right.

I’m hearing it these days, as well. 

Only this time it’s not something my mom is telling me. It’s a word I’m hearing from the Spirit of God.

A word Peter talked about in his first letter.

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:17 – 4:18 NKJV)

In other words, “Just wait until your father gets home.”

Why would judgment begin at the house of God? I mean, I thought Jesus took our judgment when He died on the cross?

He did. And it’s through faith in His substitutionary act that we are born again into the family of God.

That’s when we become one of the Father’s kids.

It would be wonderful if all of God’s kids were perfect, but we’re not.

No, I’m not about to try and list all the ways God’s kids have frustrated and grieved the Holy Spirit, but I will share what I believe to be one of the biggest.

Again, I’ll let Peter tell it.

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” (1 Peter 4:12 – 4:16 NKJV)

Compromise.

Compromise because we don’t like trials, or being misunderstood, or reproached for the Name of Christ.

Who does?

And although we’ve found ways to get around suffering for Jesus (especially in America), it has cost us dearly.

It has cost us something the early church had; something which empowered them to turn their world upside down.

Glory. Something beyond the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Glory.

The Glory of God.

Did you notice what Peter said, just prior to his “Dad’s got something to say” word?

“If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.”

What things have we used to get around suffering?

Here are a few:

We’ve expected society to think and act like us, and since it doesn’t want to, we’ve started acting more like it.

We apologize for using the J word; or we simply leave it at home; even though there’s “no other Name given among men whereby we must be saved.”

We’ve become theatrical in our gospel presentation. That in itself isn’t necessarily wrong, but I think there’s a difference between packaging something and hiding something.

If our gospel is hidden, it’s hidden from those who are lost.

If we can’t use plain language, relying upon the Spirit of God for boldness, power, and results, maybe we’re not really sure about the message.

Anyway, those are some things I’ve noticed about myself, and the church in general.

And I can hear the Spirit say, “Just wait until your Father gets home.”

But you know what? Paul told us of a way to avoid the Father’s judgment. And I believe it’s why the Spirit is prompting me to write this post.

“For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:31 – 11:32 NKJV)

Judge ourselves. Correct our behavior BEFORE Father gets home.

In other words, let’s not wait for our Father to get home, let’s do what He says, even if it could mean persecution.

God’s Glory rests upon those who aren’t ashamed of the gospel.

And God’s Glory changes lives. 

They’re Coming Home

imageDo you ever get mad at people who:

Waste your time
Make you late
Dump on you
Ignore you
Embarrass you
Manipulate you
Steal from you
Are undependable
Lie about you
Leave you for someone your opposite

Well, do you? Do you get angry, or is yours a righteous indignation?

Would YOUR treatment of a brother or sister have anything to do with why they left home?

How do you feel when a close friend or family member treats you like any one of those things listed? Do you lose your cool? Do you give them a piece of your mind, or the whole thing?

Do you offend easily?

How long do you hold a grudge? How many grudges can you hang on to? Seventy times seven?

Do the “prodigals” (your classification) you know ever have a chance of reconnecting with you and your work? If so, what test do you have them take to show you they’ve truly repented?

Can YOU pass your own test?

Do you love people because they do exactly what you expect, or do you tolerate others giving and doing less than what you expect from yourself?

When someone turns their back on you and your beliefs, do you wait for them to return? How long do you keep their room like they left it?

Do you EXPECT them to come back home? Why would they want to?

Maybe you are hoping Father will let YOU have what your brother or sister left behind.

I am SO glad Jesus told us how the Father God is. He’s forever watching, waiting, and interceding for each person who steps away from the kingdom. He EVER LIVES to make intercession for us all; whether we’re a prodigal or the perfect saint.

The Lord would have us:
Watch with Him for the returning prodigals

Greet those returning from their self-imposed exile as if their slate is clean

Help keep the roadsigns pointing back to home in plain view. Make sure no weeds are allowed to grow and block the view of the sign.

Keep your heart filled with everything necessary to aid a weary traveler.

Don’t expect perfection from the returning prodigal. It’s not a prerequisite for forgiveness.

Keep your eyes on your Father’s eyes. That way you’ll be able to tell when someone’s getting close.

Practice love. Practice makes perfect. Perfect love casts out fear.
Fear yields to God’s faithfulness.

The Love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit helps bridge the gap between Father and the wayward son or daughter.

Don’t let the Angels in Heaven praise God more than you do.

And make sure you keep the car gassed up in case Father God sends you on a journey; the journey of reconciliation.

Remember, Father is stirring up and shaking everything shakeable. This includes those deemed “prodigal”. Keep your focus, your faith, and your friendly, faith inspiring demeanor. You’ll be used by the Ruler of the Universe to help move a brother or sister back home.

And, just maybe, there may be something you need to do or say before anyone would ever consider coming back home.

Amen.

I believe the Lord spoke this to my heart:

“As the Lord worked many signs and wonders in Egypt before they released their captives, so shall the Lord dominate the prodigal’s captor; the one who enticed and enslaved your brothers and sisters from the far country.

“And as the Lord caused the return of the remnant from Babylon during Ezra and Nehemiah’s day, so shall the kingdom receive a great multitude returning from land of wasteful living.

“They shall return. Watch for them. Be part of the restoration process.

“The rewards shall be great.”

Coming Home (introduction)

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As I sat listening to others share prayer requests the other night, the Lord deposited a “word” into my spirit. My heart rate didn’t increase when the word came, and I didn’t see any flash of lightning. What I heard was a very quiet, but clear, “This is the year of the prodigal’s return.”

Like I mentioned, nothing dramatic took place as his word dropped into my spirit. But I caught it. It was so clear; and when I heard it I immediately believed it. It was a word wrapped in the gift of faith. It’s about all I’ve been able to think about ever since that evening.

I have started writing a book about prodigals, and their return home. And, the part we have to play in receiving them.

This is just one chapter. I plan to finish the book in a month or so, and make it available as an EBook. If you’re interested in receiving a copy when it’s finished, please comment as such in the comment section of this post. Thanks.

Here we go…

A Dad and his Boys

To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. (Luke 15:11-13 NLT)

The father had two sons, not just one. The number two is important. Why? Because there’s something to learn from both boys, not just the “wild” one.

I wonder what made the younger son think about getting out on his own? Really, when it comes right down to it, it’s natural for a young man to want to be on his own. So I wonder if maybe he’d heard stories from his high school classmates (you just KNOW he went to a “Christian” school) about life on the far side of the world. Life in the fast lane, perhaps.

Maybe he’d heard of all the opportunities available for a guy like himself. Just because he wanted to be on his own didn’t mean he was rebellious. Sure, he could have been. But Jesus never mentioned it. He DID say the kid wasted his inheritance in the distant land.

Let’s discuss the inheritance the younger son asked his father for. Asking for the inheritance wasn’t out of line for people of that day. The father typically would divide his inheritance while he was living, and give his heirs an opportunity to learn financial responsibility and integrity while he was alive to assist them. Did you notice the father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons? In other words, both sons received their inheritance. Both sons, not just the younger one.

If you are a parent with more than one child, or if you have a brother or a sister, you’ll know that no two kids are alike. Just because they’ve been raised in the same house, by the same parents, doesn’t mean they will have the same dreams, values, or motivation. They are unique in almost every sense of the word. And although they can be so hard to understand and even harder to raise, their uniqueness is really a very beautiful thing.

Scripture doesn’t reveal if the father was a strict disciplinarian or a push over. So, let’s just say the father was just and fair. It doesn’t appear that he tried to persuade his younger son from leaving. Some might consider that as not caring about his son enough. Maybe, maybe not. I like to think that the father was proud of his son for going after a dream.

Our Heavenly Father had his son stand in front of him one day and say,

First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. (Hebrews 10:8-10 NLT)

Jesus left heaven and moved to a distant land. Not as a prodigal, but as someone committed to doing God’s will. He came to seek and save that which was lost.

Maybe that’s what the younger son was thinking. Maybe he had good intentions at the beginning. You know, sort of like Lot when he eyed the land before him, as he and his uncle were separating. Perhaps, I say perhaps, Lot felt the call to go to Sodom and Gomorrah to tell them about El Shaddai, the God of Abraham. Maybe. Or, perhaps.

Sometimes, even people as spiritual as you and I get sidetracked and moved away from our original plan. Right?

It’s not clear at all as to why the younger one left home. As the younger, maybe he was tired of living in the shadow of the older, and perhaps, the first born. Think about family dynamics for a moment. With at least two kids in the family, it’s natural to at least mentally compare one child with another. At times the “mental” comparisons can lead to “vocal” comparisons. “Why can’t you act like your brother?” Yeah, right.

Not to besmirch the father of this story, and understanding he can be representing our Father God’s love and patience, the truth of the matter is the father IS NOT Father God. So I doubt if this father was as perfect as everyone believes. There COULD have been some friction between the younger son and the father. Or there could have been words between the older son and his younger brother. Nothing is said of the older son and what he did with his portion of the inheritance. There’s a reason for that which we’ll look at a bit later.

There are a number of reasons why people launch out on their own. Good reasons. Natural, God designed and God blessed reasons.

I like to believe the younger son left home because he had a dream. A dream which couldn’t be fulfilled until he left home, venturing out on his own.

By the way, God loves a dreamer.

And God doesn’t mind if you and I give this younger son, and each other, the benefit of the doubt.

What do you think?

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