Bible Studies for Life Lesson for February 27- God Loves to Welcome Us Home
February 15 2011 by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church

Focal Passage: Hosea 14:1-9

Without question, he had hit bottom. Sickened by the fact that he would have gladly filled his stomach with swill, he came to his senses there in the pig pen. His own idiocy became crystal clear. No excuses. No victim mentality. Just sincere repentance.

But then something happens that we often overlook in the prodigal’s story. Now that he had hit bottom, he had to decide what to do next.

There were tons of options. He already had a job. Why not work hard and advance his career?

Maybe he could find a different job. Maybe he could become a financial consultant; he certainly knew what mistakes to avoid. Maybe he could ease his guilt by entering the ministry, and live the rest of his life for the good of others. Any of these options would have been an improvement. In some sense, once you really hit bottom, every option is up.

But the prodigal chose to go back to his father’s house! Can you believe that? He had insulted his father by demanding his inheritance early. He had disrespected his father by wasting his wealth. He had trashed the family name. Home would seem to be the last place he would go.

Furthermore, when you’ve hit bottom, you don’t need anyone telling you, “I told you so.”

So why did he choose to go home? Because when you hit bottom, you turn to the option that presents the greatest hope of true help.

He knew his father; he knew his steadfast love and kindness. He must have witnessed his forgiving spirit during happier times at home. His father was his greatest hope.

Most dads would have laid him out, read him the riot act, and explained all the new rules and regulations that he was expected to tow the line on. But not his father; he could tell that the son was completely broken, and needed love more than a lecture.

The prodigal never even got to finish the speech he had prepared. He never got the chance to ask for a job as a hired servant. His dad simply forgave him, restored him, and welcomed him home as a son.

This beautiful parable pictures the forgiveness, restoration, and reconciliation that your heavenly Father longs to give you.

No matter who you are, what you’ve done, or how far you’ve strayed, you can always go back to Him. If you’ve hit bottom, then remember that your heavenly Father is, and always will be your source of greatest hope. Look to Him. 

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2/15/2011 4:01:00 AM by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church | with 0 comments

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