Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Prodigal God

I was tired. I felt like I could sleep until noon, but I was excited to meet God this Sunday in worship. I missed church last week due to my travels to Pittsburgh to visit family, so I was even more determined despite my weariness to keep my date with my Savior this Sunday. As I drove the winding roads with my three children in the car and the pitter pat and splat of rain drops hit the windshield, I prayed beneath my breath for God to allow me to hear what He needed me to hear during the service.

The opening hymn was, Amazing Grace, my favorite. The song brought my eyes to tears as I gazed upward at the stain glass cross prominently before my eyes in the front of the sanctuary. How amazing is the grace He lavished upon this sinner. I couldn't sing the third verse. I was overwhelmed by His precious love affixed to my soul.
The Gospel lesson was all about the prodigal son (Luke 15), but all I heard was the prodigal God. I heard other things...good things...soul stirring things...but our God prodigal? Hmmm...I just couldn't shake the phrase from my mind. So as usual, when my mind won't let go (I often believe it is the prodding of the Holy Spirit); I had to do some research to make some sense of this phrase...prodigal God.
Prodigal defined on as an adjective means wasteful or recklessly extravagant, giving and yielding profusely; lavishly, abundantly; profuse. Prodigal defined as a noun is a person who spends, or has spent, his money or substance with wasteful extravagance; spendthrift. I saw some familiar words pertaining to God...lavishly, abundantly, extravagance, but yet still couldn't see the correlation clearly of God as prodigal.
I went a step further and looked up synonyms for prodigal. I found these four words...profligate. lavish, copious, and bounteous. Let's break these words down.
  • Profligate = recklessly extravagant
  • Lavish = giving in great amounts to expend or give without limits
  • Copious = large quantity or number, abundant, plentiful...having, yielding an abundant supply...exhibiting abundance or fullness.
  • Bounteous = giving or disposed to give freely, generous, liberal...freely bestowed, plentiful, abundant.

I was beginning to see just what a prodigal God meant. it is so fitting for the Lent season. Simply stated as best I prodigal God in extravagant reckless abandon sent His one an only son Jesus to live as man and as God to save a sin sick world. He didn't want to do it, but He did to lavish His love upon us, His children.

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. In accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ."

Ephesians 1:7-10

My prodigal God gives lavish, abundant, love without limits and far greater than I could ever imagine, fathom, or understand until that glorious day of my Bridegrooms return!

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure."

I John 1:1-3

My prodigal God is a very generous God!

"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he pured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."

Titus 3:4-7

My prodigal God gives freely!

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

Romans 3:24

The fullness of my prodigal God is seen through his son Jesus Christ and my hope and prayer is the same as Paul's...that we as saints, children of God, might also realize we too have access to the same power which raised Christ from the grave!

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."

Ephesians 1:18-23


Dear Heavenly prodigal God,

Thank you for your lavish love and amazing grace which you abundantly bestow upon me, your child, even when I don't deserve it. Thank you for abandoning your son Jesus Christ to be born to die, go into the depths of hell, and be raised from the dead, and sit at your right hand...for me...that's how much you love me...that's how much you love all your children. Please help me to always remember there is nothing you cannot forgive. Help me God to turn from evil ways and be drawn to the springs of living water which are abundant for my taking. Oh God, let me thirst for you!