The Parable of the Prodigal Son……..with a different ending

Luke 15:11-32

by Mike M.

This story is for those who feel that what they have done is so awful and so bad that there is no way God could still love them. It’s for those who think they are worthless, and not worthy of God’s love. There are also those who feel that God is so disappointed over what they have done that He can never look at them the same way again with love and compassion. This story is for them.

The Story            

                Our story begins with the prodigal son at the point he “came to his senses.” (vs. 17) In Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery groups, they call it “finding your true bottom.” That’s the point at which he woke up and all the money was gone, his “friends” had left him, and he was broke and hungry. He got a job feeding pigs, and envied the pigs because they had food to eat. “Wow, I have really screwed up!” he thought. “This lifestyle doesn’t work. I have made a mess out of my life! I have sinned against heaven and against my father and my family. Look at me now — starving to death. Why, even the servants in my father’s house have food to eat! I’m going home.”

                So he gets up and starts walking back home. It’s a long journey, for he had gone to a distant country.

Finally, one day he climbs to the top of a hill and there, in the distance, he can see his home!

Fond memories of childhood growing up there, and of safety and security quicken his step. But then he remembers his fall from grace, and the shame and guilt of it weighs him down until he is barely trudging along the road.

Alternative Ending

(This is where we depart from the narrative as told by Jesus – vs. 20)

                His father is sitting on the porch looking out toward the road and sees him coming, but does not get up. When the young man arrives he falls forward on his knees and bows his head.

“I knew you would come back, starving, penniless, and groveling,” the father says in a tone of disgust.

“Father…” the boy begins.

“Just a minute! It’s my turn to tell you some things. You wouldn’t listen before. Just turned your back and stormed off. You just had to get out of here after I gave you all of that money — my money! I’m sure you wasted it all on prostitutes, drinking and carousing, too.”

“Father, I…”

“I told your mother when you were little, I said, ‘He’ll never amount to anything. He’s worthless. Look at him, he can’t do anything right!’ She protested and fought with me about it, but I knew I was right. Guess I should be grateful she’s not around anymore to see your failure. Your brother and I had a good chuckle about it the other day, though. We were sure you would come crawling back when the money ran out.”

The boy looks up at his father’s face entreatingly. The father waves his hand dismissively.

“Oh, go ahead, say what you came to say.”

“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make

me like one of your hired servants.”

The father considers this for a moment, then blurts out,

“You think that makes everything all right?”

He rises from the chair in anger, pointing a finger at his son, and yelling.

“You actually thought you could demand your inheritance, flit off to a distant country, squander all of my money in riotous living, then come waltzing back here, ask for forgiveness, and all would be well?”

The boy just stares at the ground. The father sits back down, furious. He tries to compose himself, and in a voice still seething with anger, but not as loud, says,

“Get up. That’s right — stand up!”

After the boy rises, the father continues.

“Foolish boy! You never learn, do you? It doesn’t work like that. You’re going to pay for what you’ve done! And you bet you’ll work like a servant of this house! Why, I’ve had servants more faithful and loyal than you!”

With that the father shakes his head in disbelief, rises and turns to go into the house. Then he abruptly stops, turns around and walks down the steps to where his son is standing, who is biting his lip in fear. Pointing a finger directly in his son’s face, in a measured, angry tone he says,

“And don’t forget. I’m keeping my eye on you! One little slip and Boom! You’re out of here! In fact,

I’m going to have your brother check on you. That’s right — your brother. Now, there’s loyalty for you.

Works hard, always does what he’s told. Never asks for anything special.”

The son walks away after his father leaves, knowing he did the right thing by coming home, but in a state of

utter hopelessness and despair.

Application

Friends, God could be the God of the alternative ending! He would have every right to be. But how fortunate we are that He is not!

Of course we know this is not how the story ended as told by Jesus. This ending is 180 degrees from the impression of God’s love and concern for us He was teaching. In the previous parables here in Luke 15 — the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin — Jesus talks about how the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents!

But we get down on ourselves and think we’re not worthy, or that He loves others, but not us. When we do this, we’re not paying attention! Somehow it is easier to check out of “hope” and check into “self-doubt.”

Listen to David, the sweet singer of Israel, talk about His attitude toward us.

Psalm 25:6, 7

Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,

    for they are from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth

    and my rebellious ways;

according to your love remember me,

    for you, Lord, are good.

Psalm 25:11

For the sake of your name, Lord,

    forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

Psalm 51:1, 2

Have mercy on me, O God,

    according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion

    blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity

    and cleanse me from my sin.

Psalm 51:9

Hide your face from my sins

    and blot out all my iniquity.

Psalm 51:17

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;

    a broken and contrite heart

    you, God, will not despise.

 

Now, what about the prodigal son?   Did he have a broken and contrite heart? Of course.

But his father took that heart and crushed it (in the alternative ending). Our Father will not do that.

Remember, when He forgives, He forgets.

Hebrews 8:12

For I will forgive their wickedness

    and will remember their sins no more.

“But, He’s God! How can he forget?”

I don’t know. Maybe He chooses to not remember. Think about your own children. Do you remember everything they did wrong 10 years ago?

 

Conclusion

Perhaps some of us experienced abuse from our earthly father, and consequently we have molded this into

our perception of our Heavenly Father. Even if this isn’t the case, our view of God is heavily influenced by our relationship with our earthly father. Let us remember that when we repent and come back from sin, our Heavenly father welcomes us with open arms.


I am humbled to announce that we will officially be starting a new Castimonia meeting on Tuesday nights at Cinco Ranch Church of Christ in Katy, TX on September 15th!  This is our fourth meeting located in the Katy area.

Location information is written below.

Beginning September 15th
Tuesday Nights
7:00PM – 8:30PM
Cinco Ranch Church of Christ
Room: TBD
6655 S Mason Rd.
Katy, TX 77450
http://www.crcoc.org

This meeting should help those that live in Katy who may not have the opportunity to attend a Castimonia meeting on Saturday morning, Monday night, or Thursday night.
Praise be to God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for all He has done to grow His ministry!

Let’s pray for God’s healing of R. C. Sproul, Jr.  I wish I could tell him that he is not alone.

http://rcsprouljr.com/blog/general/judgment-and-grace/

Monday, August 31, 2015

The message of God’s prophets in the Old Testament amounted to this- God is not pleased with what you are doing. Repent. We miss that prophets were agents of grace as were the judgments promised. The purpose, in both instances, was to be a goad to repentance, a wake-up call. The same is true today as God works in and through providence. For the believer, judgment is always a work of God’s grace, a goad to repentance. Many Christians have bemoaned the destruction wrought by the Ashley Madison hack. The truth of the matter is that just as Ashley Madison did not create unfaithful hearts, so this hack did not create damning exposure. Rather for some it was a means of His grace.

In August 2014, in a moment of weakness, pain, and from an unhealthy curiosity, I visited Ashley Madison. My goal was not to gather research for critical commentary, but to fan the flames of my imagination. There I found two gracious judgments. First, I felt the grace of fear. Second, I felt the grace of shame. I was there long enough to leave an old email address. And within minutes I left, never to return. I did not sign up for their service or interact with any clients. I have always remained faithful to my wife even after her passing.

The grace of God’s judgment bore its fruit, and by His grace I repented of my sin. By His grace, I have also received His forgiveness, the outworking of His love. Prophetic providence had done its good office. Jesus died for this sin, but there are still earthly consequences. With the revelation of the hack has come the revelation of my sin. I recently informed the board of Ligonier Ministries, which has handled the matter internally, having suspended me until July 1, 2016. I also informed my presbytery which is also handling the matter internally. And now the world is informed.

My sin, sadly, has impacted those who are innocent- my colleagues, friends, and family. I have and will continue to seek their forgiveness. I covet your prayers.

 


https://applyingmybeliefs.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/is-it-time-to-retire-codependency/

The term codependent is thrown around in recovery circles, and at many people.  It has become such a widely used word or term that it really has no meaning.  The “bible” of the mental health profession, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5™) doesn’t refer to it at all.  One of the best books on the subject, Whitfield’s “Co-Dependence, Healing the Human Condition” says that over 90% of all Americans are co-dependent.  The 12-Step group Co-dependents Anonymous, does not define codependency, instead it has a list of five codependent patterns containing a total of 55 possible characteristics of codependents.

The term seems to have found its way into our lexicon through the program of ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics).  They observed that their collective painfully difficult relational issues seemed to have one thing in common, they all grew up in an alcoholic environment, and that this traumatized them.  One alcoholic parent, and often both, plunged them as children into a parent role of some kind.  In going through this they had to give up their normal development and socialization processes.  Worse of all, any attempt from a child to try to be normal was met with condemnation and other forms of punishment.

The term codependent really became famous when Melody Beattie published her recovery classic, “Codependent No More – How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring For yourself” in 1986.  Her original vision of what codependency was has been added to and vastly expanded over the years, to the point that it really does not bear any resemblance to her definition.

We are faced with the reality that codependency is basically anything an author, a recovery expert or a mental health professional wants it to be.  Here are some sample descriptive passages taken from mental health blogs:

  • Codependents are in denial, they don’t face their issues.
  • Codependents are enablers.
  • Codependents are control freaks.
  • Codependents don’t have boundaries.
  • Codependents can’t be intimate.

When we meditate on this wideness of definition is it any wonder that people don’t understand what codependency is, because the professionals don’t either.  Is it any wonder that some people resist the label of being a codependent, because to be one means they are in denial about everything, they are controlling and enabling, and they can’t have decent relationships?  Is it also any wonder that others like to be called codependent, because it is a seemingly simple word that says it all and yet says nothing; it is a great label to hide behind.

Perhaps the time has come for us in recovery to say “stop” to the epidemic of overuse of the word codependent.  Maybe we ought to resist using the word in our everyday recovery language, and maybe we ought to retire the whole idea.


https://applyingmybeliefs.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/evidence-of-recovery/

by applyingmybeliefs

How do I know that he/she is getting better?  This, or something like it, is the question that mentors, sponsors and counselors get from those that are partnered with highly compulsive people such as addicts.  These partners are most often spouses, but could be a parent or a business person.

Most of those who are in recovery will admit that it was their actions that got them there.  There are some in recovery from losses where they were on the wrong end of someone else’s actions.  Either way, what we are about to look at is true.  God says this:

Gal 5:19-21(a) – Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.

Those of us who have stepped out of denial will admit that some of these words in the scripture above described our behaviors, or the actions of those who have hurt us.  For those still in denial, look at the last phrase of this piece of God’s word.

Having established that all of us in recovery are affected by a past that included many of these deeds of darkness, we can now address the original question.  In the same general passage of scripture (Gal 5:16-26) we see God’s answer and we see how this answer can be true.  The answer to “How can I know he/she is getting better?” is this:

  • The fruit of the Spirit will be evident and growing in abundance.

What is the fruit?

Gal 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

What we see in a person is that the nine pieces of fruit are becoming more evident in a recovering person’s life.  For example, a person will be becoming more patient or more loving with those around them.  Not drinking or not looking at pornography or not flying into rages does not provide evidence of recovery; they are all good things that can be managed, but they don’t signal real change.  The fruit of the Spirit cannot be managed as it can only become evident when a person is allowing themselves to walk by the Spirit.

Walking by the Spirit (from Gal 5:25) is what the scriptures encourage us to do if we truly desire to overcome the sources of the deeds of the flesh listed above.  All walking by the Spirit, also called living by the Spirit, means is to do life God’s way.

It sounds simple doesn’t it?  Well it is!  All of us in recovery, from rookies to veterans, ought to remember this daily.  We also ought to tell others who are struggling with things that there are answers in God’s word, and the key is to walk with the Spirit.  The fruit of the Spirit in us will be the evidence of our own recovery to them.


http://dalepartridge.com/5-things-ill-teach-my-boys-about-pornography/

 By Dale Partridge On 11/30/2014

No healthy person wants to think of a child watching pornography.

Sadly, pornographic nudity is almost impossible to escape these days. TV shows and movies that once were wholesome and respectable are now leveraging attention by adding borderline soft-core sex scenes, lustful interactions, and revealing clothing.

Or last week, which was the release of Kim Kardashian’s nude photos. I scrolled through Facebook as I watched various links with clever titles beg me to click for a glimpse. I didn’t. At the core, I knew all it was really asking for is me to compare her body with my wife’s. A twisted desire that would only hurt my marriage.

But as we know, men continue to define women as objects. We see it in a musician’s lyrics or in a magazine editor’s content. All while we wonder why the sex trafficking and prostitution industries continue to thrive.

We watch as our little girls begin interpreting their value in the size of their breasts and the way their butt looks in their jeans. They flaunt themselves in figure framing yoga pants and short skirts hoping men might see their worth through its fabric. And yet, we still wonder why eating disorders continue to skyrocket.

Men are stuck struggling with sexual contentment. Women can never be pretty enough. And cosmetic surgery for implants of the breasts, butt, and even calves also continue to increase.

But let’s get real everyone.

There is a consequence to sexual brokenness. Divorce rates, adultery, and broken homes are all around us. Lustful thoughts and distorted views of sexuality are not only destroying our state of relationships, but it’s revoking the purity of our minds.

And my story… was anything but pure. My early definition of sexuality caused both pain in my marriage and shame in my emotions. It fractured the intimacy with my wife and has taken years of counseling to repair.

But where does it begin? How does it start? How can we prevent it?

Science tells us children define gender roles and sexual value patterns between age 2-5 and form more advanced views by age 10. As parents and leaders, we must recognize a warped definition of sexuality at age 9 will likely produce significant damage in a child’s ability to form healthy relationships as an adult.

So, how can we protect our boys and set them up for a successful and healthy sex life with their spouse? How can we help these little gentlemen protect and respect women for more than their bodies?

Here Are 5 Things I’ll Teach My Boys About Pornography:

1. She’s someone’s daughter, sister, and friend.
No father hopes his daughter will be the next star in a hardcore porno. No. He hoped she would be a marketing manager or a chef or a loving mother. The real question you must ask is this: Would you want someone watching your daughter or sister or mother have sex? Remember, finding pleasure in anything that causes pain for another, is always wrong.

2. You can’t always control what you see, but you can control the second look.
Your eyes are the gateway to your soul. Protect them at all costs. You will be unable to escape all the images but you can control your stare. You can choose to look away or even remove yourself. This act of self control is what truly makes a good man.

3. Don’t confuse beauty with pornography.
Pornography is stealing intimacy that never belonged to you. It cheapens the value of the real thing and distorts your definition of beauty. What truly makes a woman beautiful is her character. The way she loves, her compassion and creativity, her dreams and desires, her reactions to moments of importance, and the purity of her emotions. Her body is a gift to her future husband and it is to be appreciated within a marriage, not objectified on a screen.

4. Your sexuality is connected to your spirituality.
Sex was created by God for a man and woman to experience pleasure and procreation within a marriage. Outside of its purpose, it’s often the culprit of shame, guilt, and trauma. And while sex is the joining of two people, it’s also the connection of two souls. If practiced incorrectly outside of marriage or through internet masturbation, you will experience unnecessary spiritual brokenness that will require deep healing in your future.

5. Your willingness to watch, fuels someone else’s brokenness.
As consumers, we vote with our attention and our dollars. Like the quote says, “What gets rewarded, gets repeated.” Every moment you affirm a woman’s revealing clothing with your stare, you affirm her value is in her body. Every time you buy a sexually dominant magazine (Cosmopolitan, Maxim, etc), you encourage the creators of it to continue to objectify women. But when you stand for a woman’s worth and even help redefine it, you become a part in the greater story. A story of healing.

What would you tell your boys about pornography? Has pornography hurt anyone around you? Let me know in the comments below.

 


https://www.createspace.com/5554305

I am humbled to announce the publishing of our ministry’s resource book:

CASTIMONIA

THUMBNAIL_IMAGE

Authored by Servants of Christ
Edition: First Edition

Castimonia is Latin for “moral purity” something every man should strive for.

Castimonia is a Christ-centered 12-Step Support and Recovery program for sexual impurity or sexual addiction with the goal to achieve a Biblically-based sexual purity. We share our experience, strength, and hope with each other so that we may achieve sexual purity and help others overcome sexual impurity or compulsive sexual behaviors.

This book is used for working the 12-step Castimonia program and should be used with the guidance of a Sponsor only.  The first edition includes text on the 12 Steps as well, stories from men in the group, and a work book for working the 12-Steps.

Many thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous for paving the way in the 12-Step world as well as the countless men in recovery and the therapists that have helped facilitate God’s healing of their wounds.  Most importantly, thank you to the patient spouses who have put up with our issues long enough to make this ministry and book possible.

Publication Date: Aug 22 2015

ISBN/EAN13: 1515310235 / 9781515310235
Page Count: 448
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Self-Help / Twelve-Step Programs

 

The book can be purchased at any Castimonia meeting beginning next week (or as soon as books arrive from the publisher) or via the Create Space store:

https://www.createspace.com/5554305