This week as I was preparing to speak at Peace Church in Durham tomorrow October 15th, (which also happens to be my 29th Wedding Anniversary to Tammy YAY!). I found my self immersed in the story of the prodigal son from Luke 15. Just camping there marinating on it I discovered something amazing; there is more than just hunger involved in the prodigal’s repentance there is much to do with purpose and calling, but my most favorite part of the story is the joy of repentance.
Yes, the JOY of repentance. Satan has stolen the joy from the word repentance, I think many folks look at repentance as something on par with having to get a spanking or getting a beat down. When this boy was on the road for home there was joy in his heart, like Dorothy he had discovered there’s no place like home and let’s face it he was headed to a giant steak dinner with all his family and friends. I’m pretty sure the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion were there as well. “In His presence is fullness of JOY!!” Psalms 16:11
Getting back to the feeding the pigs, can you imagine this Jewish boy’s disgust at fattening these swine for the slaughter, yes he was starving, but as I studied this passage I discovered the word translated “pods” or “husks” in Luke 15:16 as what was being fed to the pigs in the Greek is actually very descriptive of what was being fed to these swine, “keration” in English “Carob Pods”. I searched for a picture of pigs eating these and found none so I photo chopped these carob pods into the picture above. Carob pods are sweet and fattening in fact many use them as cocoa substitute. Interesting trivia the seeds inside are so uniform in weight that they were used to weigh stones hence the word ‘carat’.
Now our prodigal was working for Boss Hog, starving to death while fattening the swine for slaughter. This reminds me all too much of my job for years in the car business. Feeding those at Pleasure Island all the sweetness and luster of fabulous paint and style and upward mobility, high tech accessories, comfort and leather at prices that left them in bondage of high debt, sometimes growing donkey tails and ears within a month or two of trying to make those payments.
Check out what our prodigal said in that light in Luke 15:
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
Note: he’s not just going home he wants to serve, “Make me like one of your hired servants”. Knowing that his father’s servants are serving the kingdom not fattening the swine for slaughter.
I am not saying that car sales is fattening swine for the slaughter, I am saying that my intent changes when I understand I don’t work for Boss Hog, I work for the Father and I can serve where ever I am to love and build the kingdom. I can help folks see what’s good for their family and what may put them in bondage.
Repentance is changing from worldly grief to God grief. Or as Charley Brown would put it “Good Grief”, it was Charley Browns beatitude… As 2 Corinthians 7:10 says 10 For the grief that God wills brings a repentance that leads to salvation, leaving no regret. But the world’s grief brings death.
Clearly our prodigal had Godly grief that brought repentance that lead to salvation, and I’m guessing he had no regrets…
In your Job how does that apply, how did you go from working for Boss Hog to The Father?… Call us today 866-348-7884 10am ET