The Repentant Sinner - Vv. 17-19
What does, “When he came to his senses” mean? When a person is utterly bankrupt because of sin, there is an opportunity for the Spirit of God to get their attention. Often it takes people to hit the very bottom of life or experience great sorrow before they look up to the only One who can help them. It took that condition of hunger and poverty to get this young man’s attention to be turned from the “far country” as one version interprets it, to the home from where he had experienced love and plenty all of his life.
"Repentance means we love our Savior more than we love our sin." --Kent Crockett www.kentcrockett.com
He looks back to see that man, his father, who loved him and gave him the freedom to make his own decisions and now he wants to go home. He recalls all that his father has and even how the servants are treated so well and are not hungry that he repentantly says that he will go back and admit his wrong to his father and to Jehovah God as well. He declares that he is not good enough to be his son but will ask if his father will take him back as a servant. With that repentant heart, he leaves the far away country to travel back to his father’s house seeking to become a hired servant.
The man huddled on the cabin floor was slowly freezing to death. It was high in the Rockies in southwestern Alberta, and outside a blizzard raged. John Elliott had logged miles that day through the deep snows of the mountain passes. As he checked for avalanches and as dusk and exhaustion overcame him he had decided to "hole-up." He made it wearily to his cabin but somewhat dazed with fatigue, he did not light a fire or remove his wet clothing. As the blizzard blasted through the cracks in the old cabin walls, the sleeping forest ranger sank into oblivion, paralyzed by the pleasure of the storm's icy caress. Suddenly, however, his dog sprang into action, and with unrelenting whines, finally managed to rouse his near-comatose friend. The dog was John's constant companion, a St. Bernard, one of a long line of dogs famous for their heroics in times of crisis. "If that dog hadn't been with me, I'd be dead today," John Elliott says. "When you're freezing to death you actually feel warm all over, and don't wake up because it feels too good." This moving story illustrates the spiritual condition of many people today. They are cold spiritually, and sadly are oblivious of their true condition. Thank God for all the ways in which He arouses such sleepers. He sends His messengers to nudge them awake. Sometimes the methods used to awaken them are drastic, but always for their good. Let us not imagine that because He shakes us, He therefore hates us. He awakens us from lethargy because He loves us, and wants to save us from an eternal death. When we were "ready to perish" (Isaiah 27:13), He was "ready to save" (Isaiah 38:20). Trust your life in His hand. The Prairie Overcomer.
Each of us needs to “come to our senses” and repent of our sin against the Father. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, we all need to repent. All need to come to God and ask to become his child. You see God has been drawing us to Himself and all that we feel inside is the power of the Holy Spirit wooing us to God Almighty, where we can find love, peace, joy and forgiveness.
This is a good place to also mention here that some of us are really “Prodigal” Sons and Daughters even though we are saved and have been redeemed from our sins. Even children of God wish to be free from their heavenly Father at some point. God allows us to choose and leave but there are great consequences because of that rebellion. God chastises His children. Christians will too find themselves in sin at the bottom of the barrel needing to look up and call on their Father to rescue them and to restore them. Maybe that describes you today? Do what the “lost son” did, recognize your sin by confession and then come home, our Father will forgive and receive you as His child, for that is what we are and can never stop being no matter what you do. (I don’t have time to talk of this “Doctrine of Eternal Security” but once God has you, you are His.)