Don’t Choke On The Blessing, Part 3of4, Pastor Phil Sessa

Luke 15:11-12, “Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Lk 15:13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.”

In this series, “Don’t choke on the blessing,” we have looked at how Abram didn’t choke on the blessing, but how the children of Israel did. Now let’s take a look at perhaps the most famous parable ever, the prodigal son. In this parable (which is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning) two sons are both awaiting the inheritance that would one day be given to them. The prodigal son choked on his blessing for many reasons.

1. Immediate self gratification “give me my share of the estate”: The prodigal son was going to receive his inheritance, but it was not initially intended to be given at the time of his asking. He would have been given one-third of his father’s estate at his father’s death, but he had to have it now! Isn’t that just like many of us, we want what we want now? We want certain things before the time in which God gives it to us. How many have premarital sex prior to God giving one their spouse to walk down the aisle together in God’s sight. When we want it now, chances are our motive are selfish in nature and the first cough or gag is beginning to manifest. In what ways do you seek immediate self gratification?

2. Desiring riches over relationship “the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country:” The younger son also, desired his riches now over his relationship with his father. Again, traditionally he would receive his inheritance after his father’s death. When the father gave him his inheritance early, the younger son left his father, almost treating his father as if he were now dead. Wasn’t his relationship with his father valuable? He displayed a disregard for his father’s authority in his life. Sometimes we are so busy chasing after other things that we “forget” to chase after God. In what ways do we sometimes show disregard for God’s authority, like the younger son in the story? God created us to live in relationship, not as islands unto ourselves.

3. The freedom factor “and there [he] squandered his wealth in wild living:” The younger son was now free of his father’s authority. He had freedom to do what he wanted, when he wanted. He would go where he wanted, be with whom he wanted, say what he wanted, etc… What happens when God gives people freedom to make their own choices? The prodigal son used the freedom he had to get himself into a jam. Many feel that if they had more money, they would be better off. However it wasn’t until the son lost it all that he humbled himself, and ran home, back to the father. He said to himself, “I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: 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 men.” Why do hard times often bring people to repentance? The famous story is told about the little train that wanted freedom from the tracts he was confined to. Therefore he jumped off the tracts to his freedom, and was no longer “limited” on the confining tracks. However he could no longer travel anywhere because his designer built him to have mobility only on the tracks. Did he really get the freedom he was after? The younger son too, ended up not in freedom, but in bondage, until he came to a place of repentance.

Let’s not choke on our blessing because of our desire of immediate self gratification, desiring riches over relationship, the greatly misunderstood freedom factor. Thank God for your blessings but don’t rush things, appreciate your relationships, and don’t buy into the false freedom Satan offers.

Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil <><

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