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When a Man Comes to Himself

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When a Man Comes to Himself

Luke 15:11-24 (NKJV)

11 Then He said: "A certain man had two sons.
12 And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood.
13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.
14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.
15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
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." '
20 And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
21 And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;
24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry.


IN the fifteenth chapter of Luke, our Lord gives the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. It has been pointed out that the coin was lost and did not know it was lost; the sheep was lost, knew it was lost, but did not know the way home; while the prodigal was lost, knew he was lost, and knew the way home.

The lost sheep illustrates our Lord's concern for the straying soul. The lost coin illustrates the joy "in the presence of the angels" among the redeemed over one sinner recovered.

Have you noticed how many things the prodigal "came to" before he came to himself? He came to his father, to the far country, to riotous living, to want, to degradation—all before he came to himself. Sin is a state of departure from God, a spending state, a wanting state. The famine always follows the far country.

This youngster didn't know when he left home that he was headed for a hogpen. He started for pleasure and ended in the pigsty! And what degradation it was for a Jew to be forced to feed hogs!

But he came to himself. The longest road in life is usually the road to one's own self. We come to everything else first. We do everything possible to avoid meeting "old number 1." The jails, asylums, hospitals are filled with people trying to get away from themselves. But around some corner we must run into ourselves.

The prodigal came first to consideration: "How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!"
He realized that he was in a dissatisfied state: "He would fain have filled himself."
He was in a disappointed state: "No man gave unto him."
He was in a dead state: "This my son was dead."
He was in a demented state—for if he "came" to himself he must have been "beside" himself.

He came to conviction: "I have sinned." Others in the Bible have said that, but only David and the prodigal really repented.
He came to a decision: "I will arise and go to my father."
He did something about it.
He could have sat among the hogs the rest of his life feeling sorry, but he decided and then acted upon it: he arose and came home.
He made confession in all humility and was willing to be made a hired servant. "A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou will not despise."

So he came home, and "when he was yet a great way off his father saw him." The prodigal did not even finish the speech he had prepared. He was restored and reinstated.

The robe speaks of the garments of Christ's righteousness,
the ring of our adoption,
the shoes of sonship (for slaves went barefoot),
the fatted calf of the rich satisfactions of the gospel.

"They began to be merry." We do not read that it stopped.
There is joy over the sinner come home, and it goes on through all eternity!

Take care that you are not a sour, Pharisaic older brother who grows bitter over the joyous delights of others when sinners come home to God.

Reflections on the Gospels.

We all have a choice in life, sin, the world and the devil OR God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit

There are many doors on the wide road, why is it most of us have to learn the hard way, we try nearly every door in worldly life, before we come to Jesus having eventually heard His knocking from within us. It is 'When man comes to himself' we find Jesus was there all the time.

From: Reflections on the Gospels: Devotional Thoughts from the Pen of Vance Havner
By Vance Havner
 
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