We entered a new era when our daughter entered college, and we discovered there was one word sweeter than any other to a student away at college – not money, no, no – home. Now, there’s a lot of jokes about kids getting in contact with home from college. You know the one about the young woman who wrote to her parents and said, “I haven’t heard from you for a while. Please send money so I’ll know you’re okay.” Yeah, right.
There are jokes about it, but actually our daughter loved to call home when she was there and no money was involved. There was one number she knew that she could call no matter how she was feeling. And she loved even more to come home. There was one time when she was flying back to school; she waited a half day allowing herself to get bumped from a flight so she could get a free ticket. She said, “Man, I’ll wait all day if I have to, to get a free ticket to get back home. You know, when you get away, home really looks good.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “When the Party Turns to Pig Slop.”
Our word for today from the Word of God (you probably know) comes from Luke 15, and I’m going to begin reading at verse 13. You know about the son who went to his father and asked for his inheritance, and then the Bible says, “…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. After he’d spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.”
Now, that story might be more than a story for you. Maybe there’s a modern prodigal somewhere in your life; a friend, a family member who in some way is wandering from the Lord … or maybe it’s you. Listen to the homecoming. In verse 18 the prodigal says, “I will set out and go back to my father.” See, he knows where home is. And in verse 20 it says, “While he was still a long way off, his father saw him, was filled with compassion for him, ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” What a tremendous ending to this story!
You notice his Dad did not chase him in his rebellion, but he did continue loving him. Well, there’s a life principle here that maybe you might need to be reminded of today. It’s something you need to remember as someone you love is drifting. When the party turns to pig slop, you look for the person who never stopped loving you.
Some people have to drive to the end of their dead-end street – all the way to the end – before they start to turn around. The question is, “Can you love them while they’re driving down that dead-end street?” Unconditional love usually wins in the end. In the meantime, that loved one may test your love to the limit. In fact, they may drive you to Jesus for the love you don’t even have any more. But no matter how far they get, keep loving them. In fact, when a person is the least lovable, that’s when they need your love the most.
Now, you don’t approve of the sin. In fact, you can gently express how it’s hurting you, and them, and God. But then keep your arms open. You tell that person, more than ever, “I love you.” Touch him, write to him, remember their special days, find ways to help them. This street they’re on? It will come to an end, maybe with a crash. But crawling out of the wreckage many wanderers have said, “Who is there that never stopped loving me?” And they run to that person.
Maybe today you know there’s a great distance between you and the Heavenly Father, and He stands ready to meet you and greet you and welcome you home to the relationship you were made for with Him. It took Jesus’ death on the cross to make that possible. But if you grab Jesus as your hope of getting to God and getting to heaven, you could come home today to that relationship. Our whole website’s there to help you do that. Check it out – ANewStory.com.
That homing instinct in the human heart knows where to go when everything else has failed. You go to the person who’s never stopped loving you. His name is Jesus.