July 31, 2023

Rhonda Patterson
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of man, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world."
1 John 2:15-16

Sunday, Shawn taught us from the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. I’ve always loved that parable as it is rich with nuggets that pertain to each character in the story. The younger son, the prodigal, was what some would call “sowing his wild oats.” Upon asking and receiving his inheritance from his father, verse 13 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.” We know what was on his mind when he asked his father for his inheritance, but we also know from our own battles with temptation that there was an ample amount of time the temptation was dancing around in his mind before the soles of his feet chose to leave the comforts of home.

When I think back on moments in my life where I made the poorest of choices, I can recall the wrestling that took place before it. Sadly, I would choose to ignore the sweet counsel of the Holy Spirit and go my own way. Sometimes the consequences were greater than others, but I can look back and see God’s abundant grace was always reaching out to me. I’m learning to lean into scriptures such as the one above to safeguard me from these pitfalls. As I choose to align myself with the things God loves and cast off my own worldly desires, I am shielded from a multitude of regrets. 2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace…”

Father, Your word tells us that we reap what we sow. Help us to sow righteousness…to cast off the temptations of the world and to set our hearts and minds on heavenly things – faith, love, and peace.