"He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything."When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!" Luke 15:16-17
We have taken a look at some reasons why certain people were not able to receive the love of God that was available to them. The Pharisees and religious leaders couldn't receive God's love because of their pride. The younger son was unable to receive love because he was on a power trip, looking to use his father's fortune to take control of his life. Finally, there was the older son who was unable to receive his father's love because he was caught in the performance track. He thought he could earn love based on what he did.
Do you recognize any of these attitudes creeping into your spiritual life? They seem to be ingrained in our human nature and if we are not constantly watchful, they can become barriers to receiving the extravagant love of the father.
So, with that in mind, how do we make sure that we receive the love we need and the love that the father desires to lavish on us? Let's study that. To do that we must study the only one who was able to know the love of the father.
The first thing I notice is that he received the father's love when he was hungry enough to seek the father.
It wasn't until he was so destitute that he was forced to fight the hogs for food that he thought to do something different. It occurred to him that if he had to fight with pigs for food, he would go back home and fight with his father's pigs. So, he got up and began the long trip home. He was heading home hungry hoping for some scraps from the father's table. The days of feeding on the things of this world were over, his appetite had changed.
Jesus once said, "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled." The lost son was about to discover that truth.
When you get your fill of power, pleasure, and playing at life, you may be ready to head home to the father. And when you head home with a spiritual appetite, you are a candidate for receiving his love.
He did. And he did!