WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 16, 2022
TOPIC: AVOID PRODIGAL LIVING
BY T. O. BANSO
“And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living” (Luke 15:13 New King James Version).
There is a difference between enjoying your material possessions and engaging in prodigal living. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. However, the word “prodigal”, according to a dictionary is “too willing to spend money or waste time, energy or materials.” According to another dictionary, it is being “spendthrift or extravagant to a degree bordering on recklessness.” The word “prodigal” is from the Latin word “prodigus”, which means wasteful.
In Luke 15, Jesus spoke about someone who engaged in prodigal living, He is popularly referred to as the prodigal son! Although Jesus told the story of this lost son to illustrate that there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents, we can also learn from it the effect of prodigal living.
In the story, the younger son demanded and collected his portion of his father’s property. This may be considered strange as the father was still alive, but some Bible scholars have said that the custom in the east allowed sons to demand and receive their portion of the inheritance while their father was still alive. Therefore, the father granted the request of his younger son.
After that, he travelled to a far country where he squandered it with prodigal living. Luke 15:13 says, “And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living” (Luke 15:13 New King James Version). Take note of the phrase “wasted his possessions with prodigal living.” The New International Version renders it as “squandered his wealth in wild living.” Similarly, the New Living Translation says he “wasted all his money in wild living.” Also, GOD’S WORD Translation says he “wasted everything he had on a wild lifestyle.” The Good News Translation says he “wasted his money in reckless living.”
In other words, prodigal living is wild living, wild lifestyle, or reckless living. A prodigal is someone who wastes his/her money or possessions. Such a person spends or squanders his/her money without thinking of what would happen thereafter. The Living Bible says this prodigal son “wasted all his money on parties and prostitutes.” The Bible says one of the wrong things the sinful self does is “having wild and wasteful parties” (Galatians 5:21 New Century Version). A child of God is not permitted to engage in such; they are part of their old life.
1 Peter 4:3-5 says, “In the past you wasted too much time doing what nonbelievers enjoy. You were guilty of sexual sins, evil desires, drunkenness, wild and drunken parties, and hateful idol worship. Nonbelievers think it is strange that you do not do the many wild and wasteful things they do, so they insult you. But they will have to explain this to God, who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (New Century Version).
The prodigal son wasted his money on a wild lifestyle. He never thought about what would happen when the money was exhausted. It is the money that is saved or invested that will increase, not the money that is not only spent but squandered. Proverbs 29:3 says, “He who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth” (English Standard Version).
After the prodigal son had exhausted all his money, there was a great famine, and he began to lack. Poverty became his guest and hunger became his teacher! In frustration, he joined himself to a citizen of that country who sent him into his fields to feed swine, and, his hope of eating from the husks, meant for the swine, was dashed. He wasn’t allowed to eat from the husks. After hunger had taught him a lesson and his condition continued to degenerate, he decided to return to his father. He came back home.
He was fortunate that his father was still alive to receive him and welcomed him back. If his father had died while he was away, his elder brother, considering his anger when he heard of the welcome party for his brother, might not have allowed him in. He might have allowed him to suffer for his foolish action particularly because he seemed to be aware of his escapade. He didn’t see any reason why his father should celebrate and kill the fattened calf for a son who had squandered his property with prostitutes while he had never given him even a young goat to celebrate with his friends (Luke 15:29-30).
If the younger son had stayed back at home after his father had given him his share of his property, his father would have been able to caution him not to squander his resources. He would have advised him properly on how to invest it. Proverbs 10:16 says, “The good man’s earnings advance the cause of righteousness. The evil man squanders his on sin” (The Living Bible).
There is nothing you have now that won’t finish if you engage in prodigal living. It will only endure if you manage it wisely. You must enjoy what you have and manage your resources judiciously. After Jesus had performed the miracle of feeding 5,000 men, besides women and children, with five barley loaves and two small fish, and the people were satisfied, Jesus told His disciples to gather the pieces that were left over so that nothing would be wasted. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers (John 6:12-13; Matthew 14:20; Mark 6:43; Luke 9:17). When He fed 4,000 men, besides women and children, with seven loaves of bread and a few little fish, the disciples gathered seven baskets of leftovers (Matthew 15:37; Mark 8:20).
Don’t be like some religious folks who foolishly waste their resources and believe that they can always pray and fast to God for a miracle of divine supply. The prodigal son ended up in poverty because of his wasteful lifestyle. Don’t be wasteful like the steward/manager in Luke 16. His boss wanted to sack him because he received a report that he was wasting his goods/money (verse 1).
Proverbs 21:20 says, “There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it” (New King James Version). The prodigal son “wasted his money living like a fool” (Luke 15:13 Easy-to-Read version). Don’t waste your money living like a fool. Don’t waste your money in prodigal living. Enjoy what you have but don’t be wasteful. Be prudent in using the resources God has given you. Avoid prodigal living.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of how I have not judiciously used what you blessed me with in the past. I receive the wisdom to be disciplined and use my resources wisely. I will not waste my money in wild living. I pray that sinners who squander their money having wild and wasteful parties will give their lives to Jesus and stop prodigal living.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947