This is one of the lessons that I had a chance to teach the youth at church. I hope you like it! I tried to put whatever commentary that I had in a different color but it didn't work on me but I still hope you enjoy it.
Title: A CHANGE IN ATTITUDE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
Verse to Memorize: "Father I have sinned against heaven and in your sight"
Biblical Lecture: Luke 15:20-32
Main Idea: The attitudes and actions you display in secret reflect who you really are.
Development of the Lesson
1.Hunger turned to Blessing
Sometimes we have to go through certain circumstances so we can reflect and realize that we have done wrong. The younger son called the "prodigal son" in this story, found himself in a desperate situation. This young man's ignorance blinded him from understanding that in order to have a prosperous life like his father he had to save what had been given to him and inverst it in something practical. Together with his friends he spent all that his father gave him on earthly pleasures. Unfortunately for this young man, during a moment of crisis not only was he left without friends but also he didn't even have money to buy a glass of water. Hunger turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It made him reflect He remembered that the laborers at his father's house were living better than he was. Because of this thought he decided to take action. He decided to go back to his father in repentance acknowledging his sin and seeking his forgiveness. Now I want you to think about this for a moment. Have you ever been in the situation that the prodigal had encountered? You're in trouble but those "friends" you said who had never showed up. How would feel about that ordeal? You would be hurt right?? I know I sure would. But I want you to know this. Our friends here on earth can and will let us down but God is our best friend and wil never let us down. Not everybody has that privelege or security of saying those words like us as Christians. So with that being said, WE AS CHRISTIANS HAVE THAT ADDED SECURITY THAT GOD IS HERE FOR US WHEN WE NEED HIM MOST. MAN WILL ALWAYS FAIL US BUT GOD WILL NEVER FAIL!! Now look at the next part of the story. The prodigal son realized that he did wrong by leaving home and spending his money on the wrong things that he went back home to be with his father. His father could be mean and not take him back in but HE WAS MERCIFUL AND WELCOMING HIM WITH OPEN ARMS!!! HE EVEN THREW A BIG WELCOME PARTY!!! When someone comes to Christ's feet there is a BIG feast and celebration in Heaven!!! Everyone is excited. I want you to remember that God is here with open arms ready to welcome you into the family. The Bible even says that He doesn't reject anybody no mater who they are how much they've sinned. That just goes to show that He's a loving God and will never turn His back on you. And this is well illustrated in this father of the prodigal son.
2. A Father's compassionate heart
In this story the father of the prodigal son represents our heavenly father who always has His arms wide open to receive us when we come to Him in repentance. According to the Biblical story, the father longed for his son's return every day. Long before the prodigal son arrived to his house, his father saw him from far away and was moved with compassion. He ran to greet his son, fell on his neck and kissed him with joy. The prodigal son was desperate and ashamed to the point of asking his father for a job. At this request his father interrupted him and commanded his servants to put the best robe on him along with a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Furthermore he ordered a great banquet to be prepared to celebrate his son's return. See what I mean??? You see how much mercy the prodigal son's father had for his son??? He could've easily rejected his son but he didn't. Instead he had a grand feast!! You know and I know that the prodigal son wasn't expecting this but his father was so overjoyed that his son came back. We see that in this story the father represents our heavenly father. So what does that mean to us?? When we recognize that we have sinned and go to God in repentance we will know that He is rich in mercy and forgiveness and we know that He will not reject us. Now I ask you this.. what would you do if you were in this situation?? If you were in the situation that the prodigal son was. You were so ashamed of what you had done but yet your father still forgave you and accepted you back home? He told you that he stilled loved you. What would you do? Or how would you react in that circumstance??? It's something that you don't always expect to encounter in your lifetime but it's part of life. We all make mistakes and we all need to realize that we have done wrong once or so many times in our life BUT we have to remember that God doesn't hate us if we do wrong. HE'S HERE TO REMIND US THAT HE IS READY TO HELP US. NO MATTER HOW FAR AWAY WE TRY AND RUN FROM HIM HE IS STILL HERE. AND THAT WON'T CHANGE. GOD IS A GOD OF PROMISES. REMEMBER THAT!!!!!
3. The noble son wasn't as noble as he seemed
When the older son came back from the field and heard all the noise from the festivity, he asked one of his father's laborers what aws going on. The laborer told him that his younger brotther had returned home and that his father was overwhelmed with joy. This was not great news for the older son, because he was filled with jealousy and rage. He refused to participate in the joy of his father. He started to complain not acknowledging that he too had also received his part. His father's response reflects that there is joy in the restoration of one that was lost, whereas an obstinate ungrateful and son that is not reconciled is no reason to celebrate. God will never dispise a humble and contrite heart. What do we learn from this part?? We see that the older son got jealous immediately as he received the news of what was going on. Now I want you to realize that he never left from his father. Buit you notice that he failed to realize that reality that was hidden under all that hate and rage. Have you ever felt like your parents pay more attention to your siblings than they do you?? Well every sibling feels that way I know my brothers sure did with me. They always thought that my parents treated me so much better because I was the only girl so they felt intimidated and let me tell you. When I was baptized of course there was a lot to celebrate and well my brothers as not being Christians they didn't understand why we were making a big deal about it. So in other words I was the prodigal son and my brothers were the older brother in the story. But you notice that when someone is not reconciled with God they don't have that same enthusiasm as others. They don't have that same spirit. I'm not saying to judge them no. But be praying for them so they can be reconciled with God and be part of the Holy family Now realieze how happy the father in this story became because of his son's return. Imagine how much joy that it brings to our Heavenly Father when someone comes into the family. Take that as some inspiration for you. Renenber that every soul you win into the Kingdom of Heaven, THERE'S A BIG FEAST IN HEAVEN!! God is ready to help you. If you haven't accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour I want you to remember this: God is here to help you in what you need. Don't be afraid. Let him show you what He's made of. Let Him help you because you can't do it by yourself. He loves you and so do I!! :) Conclusion
The older son is an eloquent image of the scribes and Pharisees. They resented that God would show mercy to scandalous sinners.Their arrogance blinded them and they could not see how far apart they were from God and how much He had blessed them If only they had been willing to repent and acknowledge their sins then they would have gladdened the Father's heart giving reason for a great celebration. Young adult, when you fail God and return to Him repentant, there is a reason for a great celebration.(Luke 15:7,10)
There's really nothing else that I can really say. I hope you enjoyed this lesson as much as I have