1 Corinthians 15:33-34
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character”. Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
In these verses, Paul is challenging the Corinthian Christians to stop letting non-believers cause them to question their beliefs about the resurrection. These folks were ignorant of what they spoke. In a nutshell he was saying, “shame on you, wake up, you know better”.
Our prodigals have been sucked into worldly thinking and probably question their beliefs. Those who cause them to question God are people who will “corrupt good character,” if the prodigal’s not careful. I am praying that as the prodigal defends his own beliefs he is strengthened and not left questioning. May they also be strong enough to walk away from unnecessary conversations.
1 Corinthians 15:33-34
Do not be misled ________: “Bad company corrupts good character”. Come back to your senses ________, as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
Psalm 73: 2, 22-24 (NLT)
But as for me, I came so close to the edge of the cliff! My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone….. I was so foolish and ignorant; I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand. You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
At times, your mind can probably envision your prodigal slipping and coming close to going off a cliff. Yet, picture the Father grasping their hand, preventing them from slipping over the edge. He takes delight in rescuing the prodigal; be encouraged!
One day, may our prodigals look back at their “senseless”, self-destructive actions and realize it was God who rescued and guided them to their glorious destiny.
Psalms 73: 2, 22-24 (NLT)
But as for ________, he/she came so close to the edge of the cliff! ________’s feet were slipping, and he/she was almost gone….. _________ was so foolish and ignorant; he/she must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet _______ still belongs to you; you are holding his/her right hand. You will keep on guiding _______ with your counsel, leading him/her to a glorious destiny.
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I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him
We serve a God who heals and restores. He has been actively doing so since the beginning of time so we can trust our prodigal into His very capable hands.
I pray the prodigal will find healing and guidance from the Father this day. Praying also that they sense a true restoration happening in their life.
I have seen ________’s ways, but I will heal him/her; I will guide ________ and restore comfort to him/her.
Malachi 3:3 NLT
He will sit and judge like a refiner of silver, watching closely as the dross is burned away. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold or silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.
Because of the blood of Christ, the sacrifice for sin has been made once and for all. That doesn’t mean we don’t need some burning away of dross in our lives though.
I love the picture in this passage of God “watching closely” as the refining process is taking place. As He is purifying our hearts, He keeps close watch to make sure the process plays out perfectly. Our loving heavenly Father monitors all the circumstances of our life and knows how they will work for His good as well as our good.
I pray for the prodigal to have their feet “put to the fire” but all the more thank God for His merciful way of watching them closely as they go through this necessary process.
Malachi 3:3 NLT
He will sit and judge like a refiner of silver, watching closely as the dross is burned away. He will purify ________, refining him/her like gold or silver, so that he/she may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.
James 4:7-8, 10 NLT
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world… Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.
Divided loyalties are always tricky; you can never please both and end up short-changed in the end.
I envision the prodigal washing their hands of the world and humbling themselves before God. The visual of God lifting the prodigal up in honor is one we should keep before us. May they be quick to resist the one who would love to see their downfall.
James 4:7-8, 10 NLT
So humble yourself, _______, before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, ________; purify your heart, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world… Humble yourself, ________ , before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.
Proverbs 3:3-4 (NLT)
Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people and you will earn a good reputation.
What great advice to all of us… let your life reflect loyalty and kindness; they go a long way, not only for our reputation but the reputation of God.
My desire is that the prodigal will always exhibit love and kindness toward people. I pray they will find favor with God (and man) because of their loyalty to Him and kindness shown to others.
Proverbs 3:3-4 (NLT)
Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you, ________! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people and you will earn a good reputation.
Psalm 66:17-20 NLT
For I cried out to Him for help, praising Him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw His unfailing love from me.
The enemy will try and convince the prodigal that God isn’t listening, doesn’t care for them and won’t forgive their sin.
But, aren’t we thankful for a God who will not ignore the prayers of one who is contrite? He won’t ignore the prodigal in their most desperate time of need or withdraw His love from them. I’m praying for the day a cry mingled with praise comes from the prodigal’s lips to heavens door!
Psalm 66:17-20 NLT
For _______ cried out to Him for help, praising Him as he/she spoke. If _______ had not confessed the sin in his/her heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to _______’s prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore _______’s prayer or withdraw His unfailing love from him/her.
“Everything is possible for him who believes.”
This is a great passage in which Jesus gives insight into belief. Immediately after Jesus makes this statement to the father of a young boy with an evil spirit, the father exclaims, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!”
As a believer, we have powerful tools available but they are not magic. “Everything” is possible, but not all things are in our best interest or to His glory. We must learn to overcome our unbelief in many areas and God will work to His glory. (Maybe we need to overcome some unbelief regarding our prodigals)
My desire is that the prodigal be able to overcome any unbelief they might have about what God can do in their life; that they come to understand the miraculous is for them. May they be strengthened in their belief and see impossible things start happening all around them.
“Everything is possible for ________ who believes.”
Remember these things, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I have made you, you are my servant; O Israel, I will not forget you. I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.
In the previous verses to these, Isaiah has chastised Israel for the worship of idols they make with their hands instead of the creator who made them. He talks about taking the very wood used to heat their home and cook their meat to carve a god. How stupid is that? Yet, in these verses, God is telling His people that He hasn’t forgotten them; He will forgive them for the offense of idol worship if they will just return to Him. We can be confident He will also sweep away our offenses and forget our sin; our idol worship.
I pray the prodigal will return to Him, ask forgiveness, and be amazed at the full redemption offered by a loving God.
Remember these things for you are my servant, ________. I have made you, you are my servant; I will not forget you. I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, _______ , for I have redeemed you.
Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.
I’ve come to believe that disobedience is a heart issue. If our hearts truly love God and we know that He loves us, it’s not hard to do the right things; to be obedient and to die to fleshly desires. We need to constantly be checking our hearts and examining the desires and thought patterns that reside there.
The wicked have a way of making doing evil look deliciously tempting. I pray for the prodigal to have a heart that is turned toward the Lord and not drawn to evil. I also pray, as God more fully has their heart, He will be able to easily draw them toward obedience, which in the end is much more fulfilling.
Let not ________’s heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let _________ not eat of their delicacies.