The story of the Prodigal Son found in Luke Chapter 15 teaches us about God’s love; it also shows us the results when we wander away from God. The young man left home to enjoy life in a distant city. He lived it up for a while but in time he hit a low point. The fast life left him broke and in need. He finally came to himself and went back home to a loving father. His experience was a lot like the ancient nation of Israel. God had made a covenant with their ancestors promising them certain blessings if they remained loyal to him. We learn in 1 Kings chapter 9 that God said to King Solomon, “If you will follow me with integrity and godliness, I will establish the throne of your dynasty over Israel forever.” Sadly, they did not stay loyal, and the result was exile in a hostile country where they suffered harsh treatment. God made clear to Solomon that the covenant itself was irrevocable but blessings depended on their obedience. Today, some people wrongly assume that their faith in God ought to guarantee them God’s blessings. But faith in God does not stop Him from permitting trouble to come. Rather, God faithfully permits problems to get our attention, to refine our character—all for our good and for God’s greater glory.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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