Series: “PLEASE COME HOME: The Prodigal’s Journey from Shame to Grace”

Sunday, September 10, 2017: “The Prodigal Pathology” • Pastor David R. Stokes


Read: Luke 15:1-2 & 11-12


READ: Devotional


Charles Dickens called it “the greatest short-story ever written.” Mark Twain agreed. So do I.

Though it’s only about 500 words long, it’s packed with powerful images and life-changing wisdom. I’m talking about the parable of The Prodigal Son shared by Jesus.  It’s about love, family, home, God, us, rebellion, redemption, righteousness, self-righteousness, joy, sorrow, sin, salvation, confession, and so much more.

In the first message of this new series based on this parable, we examine the motivation of the younger son. What made him tick? What made him decide to leave? It’s a powerful cautionary tale. You see, we are ALL potential prodigals. And if you’re someone who recoils at what I just said, you may be the most vulnerable of all, because the scriptures are clear:


“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

I Corinthians 10:12 (NKJV)


There was a very large earthquake in Mexico the other day—registering 8.1 on the Richter Scale. Long before its destruction reached the surface and rolled through that region, something was going on far below the surface—almost in secret—along a “fault” line.

So it is with us spiritually and morally. Long before a life-style “earthquake” surfaces in us, there are hidden conflicts causing things to shift in our hearts and minds. The prodigal son didn’t decide to run off overnight. His life was filled with secret “faults” that led to his own personal spiritual, emotional, financial, and moral earthquake.



  • What are the areas of vulnerability in my spiritual and moral life?
  • Have I ever said, “I could never do something like that,” only to later do just that?
  • How often do I conduct a thorough spiritual self-examination