Luke 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
Before leaving home, the prodigal son asked his father for all of his inheritance. He left town with everything that would have been his upon his father’s death. Certainly his father had hoped that he would make wise decisions in the use of this money. Yet, the Bible says that the prodigal “wasted his substance with riotous living” (Luke 15:13). The next verse further confirms the extent of his waste by saying that “he . . . spent all” (Luke 15:14). The prodigal son asked for his inheritance and then compounded his problem by refusing to wisely spend that inheritance. No doubt when he found himself in that pigpen, he reflected on the fact that he could not offer an accounting for his loss. The substance his father had tirelessly laboured to obtain was squandered because of a foolish son’s lust for living unruly.
- (For children): Consider the story of the good Samaritan. We are not told how he acquired his wealth, but we do know he didn’t spend it all. He was not selfish but used it to help others. The story tells us that he helped a wounded man by paying for his medicine, transportation, and a place for the man to stay. He also paid for a caretaker.
- (For everyone): Think back to the last time you received money (paycheck or otherwise). What happened to that money? Do you have anything of substance or importance to show for that money now?
- What profitable things could be done with your money if you did not frivolously waste it? How much more could you give to the Lord with a little frugality?
- Ask the Lord to keep you from the sin of waste.
- Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in spending your substance.