Day 12 – Do This Every Time You Fall

One of the biggest struggles people face when wrestling with habitual sinful behavior is living in a cycle of defeat and failure. Today, we are going to address how you can break this for good. Are you ready to learn how to break free from shame and condemnation? If you are, let’s dive in!

In the 15th chapter of Luke’s gospel, we find the familiar parable of the prodigal son. But as familiar as this story may be to you, let’s try our best to look at it with fresh eyes. 

The story reads as follows:


“And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to[a] one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’” (Luke 15:11-32, ESV)

If you’ve been stuck in porn or another sinful behavior for any length of time, you are familiar with the pigsty that it leaves you in. Porn is a thief and a liar. It promises fulfillment, feelings of being loved, and satisfaction, but it doesn’t give you these things. Instead, it leaves you empty and starving, covered in shame, and feeling like you’ve messed up so badly that you can’t go back home. This is where the enemy has a hay day with us. He covers us with shame and whispers accusations of worthlessness and condemnation over us. He tells us lies about the true nature of our Father—that He cannot be trusted to be good to us, that we cannot trust Him to be merciful and loving, and that we must stay at a distance or face our Father’s wrath. 

While there are many potential takeaways from this story, the goal of today’s lesson is simple. If you have wandered away from home, lived in sinful behavior, and you find yourself starving in a pigsty, it’s time to come to cast these lies aside, come to your senses like the prodigal and come home. You may be afraid, but when you decide to take the journey home, you will not find a wrathful, angry father who shames you for your wrong choices. 

Rather, when you repent and turn toward home, you will find a loving, forgiving father who runs out to meet you while you are still on the road. You will find a father who kisses you. Rather than cover you with shame, He will get you washed up, put a new robe on you, and place a ring on your finger. He’ll even throw a party to celebrate your return. Feelings of shame and condemnation will melt away in His embrace. At once, you will realize that your Father is better than you could possibly have imagined—and in the revelation of His love, you will begin to find healing and restoration. You will realize that though you left home searching for love and life in all the wrong places, you have finally found those things by coming back on the very road you left on.

So what should you do if you fall back into your struggle? It’s simple. Every single time you fall into temptation, get up quickly, and run into the embrace of your Heavenly Father. The writer of Hebrews says it this way,

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16, NLT)

Our Father is not waiting to smash us with a hammer when we mess up. Rather, He is grieved that we have chosen to walk away from life, and He is longing for us to return to Him. He knows how sin will destroy us—which is why it grieves His heart when we choose to sin—but He also knows how His love will restore us. Every time we return home, we are reminded that our failures do not have the final word over us—but that God’s love does. Despite our wanderings, failings, and outright rebellion at times, time and again, we will find our Father to be full of mercy, grace, and love. We need only to leave the pigsty and begin the journey back home, and before we are even there, we will find our Father running to meet us. We need not stay far off in fear. We must come home in faith that our Father truly is good, and that He will at once receive us and lead us back into the life He created us for!


Day 12 Freedom Work

Scripture Reading — Read Luke 15 and Hebrew 4 slowly and carefully, taking note of why we run to God in our time of need, and what God’s heart is toward us.

Journaling Exercises — Answer the following questions at length in your journal. Aim to write for about 5-7 minutes per question:

  • Why did the prodigal son choose to starve in a pigsty rather than go back to his father? What wrong view of his father kept him from repenting and returning home? 
  • If we view God as a temperamental, angry father, what effect does that have on our ability to trust him? Does this cause us to hide from him or to run to him? Why?
  • If we view God as a loving father who is grieved when we sin because it hurts us and others, and is longing to lavish His restorative love on us, how would it cause us to respond differently when we sin? Would we remain hiding in fear or would we run into his arms as quickly as possible? How would this play out in your own life?

Prayer — Father, if I’m honest, there are times when I struggle to see you as loving and restorative, and it keeps me from running back into your loving arms. Under the weight of my own sin, my vision of you gets twisted, and I feel you are out to get me—even though this is not the truth. I thank you that you are love. You hate my sin simply because you love me and you cannot stand to watch me go down paths that are destructive and harmful of both myself and others. Help me to see you not as an angry father who is waiting to punish me when I mess up, but as a loving father who is longing to restore me through his relentless love. Reveal to me by your Spirit the lies I’ve believed about you that have caused me to be afraid of you rather than run to you in my time of need. May I be quick to return home should I find myself wandering, and may I find rest in your loving arms. Amen.

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Dr. Joseph Serwadda's Story

Over the past decade, numerous pastors and leaders from all over the world have been crying out (and even begging us) for discipleship resources in their language. This may sound extreme, but in America we have an abundance of books and resources that are available to us that are often taken for granted. In many ways, we have access to excess.

In some developing nations, people have never seen a book in their language. When leaders from these nations are given a book, they treat it as sacred gift! They even hand-write books and Bibles word for word so that they can spread this message of hope to others in their sphere of influence.

Dr. Joseph Serwadda, a leader from Uganda who oversees a group of churches that number approximately 27,000, echoes this need among pastors and leaders all over the world: “Our biggest need is not money or bigger buildings, but solid teaching. We lack literature for people to read and study on their own. The more people we have in church who are less instructed in the Word of God, the less solidity we have. Come and help us preserve the harvest. This is a Macedonian call!”

Pastor Yassir's Story

Over the years, Cubans have long suffered under the oppression of a single message: communism. Despite this challenge, Yassir is committed to sharing a new message with his people, a message of transformation that can lead to national revival.

Cubans, in general, have been conditioned toward communistic consumption. That’s why Yassir wants his people to embrace a new identity: a life defined by what they can give. This shift requires growth and maturity that can only come through a new perspective.

He explained, “The Cuban church is strong and filled with passion. But I believe it’s important that we shift our mentality. We need to see how the Gospel goes beyond our own needs. Ultimately, we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our nation, and not just wait for outside intervention.”

There aren’t many Christian resources in Cuba. So, Pastor Yassir’s church, along with many other churches throughout Cuba, have been profoundly impacted by the resources Messenger International has provided for them in their own language.

In our conversations with Pastor Yassir, he often cited an ancient proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime. He sees MessengerX as a tool both to feed his people and teach them to fish.

It’s become evident that after many years in our ministry, the most effective way to transform a village or town is not to construct a church building. This just keeps the local leadership dependent on us.

We are much more effective if we give the indigenous leaders such as Pastor Yassir spiritual knowledge that will empower them to influence their village, town, or city. Such knowledge helps produce the faith needed to grow and sustain the work, which, if necessary, will include buildings and other resources.

Stories like Pastor Yassir’s fuel our mission, because we believe that everyone deserves to know life-transforming truth!

Nura's Story

Before Nura became a follower of Christ, her life was a living hell.
After the death of her husband—from whom she endured many years of abuse and suffering—she became a widow with four children. In search of peace and inner healing, she sought solace in religious places and practices, which only led her deeper into depression and financial debt.

Her last resort was Jesus.

“I came to the Christian church and begged for help! I accepted Christ after I heard of the promise of peace and healing that is found in Him,” Nura wrote. “I slowly began to recover, but there was one thing hindering my healing—unforgiveness.”
Filled with regrets, Nura struggled to forgive her husband. But the grip of offense began to weaken when her pastor handed her a copy of The Bait of Satan.

“I forgave my husband after I learned how much I, too, needed forgiveness,” shared Nura. “Now I am healed, and I have peace for the first time in my life. Some even say I look ten years younger!”


Pastor Raphael's Story

Pastor Raphael was raised in Kenya, immersed in a culture of darkness. As a child, he lacked affection because his father believed that strong men don’t show love. He continually witnessed his father beat and belittle his mother. Everywhere he looked, insidious behavior was practiced toward women and infants—families were being destroyed and lives were ending before they had a chance to begin.

This was the destiny Raphael was headed toward.

But everything changed when truth entered the scene. The first area to be transformed was Raphael’s heart—which, in turn, transformed his marriage and his family. And with a strong and healthy family, his whole outlook toward life has changed.

“Through the resources of Messenger International, a relentless passion was ignited in me to see the people of my country free from lies,” shared Raphael. “I discovered my purpose to train up others and bring God’s transforming truth to remote villages.”

Raphael has trekked miles through mud and rain to reach people, often rising early and returning late. He would travel over 50 miles a day with his bicycle—but through the generosity of the MessengerX community, he was given a motorcycle, which has enabled him to double his efforts while easily transporting the resources and supplies he needs to facilitate his classes. Raphael has seen over 200 of his students graduate in the villages he serves.

“Thank you for investing in my people,” expressed Raphael. “Each day tribal warriors are transformed into children of God, marriages are infused with love, and the innocent are protected. Your generosity has given us the tools we need to rewrite our story and reclaim our humanity.”

Dahlia's Story

Formerly a Muslim, Dahlia fled to Turkey after she was expelled from her Iranian school and excommunicated by her family. Her crime? Becoming a Christian.

You can now find Dahlia in a refugee camp, far from what she once called home. But despite the upheaval, she has found purpose in her pain. On a daily basis, Dahlia walks through her makeshift town and prays over the people. They have become her people—the audience of her message.

Dahlia has become a messenger, and she is often spotted lovingly serving those around her and sharing her faith with them. Despite language barriers, people are drawn to her because they see something different in her. And what’s amazing is that she’s not only reaching the people in her refugee camp, she’s also impacting those she left behind in Iran.

“I’ve had calls from Iran,” writes Dahlia. “People who mocked me because of my faith now believe in Jesus and want to know more. So, I tell them about MessengerX, which has a lot of translated discipleship resources.”

As we continue to provide people like Dahlia with life-transforming truth in their own language, we’re helping them grow in their faith and discover their purpose—and we’re equipping them to make a difference in their world.

“I am beyond thankful for all of the books that I’ve been able to read in my language, such as Driven by Eternity, translated in Farsi,” shared Dahlia. “I read them again and again. The messages keep me company in this lonely season, and they inspire me to reveal Jesus to the hurting people all around me.”