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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Good Sinner

When God inspired change happens in your life it doesn't  matter if you agree, understand or even like what's happening.  God still wants you to change. Jesus tells a story about a wayward young manMost people who read and study The Parable of the Prodigal Son concentrate completely on the character of the younger son, his repentance, and the father’s forgiveness. But It doesn’t end there. There are two sons, who are both alienated from the father, and who are both assaulting the unity of the family. Jesus wants us to compare and contrast them. The younger son is “lost”—that is easy to see. We see him shaming his father, ruining his family, sleeping with prostitutes, and we say, “yes, there’s someone who is spiritually lost.” But Jesus’ point is that the older son is lost too. 

  “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.  ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’  “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.  But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”Luke 15:25-32

There is a new understanding of lostness. In verse 28 we see that you can be "good" but not trust in the Jesus. You want to earn your way to heaven by doing the right things.The difference between a religious person and a true Christian is that the religious person obeys God to get control over, and things from God. The Christian obeys just to get God, just to love and please and draw closer to him.  We can see the signs of this lostness in verses 29-30 - anger, a joyless mechanical obedience, lack of assurance in the Father's love, and an unforgiving judgmental spirit.The elder brother does not want the father to forgive the younger brother. It is impossible to forgive someone if you feel “ I would never do anything that bad!” Truth is we are all capable of sinning and falling way short of God's glory.

Jesus ends the parable with the lostness of the older brother in order to get across the point that it is a more dangerous spiritual condition. The younger brother knew he was alienated from the father, but the elder brother did not.  Remember, whom Jesus is speaking to and warning -the men he knows will kill him.

God offers His great grace to all sinners. Have you received it? 
We serve a God of fresh starts, second chances, and new days. - Hybels
Share His grace with the troubled world around you, and pray for revival. Amen?