MONDAY, AUGUST 19
“All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.”
Luke 15:29 (NLT)
LIES THE OLDER SON BELIEVED: MY FATHER’S LOVE MUST BE EARNED
According to the book The Day American Told the Truth some of the most common american lies are: The check is in the mail. I’ll start my diet tomorrow. Give me your number and the doctor will call you right back. One size fits all. Your luggage isn’t lost, it’s only misplaced. Leave your resume and we’ll keep it on file. This hurts me more than it hurts you. I just need five minutes of your time. Open wide, it won’t hurt a bit. And let’s have lunch sometime.
In Luke 15:29 we find another common lie people believe and that lie is that God’s love must be earned. Jesus used the story of the prodigal son to illustrate how God feels about people who are far from him and also to illustrate how God feels about self righteous people. In Luke 15, the younger son illustrates non religious sinners and the older son illustrates the self righteous religious leaders of the day.
In Luke 15:29 the older son uses the verb douleuo which means to serve as a slave. He was not serving out of love, but considered his servitude of his father as slavery. He was going through the motions, waiting for his father to die so that he would gain full control of the estate. He focused on his achievements and that was the basis of what he felt he deserved.
There are people today that are just like this older brother. They believe they are pure when they are not. They believe their righteousness entitles them to a home in Heaven or rewards. God, however, is not impressed with our self-righteousness. God, however, has made it very clear what He feels about our good works. He does not want to hear us bragging in Heaven about them. Ephesians 2:8-9 (“not as a result of works, so that no one may boast”). Do you identify more with the older son who grew up doing all the right things trying to earn God’s love or with the younger son who rebelled and eventually realized you needed to come home to God? Ask God how He sees you? Take a few minutes and read Ephesians 2:8-10. What does that passage teach about getting to heaven and about works?