WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21
‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in.”
Luke 15:27-28 (NLT)
LIES THE OLDER SON BELIEVED: HE THOUGHT IT WAS ALL ABOUT HIM
If you have ever wondered if you are selfish here is a short list of questions to help you decide:
- If the last time you said “I love you” and really meant it, you were looking in a mirror you might have a problem with self.
- If your most memorable vacation only required one airline ticket you might have a problem with self.
- If you always know more than the people you hire to do a job you might have a problem with self.
- If you have come to the conclusion that nobody really knows how to do anything without your advice you might have a problem with self.
- If you have already come to the conclusion that most sermons apply to everyone in the room except you; you might have a problem with self.
- And for all of you who have somehow been able to handle each of these questions without seeing fault in yourself at all I have one more qualifier: If you were born after man’s fall in the garden but before the second coming of Christ then chances are you might have a problem with self.
We have all had problems of being selfish at one time or another. And we learned Sunday that the older son in the prodigal son story had a problem of believing the lie that it was all about him. Because he was so selfish he couldn’t take time to celebrate the return of his lost brother.
D.A. Carson noted, Jesus taught that “God rejoices over the recovery of a lost sinner, and therefore it is Jesus’ supreme desire to seek and save the lost (19:10).” This parable in Luke 15 is the most beautiful illustration in all of Scripture about God’s joy over the recovery of lost sinners. And as Carson said, “In just the same way, it is implied, the Pharisees should share in God’s rejoicing over the salvation of the outcasts.”
Selfishness can rob any of us from the joy that can be experienced in celebrating others. Can you think of a restoration story that you have celebrated lately?