THURSDAY, AUGUST 22
“His father said to him, “Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.”
Luke 15:31 (NLT2)
THE OLDER SON WAS SICK OF HOME BECAUSE HE REFUSED THE FATHER’S LOVE
A mom was headed to McDonald’s with her 5 year old son one day, and as they drove they passed a car accident. The mother had a practice of encouraging her children to pray for those who might be hurt, so the mom pointed and said to her son, “We should pray.” From the back seat she heard his prayer: “Please, God, don’t let those cars block the entrance to the McDonald’s.”
That little boy was hungry and he prayed accordingly. The older brother, in Luke 15, who had never strayed, but who is probably hungry after working all day, remains outside, sulking. Everything that he needed was inside the house, but his anger and self-righteous pride kept him from the bounty and joy of the father’s table. The father offered him everything but he stayed outside and rejected it.
In a similar manner, God is willing to meet our emotional, physical and spiritual needs. He invites us into His family and all the privileges that come with being a part of the family. Yet, sometimes people choose to reject God’s love and do life their own way. Pastor Mike reminded us on Sunday that Christianity is about a relationship and not about religion. We have believed the lie if we think being religious will bring us blessings. The truth is being in a relationship with God is the key to God’s blessings. How would you describe the condition of your relationship with God the Father?
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?