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December 5, 2022

A Tale of Two Sons


The heart of the Father

"Jesus continued: There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate." Luke 15:11-24 (NIV)

We all have a tendency to run away from what God has called us to do. The more we test boundaries, the more likely we are to break them. But no matter how far you feel like you have run away from God, He is still with you and waiting for you to come home. We don't have to work our way back to God. It's a heart posture that's just turning back to God. 

God is the only one who can fill you

When you live a life consumed by your own desires, then you come to find that it's nothing compared to living with and for God. You come to your senses.

How do you view God?

Do you have a warped perspective of how God sees you when you run away? Do you think, "Will God accept me if I have the propensity to go back to what I knew?" You need to know that God accepts you today. And He still loves you even when you mess up. He counted the cost for you. He's still willing to pay the price for you tomorrow. He's not rejecting you. He's already done the work on the cross. You just need to accept His grace and turn to Him. It's not our works that make God proud of us. It's our alignment with Him. It's not what we can do for Him - it's who we are in Him.

“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 (NIV)

Motivation Matters

If God doesn't give you anything, will you still serve Him? Why do you serve God? Is it to get something out of God or is it because of who He is? If we serve God for what He can do for us, then we will be disappointed because we'll always feel like we are owed more than what we are getting. It's a self-righteous way to control your life out of performance instead of grace. We start to be competitive and compare ourselves which then causes division in the church.

Every story matters to God

Every story is unique. Don't assume where people are at in their journey. You won't know the Father's heart towards His children until you take the time to hear their story. We should be celebrating, not judging! We should genuinely ask how people are doing instead of assuming where they're at with God. You don't know what they've been through. You don't know until you take the time to listen.

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