April 23, 2014 | by: 0 Comments|
Last night I had the privilege of ministering with another brother in the congregation. A few weeks back he was walking about in his neighborhood, when he suddenly found himself talking with his neighbor about some serious matters. He was faithful to express his concern for them, and faithful to express his willingness to listen and be of whatever help he could. In short, he was faithful to be a Christian. The Lord opened the door for gospel ministry a few weeks back and last night we prayerfully walked into a situation we knew very little about. Unsurprisingly, the Lord was gracious.
We didn’t really have a plan other than to pray, listen, encourage, open the Scriptures, and share the gospel. That’s what we did last night, and now we’re praying for fruit from our time. We specifically turned the story of the prodigal son, to meditate on God’s grace. And let me embarrass myself and reveal that I struggled to find the passage, but I was grateful that my brother was there to point me to Luke 15:11-32. It is a wonderful passage, and if you have time over the next couple of days I’d encourage you to read it. It is in Luke 15, in case you can’t remember where it is.
Read it and rejoice that our Heavenly Father is so gracious to undeserving sinners like you and me. We are not only like the younger brother in that story (the one who rejects his father and dares to live his own way), but in many ways we’re also like the self-righteous older brother (who pleads his good works and demands his father’s love). Sometimes we think that all we’ve done obligates the Father to love us, but there is nothing that we can do to make God love us. Our hearts are so dark, at least mine is, that we share in the worst of the younger and older brothers’ characteristics and sins. Still, the love, mercy, and grace of the Father is so rich that he celebrates at the return of his wayward son, and promises to give his self-righteous son his estate.
The focus of the parable is not the younger son or the elder brother, it is the gracious father. We may find ourselves in the story and identify with one brother or another, but at the end of the day, we all need a Heavenly Father who is compassionate and gracious. Praise God that he is. Be sure to rely upon God’s grace today, for it is sufficient.
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