I’m excited to start another week of learning, reflecting and growing with you all! If you are just jumping into the series now, we have been diving into the Prodigal Son. Last week, we focused on the younger brother as well as some really important context. This week, we are switching gears. We are going to examine the older brother figure and find out what he has to tell us about Jesus, the Kingdom of God and how to enter it.
While this story reveals the destructive self-centeredness of the younger brother, it also condemns the elder brother…which is something I never picked up on until recently, no matter how many times I heard this story.
Here’s a gentle word of caution: hearing how the “obedient” older brother was also in the wrong may be convicting for some. It may sting. But that’s OK! I lovingly urge you to press into that and not run from it. Whenever we are convicted there is room for so much growth!
On the first day of this series I mentioned how a pastor once told me that nothing positive ever came from my mouth. That hurt. A lot. But do you know what? Although the words stung, and the delivery wasn’t the best, this particular pastor was almost never wrong when it came to calling people out. There was always some truth to what he had to say. After the sting wore off I asked God to reveal what I could learn from that comment. While it wasn’t true that nothing good ever came from my mouth, it turned out that there was definitely room for improvement. I could certainly speak life over people more often. My words could have more kingdom value.
By pressing into that comment, which I believe was said in love and not animosity, I was able to go to God and ask Him to deliver me from my actions which contributed to such negative impressions. I prayed that He would give me a new voice, a voice to tell others about Him. That was about 8 years ago. I’m so grateful I didn’t ignore the sting. You will be, too, if you take your convictions to the Father in prayer.
OK, thanks for letting me touch on that for a minute. I think we are better grounded to move on together. Agreed?!
This week we will pick up where we left off.
The younger brother left, which was a huge insult. He asked for his inheritance which was insult over injury. He was seeking a life outside of his father’s home. We learned that the distant country he travelled to is really synonymous with anywhere we are living where God is not our priority. We learned that we always have a choice to return to Him. Our Father will always accept us, BUT we have to choose to return back to Him through repentance AND accept his forgiveness. Anything else would be selling ourselves short and not letting God be God. Verse 21gave us a biblical blueprint for repentance: we apologize to the one we offended and to God….and since God is the primary offendee, He’s the one who can primarily restore us.
Jesus is redefining everything we thought we knew about connecting to God. He is redefining sin, what it means to be lost, and what it means to be saved.
That’s last week in a nutshell!
We now have all we need to start exploring the older brother. I promise, you’ve never thought of him like this before!
Looking forward to picking up from here with you tomorrow morning!
Did you know I created a worship playlist just for this series?!
Celebrate a good, good Father who is always calling and welcoming his children home!
Previous posts from the Prodigal Series
Miss one? I got you covered! All teachings from this series are found here.
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