Wednesday, March 3, 2010

which brother are you?

This past weekend I shared a message with our church about the prodigal son.  We first talked about the youngest son who lost all his money on bad stuff after leaving his family.  He wanted to go home real bad. Then we talked about the older brother.  He was always doing what his father wanted him to do.  Or so he thought.  The older son missed what was breaking the father's heart.  Which son are you more like?

Luke 15:20-24 (NASB) --- So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.  And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'  But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate.

The young son found himself at the end of himself, at the bottom of the barrel or at the end of his rope.  It was not a good place to be.  But when he realized what was going on, he went home, and the homecoming he got was more than he expected.  He asked just to be like a hired hand.  The father wouldn't hear of it.

His father's heart was broken every day he son was gone.  When the boy returned, the party was on.  Forgiveness was happening and awesome healing began.  The father's heart was for his son.

Luke 15:25-32 (NASB) ---  Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.  And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be.  And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.'  But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.  But he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'  And he said to him, 'Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.  'But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'"

The older brother missed the father's heart.  Yes, he did everything his father wanted and needed.  But he didn't know or like his father's heart.

Both sons loved the father and wanted to please them.  Yet that came out in different ways.  Which son are you?  Are you more like the younger son who has done wrong, given it all away and found yourself with huge problems and issues and issues?  Or, are you more like the older son who has done all the right stuff but your heart is no where near the father?  Both sons need to come back to the father.  

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) --- For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

It is time for us to come back to the father from either direction.  His love is real.  His love is toward us.  Be honest: which brother are you?

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happy birthday, Julie

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