Thursday, November 24, 2011

A story that blows my mind (Part 2)

In my last post, I broke down one of my favorite stories and shared thoughts I've been chewing on this semester. I'd like to continue that for one more post.

We were looking at the story of the Lost Son, aka the Prodigal Son. I've been reading a book called "Prodigal God" by Timothy Keller that a good friend of mine got at a bargain sale. I've wanted to read the book for 2 years now. It's been a really good read so far. I'd recommend it.

Last post I focused on the younger son, and now I want to focus on the older son.

In the story we discover this about him:
-He felt like a servant, and not like a son (notice he never addressed his father as father)
-He was consumed by a life of duty, and toil, with no joy
-He had never experienced real grace, and like the rest of us, believed in "eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth" system of justice.

Jesus told this story to an audience, half of which consisted of Pharisees. The older brother represented the Pharisees, and sadly I believe the older brother represents many Christians today. Not experiencing the joy of the Lord, they are slaves to serving God because they are supposed to, not out of any true desire to bring Him glory.

This semester one UNCW student and I have had many conversations on various road trips and many of them have revolved around grace. We confess that often we feel like we aren't doing enough, we aren't being Christian enough to be at peace with God. And it is peace that we are seeking.

But peace and reconciliation cannot be found by working for them. Grace is a gift and therefore must be received as a free gift. Romans 1-8 breaks this down.

And so we wrestle with receiving God's grace and resisting the human nature to save ourselves by our own means. We remind ourselves that Jesus calls us friends, and God calls us sons.

"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15

Father I pray that you would be revealed to the millions of servants around the globe who faithfully serve you, but know you not as their Father. I pray that they would realize the good gifts you offer, and the grace you provide. That you accept us as we are, and not for what we do. In the name of your son Jesus I pray, Amen.

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