Luke 15:20 “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”
For this boy’s father to have seen him “a great way off” would imply that the Father had been eagerly awaiting his son’s return. Certainly, in the spiritual application of this parable, our Heavenly Father is longing to cleanse and receive the sinner, if he will just repent and come to Him for forgiveness.
Jesus was using this parable to rebuke the Pharisees for their harsh, self-righteous, unforgiving attitude towards sinners. The older brother in this parable was symbolic of the Pharisees. Like this brother, the Pharisees had not lived an outward life of rebellion and they thought that others who didn’t measure up to their standards were surely hated by God. But, “God so loved the world” and “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
Just as this older brother was self-centered and jealous, the Pharisees were not operating in the love of God towards sinners because they were so in love with themselves. They resented Jesus giving the sinners what the Pharisees thought they deserved.
If relationship with his father had been the real desire of the older brother, he would have rejoiced to see his father’s joy at the return of his son. The repentant prodigal son had learned the vanity of things and he had come home to a relationship with his father that neither he nor his older brother had known before.
The scribes and Pharisees, like the older brother, had gotten caught up in serving self through their religious actions. The publicans and sinners who repented were supplying their Father with what He really wanted – relationship.
Relationship with the Father was always available to the scribes and Pharisees, but they chose the temporal praise of men rather than relationship with God.
YOUR MISSION: TO SERVE …
‘The Gospel…of which I, Paul, have become a servant.’ Colossians 1:23 NIV
Who am I? What’s my calling? The apostle Paul, who considered himself ‘…not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles’ (2 Corinthians 11:5 NAS), answers simply: ‘I am Paul. My role is serving. I am a servant to the Gospel and the body of Christ.’ Certain people in the early church tried to determine which of the apostles were the greatest. Some claimed Paul, and others Apollos. But Paul challenged them, ‘What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe…’ (1 Corinthians 3:5 NIV) Whatever your calling, be it pastor of a megachurch or a lay member, you’re no more – and no less – than a servant. In God’s Kingdom class distinctions don’t count. ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek…slave nor free man…male nor female…you are all one in Christ Jesus.’ (Galatians 3:28NAS) We’re servants called to do the will of God, wherever He appoints us to serve. And that’s a good thing! In being a servant there’s relief from ‘the pressure to perform’. No one has the right to judge you except your Master. ‘Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls…’ (Romans 14:4 NAS) We should be concerned about what pleases God, not people. He alone can evaluate our service. Jesus came to serve His Father, saying, ‘…I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.’ (John5:30 NAS) And He has also sent you to do God’s will, promising that, ‘…If anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him.’ (John 12:26 NAS)
STEP INTO THE LIGHT :
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. – Psalm 119:105
As long as you live by the Word of God, you never have to be in the dark again. You never have to remain in confusion about which path to take. You never have to grope blindly along, struggling to find your own way.
Isn’t that great? Isn’t it exciting to know that the Word of God will give you all the light you need every day of your life if you’ll allow it to?
Build your faith in that Word and renew your commitment to it as you make this confession today:
“Father, in the Name of Jesus, I commit myself to walk in Your Word. I recognize that Your Word is integrity itself– steadfast, sure, eternal–and I trust my life to its provisions.
“You have sent Your Word forth into my heart. I let it dwell in me richly in all wisdom. It does not depart out of my mouth; I meditate in it day and night so that I may diligently act on it. Your Word is an incorruptible seed, abiding in my spirit, and it’s growing mightily in me now, producing Your nature, Your life.
“I thank You, Father, that Your Word is my counsel, my shield, my buckler, my powerful weapon in battle. It is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. It makes my way straight before me, and I never stumble or fall for my steps are ordered by Your Word.
“I recognize the strategies and deceits of Satan and I put a stop to them by speaking Your Word out of my mouth in faith.
“I am confident, Father, that You are at work in me both to will and to do Your good pleasure. I exalt Your Word. I hold it in high esteem and give it first place in my life. I boldly and confidently say that my heart is fixed and established on the solid foundation–the living Word of God. Amen!”
The Word of Faith movement adds to the Church what has been missing for the last several centuries, primarily the teaching that the believer can receive answers to every prayer that is based on God’s Word, as long as he has enough faith and that there is nothing in his life that could be hindering his prayer.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:16
Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island located about a half-mile off the coast of Normandy, France. For centuries it has been the site of an abbey and monastery that has attracted religious pilgrims. Until the construction of a causeway, it was notorious for its dangerous access that resulted in the death of some pilgrims. At low tide it is encompassed by sand banks, and at high tide it is surrounded by water. Accessing the island was a cause for fear.
Access to God for Old Testament Jews was also a cause for fear. When God thundered on Mt. Sinai, the people feared approaching Him (Ex. 19:10-16). And when access to God was granted through the high priest, specific instructions had to be followed (Lev. 16:1-34). Accidentally touching the ark of the covenant, which represented the holy presence of God, would result in death (see 2 Sam. 6:7-8).
But because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can now approach God without fear. God’s penalty for sin has been satisfied, and we are invited into God’s presence: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace” (Heb. 4:16).
Because of Jesus we can come to God through prayer anywhere, anytime.
Then boldly let our faith address
God’s throne of grace and power,
There to obtain delivering grace
In every needy hour.
Through prayer, we have instant access to our Father.
GET GOD’S WORD FOR IT :
MATTHEW 4:4 – …He [Jesus] answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
When the devil tempted Jesus, Jesus turned the Word of God on him, saying, “It is written…It is written…It is written…” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10)
Likewise, should the devil remind you of the pain in your body, say what God’s Word says: “It is written, ‘By His stripes I am healed!’” (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24) And tell Daddy God, “I have Your Word for it and I am standing on Your Word. I am not trying to be healed. My healing has already happened. I don’t care what this body says. It has to line up with Your Word because by Jesus’ stripes I am healed!”
And if the devil says to you, “Look at the meager balance in your bank account. How are you going to pay your bills?” just say, “I’m not going to worry because I know that my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19) It doesn’t matter how much I have in the bank. God’s Word tells me that as the need arises, the supply will be there!”
When fear grips you, don’t say to yourself, “This fear is stupid. Come on, what are the chances of it happening to me?” Don’t try to rationalize or reason your fear away. Instead, speak God’s Word into the situation. Say, “It is written, ‘For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’” (2 Timothy 1:7) What if the fear returns? Speak God’s Word again. Say, “It is written, ‘For God has not given me a spirit of fear…’”
When the devil tries to deceive you, give him the Word of God. There is something about the Word of God that causes him not to want to hang around those who use it. It reminds him of Jesus, the Word made flesh (John 1:14), who rendered him powerless and of no effect when He said, “It is written…”
PRAYER FOR THE DAY :
“You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:16)
Dear Lord God, I praise You. I honor You. I see Your face in every sunrise. Your smile shines through the clouds with radiant sunlight. You brighten up the world and light up my life. May God clothe me with the garments of salvation and renew my strength each day like the morning dews! Let the love of God pour out on me lavishly for I am Your chosen servant and wonderfully made child.
Gratefully, in Jesus’ holy name. Amen !!!
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