Monday, September 26, 2011

The anger thing

"But he became very angry..." Luke 15:28a. So he we have it, the older son became very angry. Now guys this is going to be a hard devotional for us. It is not easy to talk about anger. It is not easy for us to recognize anger in our selves. It is not easy to admit we have anger when we are told. I could make it easier on us if I was to limit our talk to when we are "very angry", that is when we are very bad or fly off the handle...but even a little anger, or moderate anger if you will, for the most part is not good.
For our study we will see what caused this anger in the older son. That is that the father was celebrating the return of his "Lost son". Read the response of the son in verses 29b-30, "yet you have never given me a goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends." It seems that the older son is showing signs of jealousy and or envy. Maybe bitterness from earlier. Last week we talked about deserves, that is when God gives to someone even if they do not deserve it...Well let's face it sometimes we get angry when that happens. Someone is given a raise or a promotion...and we/ you get angry. Someone receives a gift...that you believe you should have been given...We in our minds think that so and so doesn't deserve..., I am better than they are...what makes them more special...why did they get...and not me...Or even why did they and not someone you think maybe more deserving...Someone wins something...or someone wins a competition...we sometimes get angry. Do you understand what we are talking about? Do you know what we are talking about? It is so easy to become angry over the littlest of things and situations...and not to realize it. That is to become jealous or envious, and to have anger creep in. Let me throw in one more word that is a part or closely involved with this anger, bitterness. Now these two things/emotions are not good, they both clouds one vision/thinking...We need to deal with them...and it is not easy sometimes. For me it's hard most of the time. So many times we let anger creep in and do it's work...in us. As with this older son because of jealousy and or envy, anger set in and took control. Yes, did you notice that, that anger can take control and cloud our thinking... With that let us guard our hearts, against having anger...replace it with love, mercy, grace...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Works

As we continue in our study of this parable , we return or come to the character of the older son. Luke 15:25-27 "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.'
As we continue on in our study we will be touching on some deep and hard topics. But this group of verses, also need to be addressed. For as we gotten to know the character of the younger son and the father, we also will try to understand the character of the older son. Now the older son, seems to be a hard worker and a good worker. A worker who looks after the interest of his father. By way of being in the field...and it seems working to it was time to quit, or to the end of his shift...he was not lazy. Even after receiving his inheritance this son stayed with the father. Not only that it seems that he also took or kept his place under the father. That is that his father was still in charge of the family...Even though this son also received his inheritance, it seems that he waited until it was time or the proper time to receive the inheritance. It also seems that this son was very obedient to the father. Skip down to verse 29b "Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours;"
So last week we ended with being able to celebrate when we see God doing mighty works...Yes, we need to do that! But if you are like me, well sometimes I don't want or don't feel like celebrating. You see works, get in the way. Just like Martha, works get in the way. I'm not just talking about working, it seems that the longevity of living a Christian life (obedience) may also get in the way too. That when God choices to work in someone, do something for someone and...we have a hard time with it, don't believe it...we don't recognize it...we have doubts...We even may think that, that person doesn't deserve it...
But think about it what do we deserve from God? Our sin...deserves death. But God in His mercy saved us, by grace you have been saved. And His mercy...continues on as we live the Christian life. So when He works in someone, for someone...or gives to someone...it doesn't mean that they have to work for it, or that they worked for it, or that they deserve it... sometimes God just gives. Sometimes God just blesses because of His great love! Read Matt. 20 'the parable of labors in the vineyard." Verse 15 "Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?" So give thanks when God is working...when He is working in you or others celebrate!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

As I continue with this blog postings, sometimes it would be of help, that I can have some ideas of what to write about. That is maybe a topic that we as men struggle with...not to say that I'm an authority...but maybe we can look at the word of God to help us with our struggles...to be encouraged to live our lives as our God and Lord Jesus will have us live. Hopefully I will hear from some of you soon. Thanks Peter Dee

Monday, September 12, 2011

celebrate

"and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate." Luke 15:23. The son comes home, his father hugs him...gives him clothes...the family ring, forgives him...then he turns and directs his servants to prepare a feast and a celebration. In modern days we would say let's have a party! A home coming party! It is a time of joy...Proclaim the good news and celebrate the good news. Now not to be confused with the "good news" of the gospel. But the good news resulting from the gospel, the good news of one turning to Christ, the good news of one turning back again to Christ, the good news of one coming to his senses.
Now for this father the good news is this, verse 24 "for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found." Now here is a good example of one who is not saved...not following Jesus Christ...They are lost and dead. Two things: 1. Lost not finding their way, no direction...doing what is right in their own eyes/thinking...without God. 2. dead in their lost ways, that is dead spiritually. Even though their body is still walking around and thinking...deep inside there is a part of them that is dead inside. It was the same for all of us before we came to the saving work of Jesus Christ. Here also is a good example of what happens when one turns to Jesus Christ...and becomes saved...They are not lost any more and not only that, the part that was dead now comes to life. Life takes on a whole new meaning, the things of God seem to be clearer...Words like hope...start to take on new meaning. The word of God, that was foolish before, starts to become, let's say "wonderful"...They now can see a direction for their life, not lost anymore.
So as men we need to celebrate when hearing of the good news...When one is "saved", or when one turns back. When God is doing mighty works! No matter how small or big we think they are, when God is working it is mighty! Rejoice with those who rejoice! You know in this parable the father stopped what he was doing and celebrated the return of his lost son. It is important to celebrate, to take joy...and most important of all to give thanks to God, for the mighty work He is doing in our lives and the lives of others.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Quickly

"Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet." Don't you like how the father does this? Quickly! Let me say that again, quickly! What a father! The son confesses and the father forgives. How? Quickly! That is what is so great about our Lord Jesus Christ. He forgives quickly. I have never heard about Him saying, let Me think about it, maybe or even come back tomorrow...He forgives! Now let me just say that our Lord knows when it is real... He restores us back to where we belong...Sometimes when we come to the Lord, confessing our sin...we come with what we think needs to be done to us...punishment...Do you know what I mean? That we need punishment...to pay a price...Not to say that sometimes sin has consequences...But when God forgives through His son Jesus, it's quickly...He restores us back to fellowship with Him. Isn't that wonderful? He even elevates us back, put a robe on him. The best robe! Put a ring on him, let's call this a family ring...a ring of the father. Put sandals on him, Let him be dressed with the things of the King from head to toe.
So many times we think that God treats us according to our deeds...Even who we are or think we are...that forgiveness from God through Jesus Christ has to be earned...That there is degrees of forgiveness...That these degrees have all kinds of things that have to be taken into account. Who you are, where are you from, what class of citizen, what do you look like, what was the sin, how was it committed, did anyone get hurt and...But that's not how our God works! If one repents, truly," God if faithful and just to forgive..."1John1:9 Thanks be to our God who forgives us quickly! Now for us as fathers, let's also follow this and be ready to forgive quickly! For us as husbands, let us be ready to forgive quickly! For us as sons, let us be ready to forgive quickly!