Wednesday, August 24, 2011
"So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long ways off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran, and embraced him and kissed him." Luke 15:20. This is a wonderful verse for us to comprehend. But before we dive in to understanding this verse let's recall our story. A man's son demands his inheritance, now. The father grants his son's request and the son leaves. Let's think a little here, do you think that this was all done with no conflict? Or maybe not on the fathers side but how about the son...what kind of character did he have...It seems he did not leave on good terms... The son goes to a different land and spends his inheritance on loose living. Now he is on his way back home, coming up the driveway if you will. No phone call, no e-mail, not even snail mail. He just comes. His father sees him. Let's stop there for know.
As with all stories it is hard to understand the deep thoughts...of a character in the story. Sometimes we see a little bit, in their reactions in the story. Today we are going to focus on the father. What kind of man was he? Now guys this is a good example for us. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him." Most often when one is disobeyed....sinned against...betrayed...there is the feeling of hurt...un-trust, displeasure, bitterness. anger and even hatred. You see this father did not display these things, in fact I like what is said, " felt compassion for him."
What does it mean compassion? It is a word that I myself, have a problem to grasp and practice. It involves words like mercy and sympathy, but with a sense to help...make better...; maybe not just a sense but the actual doing. It may even include forgiveness. So many times when one is going through trials...or sin it is hard to feel compassion for them. You see this father felt compassion right away, I would even venture to say he was waiting for his son to come back. No matter how, when...he came. The important thing was that he came back. To feel compassion, do you understand that it is a feeling. And yes it is a good feeling. Too many times we as men are hard nosed...we lack compassion...we lack feeling...we even lack in our thinking, that it is not a good thing to feel compassion...we don't try to understand compassion or the feeling. We might even think of it as a weakness but it is not. O.K. Guys did you notice what he did when he met his son? That's right he embraced him. That means he hugged him! For some of us that is hard, we don't show our feelings that way. But it is important! It shows a tenderness...and love...much more than words, a hand shake or gifts can show. Now that kissing thing, I will let you figure it out on your own. Remember the parable of the good Samaritan? Luke 10:30-36. How he felt compassion on the man; that was beaten and robbed. How the Samaritan helped him, got him well... That is another good example of compassion. So let's work on compassion! Sometimes men we need to work on it in our own homes! We lack compassion in the everyday living of life. Now men there is an area that most of us struggle with. That is compassion toward our wives or even girls. O how important it is to feel compassion. O how important it is to show compassion. Do them both! Compassion it is a good feeling!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Sin, continued sin...does all kinds of things. It can have far reaching affects. It can make you not to think right...It can even go so deep that you can lose hope. This next phrase "I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men." This is also said when he came to his senses. He recognized that his deeds were of such that the shame... also affected his family. He also recognized that he needed to be back with his family even if it meant to become a hired hand.
Sometimes the guilt of sin is so strong, you have a hard time lifting up your head. It is so strong that it was hard to go before God...Have you ever felt that way? That what you have done was so bad that, you think God could not forgive you. Well we know that God through His son Jesus Christ forgives...You see he was sent to bring us back, to pay the price of our sin...all, every kind..., to heal us...teach us...give us life...
So many times one who has sinned...then comes to his senses...repents to God...That one has a hard time coming back to "church". He may have the sense of not being worthy... Have you experienced what I'm talking about? That a feeling of contempt is there... Sometimes we, the "church", put conditions to prove... that one has really repented. I'm not talking about the need to stay away from...a situation that will tempt you to sin. But we step back...we may even say, ' Let's see if there is any fruits..." or even 'just wait he'll be back where he was before.' Sometimes we just hold back. We inside the "church" lose hope in that person...
You see there is a war going on that we cannot see. And sometimes the battle is right before us or a few blocks away and we don't even know. Sometimes the battle is in our home and we don't even know. Then there is a break through for our side we hear the news and guess what we don't believe it...or we just let it pass as having no significance. Sometimes we can't get over the hurt...we may even think that there should be punishment...payback... When we turn back to God or when one turns back to God...or repents...asks forgiveness...there is a victory! We need to be shouting...praising...not sitting back with a look of unbelief. Yes, sometimes things happen...it may not seem real after a period of time. But we need to be up lifting... and encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ. Helping each other on our Christian walk. Let's face it tomorrow I will need forgiveness, I'm a sinful man, I will also need encouragement...to help me in my Christian walk. Isn't this true of most/all of us?