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 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


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 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 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


"and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate." Luke 15:23. The son comes home, his father hugs 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 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 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!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Slave to the father

Luke 15:21-22"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.'
Here we have the son not wavering. That is even after he felt the love, compassion of his father, he still confesses his sin. Have you ever decides to confess...then never do it? He is also ready to take the punishment...,if you will, of his sins. Willing to become a slave of his father. He recognized that being a slave of his father was better than being free and working...for "others". Did you notice that concept? It is better to be a slave to the "Father" than to be free... and working for others...or ourselves. So many times we don't realize that it is better to obey God and follow Him; than to have the freedom...that we think we have, the freedom of the world... or for us the freedom...of living in the U.S. Now it is hard for us to understand this slave thing.
So what I'm going to do is give a few verses that will help us.
Gal.4:9 "But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be know of God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?"
Rom.6:16-19 "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the ones who you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you presented your members as slave to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification."
As the Apostle Paul says, "a bond servant of our Lord Jesus Christ".

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A good feeling

"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 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 help me in my Christian walk. Isn't this true of most/all of us?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


We ended with the young man in our story coming to his senses. We talked about him taking action "getting up". But there is another important part of coming to one's senses. We see that in our story in verse 18b "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight." One must recognize that one has sinned against God. It is a hard concept to grasp, even for Christians. For the most part we think that we sin only against other persons or people. When one comes to his senses, he grasps this truth of one sins against God first. Psalm 51:4"Against You, You alone, I have sinned and done what is evil in your sight." You see we need God's forgiveness of our sins...because it is His law...that we break...It is Him who will forgive us, heal us, restore us... bring us back into fellowship with Him... It is in His son Jesus Christ that we have forgiveness of our sins and everlasting life. So when one matter how small or insignificant or big...we sin against God.
Now as we continue our discussion we also need to recognize that sometimes we do sin against others. That when we break God's law...sometimes when we do it involves persons or people. Guess what? Yes, we need to take care of business with those affected too. Yes, we need to ask for forgiveness! Just like how sin affects our relationship with God so does our sin affect our relationship with others we sin against. Now when we ask for forgiveness we admit the wrongful action, deed...Now here's the deal that person has a choice, to forgive or not to forgive. It is important to ask for forgiveness of people but one must note that people are not like God who "is faith and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1John1:9b. Also people cannot cleanse us from our sin....only God can do that! But we need to forgive each other we are commanded to. The Lord's prayer and read Matt.18:21-35. It is for our good...restoring, healing...because bad things...can come about when forgiveness is not asked or given. Have you ever experienced the power of being forgiven? The relief...not being condemned or owing... the weight is lifted. The relationship being restored! You know this goes both ways, for being forgiven and also giving forgiveness. Forgiveness what a wonderful thing.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Coming to one's senses

"And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving any to him." As we continue on, we see that this young man is now willing to eat food fed to pigs. From being well to do to being in rags. Now we must remember that there were days in between these two ends. That this down ward spiral had days of hard times...stress. What happen to all his we mentioned before he is alone. No one to give him even pig food...You know when you are going wayward...most of the time it seems alright. You say to yourself, it's ok, nothing is feels good, I'm happy...We even find people to tell us that it's alright...we even associate with people doing/acting...the same way.
"But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger.' Don't you just like that phrase, "But when he came to his senses"? So many times we need to come to our sense. You know what I mean? We need to think, true thinking(Gods way...), not relying on our wisdom or wisdom of the times... Have you ever made choices in life that effected you greatly? We are talking about wrong choices or decisions not just sinful choices. Being not waiting, spending above your means, going where you should have not gone...You see we all are being pulled...For this young man the pull was hard, and it took him a long time before he came to his senses. I know in my life sometimes it took me a long time to come to my senses in some areas of my thinking. While others were easy for me, we are all different. So are you in the storm, being beaten down...maybe know is the time to come to your senses. Let's say the storm is about relationships, marriage, parenting, friends...and things are just not going well. It is hard to come to your senses here, to change yourself. That is to initiate a Godly change of putting on love...That you will forgive, that you will ask for forgiveness, that you will take a look at your own way of thinking...and change. That you will be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ.
For it is important when you come to your sense to start doing. Hopefully I 'm not the only one who has come to his senses...wanting to change...and to be better...thinking of what to do..., all with good intentions, then don't do them. Do you know what I mean? Or sometimes I start out doing and then slowly go back to the way it was before. It is hard. It is hard to change. It is hard to let other know that you were not think right...not acting right...even if we are only changing our actions. We do not like to admit we were wrong...we were not thinking right...You see the young man in our story, came to his senses and said, "I will get up and go to my father". You see when one comes to his senses, he doesn't just stay there, he get's up and reacts.
For him it was to go back home to his father. He had to leave where he was and go back to where he left. So many times we need to go back or turn back to God. That is we need to go away from where we are now. Let us remember that in this situation, the young man is in rebellion...He moved into harms way. For some the storm that blows is for us to endure, to put more trust in God. For our young man, now he has a long journey home, walking...with a lot of time on his hand to think... You know guys it is hard to admit a wrong, never mind a continued wrong. It is even harder to admit that we are sinful...and not good...It is hard to admit that we need Jesus Christ. It's true these decisions are hard for us, but the love of God through Jesus Christ, will heal you and restore you! So he came to his senses and took action.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Things come our way

" Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished." Luke 15:14. As our story continues we see that this young man spent everything. It is hard for us to understand how one can be wealthy...and spend everything. It is hard to manage money! It is hard for us to recognize a need verses a want...Never mind that there is so much out there that money can buy. So this young man foolishly spent his inheritance on stuff...loose living. Do you know what I mean? Even just a little bit. You are compelled to buy something (a want) and you take money...that was for a bill or for your families well buy it or even to do something. Even if it is just a small amount... Or we might save...but we still only have in mind our desires...wants, not willing to compromise for the good of your family.
This young man found himself to be impoverished. From being well off to being poor. You see in life things happen. So a famine is upon the land, food prices are up and rising, now he is in want of just having enough to eat. So next thing this young man is looking for work, just to survive. Guess what, he finds a job feeding the pigs. You see for this young man the storm is blowing hard, and now he is starting to feel the effects of it.
So what I want to do is make a side note here. We must remember that storms in life come. Just look what is happening in our country; floods, fires, tornados...Now some of the people going through those ordeals are Christians. Strong Christians following God...we need not be asking this happening to them or that area... So many times we think that it's because of sin...God's judgment. So when things like that happen be slow to react to why...Pray for our brothers in those areas. Now with our young man, do you think that he needs prayer...Now there are a lot of youth that all of us know...and some of them need our prayers. Some maybe going wayward, some having a tough go in life, some have life changing decisions before them...some lost...we need to be praying for our children, our young adults and yes for the adults too! We all need prayers from fellow believers. Yes we all need praying believers praying for us. It is easy to condemn...but to pray for them, that takes work---and love.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


" And there he squandered his estate with loose living." Luke 15:12b. Last week we talked about praying for one's family, now. While they are in the midst of the storm or they are in the calm, of a sunny day. If you have lived a small amount of time you know that storms come up quite often. And the storms of personal life come up often too. Sometimes there quick thunder storms, sometimes there with flooding rain, sometimes with sever winds...and sometimes the rain comes for days at a time... And when the storm comes sometimes it hit a small area and sometimes it covers vast areas. Now we are not talking about the weather only.
Back to our story; the younger son is in the midst of a storm. Here's the thing guys; I believe he doesn't even know it. This is the type of storm that keeps growing slowly. So this young man is in the middle of a big storm and it's getting bigger. " Loose living" we don't have to think too hard to know what that means. Now some of us might think of only money but I believe it's a lot more(look at the end of the story). So here we have a young man in a middle of a storm and guess what? He is there all alone. He doesn't have faithful friends(God believing). But I believe He has the prayers of his father. Sometimes the storm, will calm down for a bit only to hit harder. They can be tricky! Keeping us pinned down, trapped.
Have you ever been caught up in something, rebellion...sin, that seems to be o.k. That is, it isn't affecting anyone...everything seems to be going alright...You might even be saying no one knows, what's the big deal. Let's face it we can be very secret men...everything is just fine..things are still going well. It may even seem to be going better than before... But there is nothing that our God doesn't see. Prov. 15:3 "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good." Last week we talked about prayer, using David as an example. So let's continue using David as an example. You see there was a reason that David was praying for his son, or better yet why his son was sick unto death. 2Sam. 11 is the account of David's sin with Bathsheba...something that he tried to keep secret, but God sees. God revels to David that He knows...2Sam. 12 and in verse 10-14 He tells him the consequences of his sin. One of them being that his son will die. You see sin does all kind of things, not good things and sin also, for the most part has consequences. Our (your) sin affects you and the ones around you... It needs to be addressed! We need to ask for forgiveness...Let me end with one more thought. You ask God to forgive you of your sin, what then? Have you heard the word repent? How about put off the old and put on the new? So many times when we repent of a sin...we don't put on the new. That is we stop the old sinful action but we don't replace it with a new action. Then before one realizes he returns back to the old. Now when we talk about new, we are talking about Christ like; Godly actions. So let me end with this phrase, "sin destroys and forgiveness restores."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reactions of dad and mom

Luke 15:12b-13 "So He divided his wealth between them. And not many days later the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country," As we continue our study of the prodigal son let me remind you of what we learned so far. We talked about the love of money and being demanding. The love of money, that can take you away from the faith, or that you think that having more money will solve your problems... Demanding as to think we have a right or deserve...something...we kind of tied it in with "beware of all types or greed."
In our parable we see that the father grants his youngest sons request, and divided his wealth between the two sons. We could talk about this and say what is he thinking...but it is a parable so we will just accept what it says was done; without trying to get to a motive...of why the father did this.
After the younger son "gets" his share; he decides to move. To move far away to another country. Guess he wasn't happy where he was living. Was it the area? The people? His family? or Was he being pulled by the "bright city lights"? Not too sure but I do understand a little of each. Not being content where one is and looking over there thinking that it is easier...funner(is that a word?) or I will be better off.
What I want to do here is to focus on our reaction as dads and moms. As our children get older and become adults, they have to make their own life. Sometimes these decisions will be, let's say, not good or maybe questionable. So what do we do as fathers? For the most part we get frustrated I think. What I want to do is encourage us to do is to pray for our(your) children. In 2Sam. 12:15-23 we have the account of David's son becoming sick. in verse 16 "David therefore inquired of God for the child, and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground." Let's call this hard prayer for his son; he just didn't do the quick prayer...He was on his knees...and more. As we continue to read, David learns that his son died. What does he do? He get's up, cleans up and goes to worship God. Wonder if he was singing a form of "Blessed be the name of the Lord". To wrap things up we need to be lifting up our children in prayer now, before things happen, and while things are happening. Not just in a quick prayer... but on our knees, if you will. Pleading or inquiring of God for them. So many times we lack in this area and so many times when we start to pray it's too late, it's after the fact. As fathers let's lift our family up before the Lord in prayer. Let's pray for our children now, even if things are going well.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The prodigal son

As summer is here, what should we do as men? Last year we went through selected sections of the book "Love Dare". This year we will start to look at a parable of our Lord Jesus. I think that this parable is fitting for us as men for the main characters mentioned are male. All of us should be able to relate to these characters or at least understand somewhat, what each character is like. This is a story of a father and his 2 sons. Have you guessed yet? It is found in Luke 15:11-32 and we know this as the parable of the prodigal son.
We will start our study with the definition of prodigal, 1. one who spends and gives lavishly and foolishly. 2. one who returns after an absence. (Merriam-Webster collegiate dictionary). With this definition our main character fits into both. For us today, returning after an absence, doesn't always mean a bad thing. One might return after an illness or a call to active there could be a positive prodigal. Now when we think of prodigal, or the prodigal son, we usually think about the first definition or even we might think of one who is rebellious.
Our story starts out in Luke 15: 11-12 "And He said, "A man had two sons. "The younger of them said to his father 'father give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' " What is being said is that the younger son wants his inheritance now. What a unique demand! What word could one use to describe this action...bold, arrogant, unhappy, rebellious...How about these two words, greed and demanding. Think about it for a minute, greed we can see easily, but demanding? It is there too, 'give me'.
So again I will go over the single page in this devotion! Greed, to desire more...for example money, power, fame. Now this I believe is one of the problems that this young man has. So with this greed we will talk about the love of money. In 1 Tim 6:10 "For the love of money is the root all kinds of evils." The son in our story, well what do you think? Did he love money? It sure does seem it. We're not going to go to deep here; we will talk about that in another devotional. But to desire money, to wish you had more money...if only I had more money so many of my problems would be fixed...Have you ever had those thoughts or similar ones? Sometimes we can get to a point when we think that money will solve our problems in life. It can even get to be, so strong of a feeling that it can draw us away from the one who can solve our problems, our Lord Jesus. Yes, if we continue to read in 1 Tim 6:11" It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith..." Money, things, wealth...the desire of...the love of; how dangerous a desire. Let's face it we all need to be on guard here.
The next characteristic of this young son is that he is demanding. He wants what he wants and he wants it now. Let's face it for the most part we can be very demanding as people or a person. In all types of situations and with material things. With that comes the attitude that we deserve or have a right to whatever it is. This young man wants his inheritance now, can you just picture him telling his father how much...and what he believes is his? So many times I have seen and heard of family members fighting over an inheritance, even when things are in order. Jesus says this in Luke 12:15 "Beware, and be on your guard against ever form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."
The nation of Israel wants(demands) a king in 1 Sam. 8. You see they rejected God as their King and wanted to be like the other nations. Oh, you might say Samuel's son had a part but God says they rejected Him. So God let them have a king to rule over them. If you read your bible you will be amazed at how many bad kings there were. You see we can be demanding or thinking we deserve...but at some point we can cross that line of "beware of every form of greed." It is every form of greed, not just of money. That desire to have more or even to be more...(I'm not talking about the wanting to be Christ like here). So are you demanding, thinking you deserve, or you are better you try to elevate one status...greed comes in all types of ways. How about money? It is so easy to get caught up with money. It can consume you, even when you don't have any or very little. Let's end with a few words for us to be able to understand this better; money, power, fame, prestige, status...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Time and remembering

Now as we move on in our discussion of faith, we move into our growth spiritually. Now this does involve time, experience, learning...Some might grow in aspects of the Lord rather quickly, while others slowly, but that time thing plays a big part. Faith though it involves learning, it is more than learning and memorizing. It involves all aspects of one's life and the actions one does if everyday life. The learning part helps us to know God's direction. That is learning the word of God. But, God also gives us the Holy Spirit, who helps us...
Now let's get back to the time thing. As we go through life time continues, day and night keep on coming. With each day different things come with it, our world is not a boring place! People are all around, things need to be done, places to go... Now this is where our faith starts to grow. As we see God working in our lives from day to day, in situation to situation, from task to task... When we see that He is helping us, protecting us...We learn to lean on our God, going from strength to strength(Psalm 84). The learning of life that is hands on. That, when you needed patience; God helps you to learn patience. Think about it, are you more patient than you were 2 years ago, 5 years, 10 years...and still even if it has been 30 years you find that you still need more patience. How do I know; because every day is different and guess what, some things just keep on coming, in different ways of course. Hopefully one is getting stronger with God's help and hopefully one begins to understand that we need God's help.
How many of you have teen-agers? For some strange reason they seem to have life figured out. They don't need wisdom from their parents...I'm not too sure but my dad tells me I was the same way. How foolish I was. Now that I am older I wished I had all that wisdom and experience that I have now, back when I was younger. You see our faith grows stronger as we go through the things of life with God's help. We must understand that it is the time thing, we don't go through all life situations all at once or in just a few short years. We started out our faith by believing the truth that God is real and His son is Jesus Christ. Then we moved on to that word of "trust", that we will trust God to do what He said He would do. Now let us remember the things God has done for us, in the "times of life" and ... It is so important to remember what God has done! The nation of Israel did, they held the Passover and other feasts. They built stone memorials, Ebenezer stone, 1Sam.7 . We are commanded to do it. The Lord's supper, " do this in remembrance of me." To remember the basic of our faith, the forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ and eternal life. So we must always remember, to remember our God, to the race is finished and we are taken home. " We will never forget", we here that saying often, now let's say that statement about our God.