March 5, 2021
Jesus told a remarkable parable about two brothers. We find it in the Gospel of Luke 15:11–32.
In the story, the younger brother takes all the money he can and runs off to some foreign land, lives a bad life and wastes everything. Then he repents and goes home.
His father is loving and gracious to him. Soon, the younger brother is in the house having the time of his life—in our own words, he is having the best hamburgers and the best pizza and the best ice cream. But somebody is missing from the dining table—his older brother.
The father is so happy, but the older son is seething, refusing to go inside and celebrate. He snaps at his father and basically says, “I’ve been living in this house all these years, and I’ve served you like a slave! I never wasted your money! I built this! I did that! I did everything you said!
“And you never gave me a feast! But you give one to this worthless, no-good son of yours who wasted all your money! I don’t want to come inside” (Luke 15:28–30, paraphrased).
And the father basically replies, “My son, my son. All of these things are yours! You can have the best food every morning, day and night. It’s all yours! Whoever told you it’s not yours?” (see Luke 15:31).
How do you explain this?
Even when the younger son was a rebel, his heart was knit with the affection of his father. So, when everything was gone, he said to himself, I can go to my father.
But for the older son, it was different. Even when everything was provided, he could not get inside the house. His relationship with his father was not one of father and son; rather, it was an employer and his employee. He was working for wages: respect, recognition and understanding. Even though he had all the possibilities as the eldest son, his heart was not in a loving relationship with his father. This same thing can happen in our lives.
We can become so busy in ministry and in serving the Lord, that we forget why we are doing it in the first place. In the end, we can come to the place in which we are doing all the work for money, recognition, reputation, honor or whatever else. It’s all about what we get, not because of the affection of the Father who sees us in secret.
But remember—even when we lose our focus, or when we have failed or have become resentful in our service to Him, God in His kindness deals with us deep down in our hearts and reminds us that He is our Father. His mercies are new every morning, and He will run after us again and again. We are His beloved children, and we are safe in His hands.
Take the First Step
Today, pause for a moment and evaluate your relationship with the Lord as God the Father—then ask Him to reveal to you any attitudes that are obstacles in your relationship with Him.
Season of Lent is a journey to spiritual growth, renewal and an opportunity to know the Lord Jesus more intimately and closely. We must hear the Lord speaking to us all along the way as the journey continues so that our heart-attitude will become more like His. The way to attain this is by deliberately choosing an attitude of confession, denying of self, fasting, meditation, prayer and supplication. And, the life is enriched with humility of Christ and service to others. This daily devotional will do just that: bringing the focus upon Jesus and enabling spiritual renewal in our walk with the Lord.
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