Friday, October 20, 2006

One step away from a blessing


First I would like to open with a story from the Bible. Please read the entire story below:

Luke 15 (New Living Translation)

Story of the Lost Son

11. To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: "A man had two sons.

12. The younger son told his father, `I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die.' So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

13. "A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money on wild living.

14. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.

15. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs.

16. The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

17. "When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, `At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger!

18. I will go home to my father and say, "Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,

19. and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man." '

20. "So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.

21. His son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.'

22. "But his father said to the servants, `Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet.

23. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast,

24. for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.' So the party began.

25. "Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house,

26. and he asked one of the servants what was going on.

27. `Your brother is back,' he was told, `and your father has killed the calf we were fattening and has prepared a great feast. We are celebrating because of his safe return.'

28. "The older brother was angry and wouldn't go in. His father came out and begged him,

29. but he replied, `All these years I've worked hard for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.

30. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the finest calf we have.'

31. "His father said to him, `Look, dear son, you and I are very close, and everything I have is yours.

32. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!' "

Wow, what a story! I’ve read this passage several times, and each time God reveal’s something different. Here we see the younger son convince his father to give him his share of the estate now, instead of waiting until he dies. So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. Isn’t it amazing how the younger person in the family is always labeled the spoiled one, the wild one, the hype of the party? Jesus also picks on the younger.

The Bible states that this young man went away and wasted everything he owned on wild living. He arrived to a low place in his life, but he came to his senses, repented and his father restored in fully. In other words, he was given another chance.

This story is just one of three stories that Jesus told, but the real aim here in all cases is something was lost, but now found.

We tend to write ourselves out of this story, but if the truth be told – all of us occasionally exhibit this type of behavior. “I’m talking to the Christians now!” We may not out right live wild, but there are areas in our lives that we try to hide from God, we live in portion what the younger son did in this story. I have a news flash, “God doesn’t bless mess.”

Some of us (Christians) are one step away from sleeping with the pigs. I’m glad you asked why I said that. We know how to live this Christian life, but often times we make small adjustments to validate the wrong we do. Rather than go to God in prayer, we often entertain other Christians struggling with similar issues, they convince us to view the word differently, causing us to become numb to the word of God, and we receive man’s report over God’s. Notice what the young son did in this story; he came to his senses, and repented. Our pride causes hardship; we’re in a fallen state, rather than repent, we opt to sleep with the pigs. Read the entire chapter of Luke 15, notice what happens when what was lost, was found. Rejoicing took place, people lives were changed for the better. God will bless obedience!

Luke 5 (New Living Translation)

1. One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God.

2. He noticed two empty boats at the water's edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets.

3. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.

4. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets, and you will catch many fish."

5. "Master," Simon replied, "we worked hard all last night and didn't catch a thing. But if you say so, we'll try again."

6. And this time their nets were so full they began to tear!

7. A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When we allow Jesus access to our boat (our body), our lives, he can use it to direct many, and after kingdom business has been conducted, a blessing above measure is received for our personal lives. Allow God to use you for the kingdom, and I guarantee your desires will be received; Heaven will open up just for you. I pray that all who read this most lengthy message will take this word hide it in your hearts that you sin not against God. Blessings to all!

CJ

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