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We continued the series, “Outbreak” at harvest this weekend. One of our points was one thing that changed when the new testament church was born was a realization that is God’s goodness that brings blessing on us, and His goodness that reaches and changes mankind. Not the fairness of man. People want everything to be “Fair.”
The truth is we don’t really want God to be fair. If God was fair, then we should be under an eternal damnation. We are imperfect sinful humans, and He is a holy God. So in order for us to be in relationship with him, our sin had to be dealt with. It was not fair that Jesus should have to pay our penalty. It was not fair that Jesus took a beating on His back for the sake of our healing. It was not fair that he had to take on human flesh to accomplish all of this.
However I am so glad He did. When we have this attitude of man’s fairness it implies that we somehow deserve more than others. We think, “I’m living right.” “I’ve been a Christian for a long time.” So God is going to bless me more than others. The truth is we can’t earn the blessings of God. God blesses us because He loves us, because he is good. Sometimes we allow our pride to be irritated when God blesses people that we feel like are not as far along the spiritual maturity road as we are.
Realize this today, God loves everyone else as much as He loves you. Now remember this is no lisense to sin, this is not lisence to be immature spiritually, but spiritual maturity is not about earning anything, it about believing the right things, its about realizing who you are and who’s you are
A perfect example of this is the story of the prodigal son.
Luke 15:25-31 (NKJ) “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”
We have confused the idea of this story. We have confused the word prodigal with the word rebellious. The word prodigal means wasted. When the younger son took the inheritance and left his family, he wasted his money, his talent, his time, his relationships. His life became a waste. A waste of potential and purpose. The son I am interested in today however is not the one who wasted his life away from the house, but the other prodigal, the one who wasted his life while still in the house.
This passage of scripture is the conversation between the older son who stayed home. The truth was he was being just as wasteful with his life as his brother who left was. When the younger son came home the father greeted him, loved him, accepted him, and blessed him. The older son, became angry. He said I don’t understand, I have been here all this time and you haven’t thrown a party for me, you don’t appear to love me like you do this son who has run away. The father says something to him that is the answer to living without resentment. It is the answer to living life with purpose and not wasting your potential. He said, all I have is yours, at any time that you’ve been here you could do whatever you want. I do love you, but my love for you does not decrease my love for your brother. The prodigal that stayed home had an issue with pride, and resentment. The things he did that made his life a waste were, 1. He resented his brothers failure, 2. He compared himself with his brother, 3. He forgot who he was, 4. He thought the father was unfair.
How do I keep from wasting my life?
1. Focus on Gods goodness, not on your or others imperfections.
God wants to empower you to overcome sin, and shame. If you are obsessed with others failures your heart and mind are not moving in the right direction. Your going backward, not forward.
2. Don’t waste your time comparing yourself with others.
Its fine to emulate, and sometimes even imitate what others do. Don’t ever compare yourself with others. Compare yourself to the word, and to the potential that God has placed in you.
3. Remember who you are.
You are a child of the King of Kings. You are the righteousness of God. You are empowered by the grace of God. You have Gods promises at your disposal. You are a power filled individual, because of Gods power in you.
4. Focus on the goodness of God, not the fairness of man.
God blesses us because of his goodness, not becuase of our earning it. Don’ let pride, religeous thinking, or comparison trap you in a life of condemnation, insecurity, anger and fear. Live above all that by focusing, expressing, and living in the goodness of God.