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GOD KNEW YOU BEFORE

So one day out of the blue, God came to Jeremiah and plainly told him: I knew you before you went into your mother’s womb. That got Jeremiah’s attention. And it got mine as well, the moment I saw the meaning of this powerful revelation.

We know that Jesus existed in heaven as God’s Son before He went into Mary’s womb to take on flesh and be born into this world as a human being. But did you ever wonder when we mortal men actually begin to exist? As believers we agree that ‘life begins at conception’. But according to God’s words to Jeremiah, the truth is far deeper than that. Here’s what God said to Jeremiah:

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5 (KJV)

The key words here are “I knew thee”. So before Jeremiah was conceived and started to take on flesh in his mother’s womb, he obviously already existed! The powerful lesson here is that we begin to exist as souls first, because God starts by creating us in His image. God is Soul and Spirit. So when He first makes us, He makes us souls and spirits. That’s what we truly are. And so we begin to exist as soul and spirit before we enter our mother’s womb to be born into this world!

(We understand that it is those souls who have accepted Christ while on earth, who earn a place in heaven for eternity. So am I saying here that souls exist in heaven before they’re sent to earth? I don’t know the answer to that question. We can only know about heaven the little that God reveals to us in His word and by other means of revelation. But one thing is clear: A soul is obviously created and begins to exist at some point before it is sent into a woman’s womb. And where else but somewhere in heaven would the souls be before they are sent off to the earth? What length of time goes by between the time that a soul is created and the time that it is sent off to earth, is not known. What a soul does while waiting to be sent into a woman’s womb, is not know. How long Jeremiah existed during the time when God himself says that He knew him, we don’t know.)

Knowing that God might have actually interacted with us before we were sent into this world is a very crucial knowledge to have, because it gives us the kind of understanding that is crucial in succeeding as God’s children in this world. It was this knowledge that helped the Lord Jesus succeed, because by this knowledge He understood that He came from heaven, that He came to earth for a purpose, and that He had to go back to heaven.

Here’s one of the most powerful statements the Lord Jesus ever made:

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:17-18 (NIV)

Here, the Lord reveals to us a conversation He and the Father had prior to His coming to earth. You see, the Father gave Jesus an assignment to come to earth as a human being, teach humans about Himself and God, display the power and glory of God through miraculous deeds, show men the way to God, then die to atone for the sins of men. AND THEN, RESURRECT and come back to heaven.

It was during this interaction that the Lord was given His mission to earth. And what we learn from God’s words to Jeremiah is that He had had that same type of conversation with Jeremiah at some point before sending Jeremiah down into his mother’s womb.

God had that same type of conversation with you and I!!!

Unfortunately, as we are born into this world as humans, we forget all about any conversation that we might have had with the Father before being sent into this world. But our Father remembers!!! So just as at some point He reminded Jesus and Jeremiah, He can remind you too!

All you need is to ask Him. God is excited when He sees our faith in Him! Especially when it’s faith that comes from a deep understanding that we have of Him. In this case, this understanding ought to make you deeply appreciate the idea that the great God who made the heavens and the earth, actually knew you personally, and gave you a specific assignment before sending you into this world. And this ought to make you determine to live for nothing else in this world other than fulfilling that assignment!

YOUR GREATNESS IS IN BEING THAT PERSON GOD SENT YOU TO BE IN THIS WORLD. It’s in fulfilling the tasks that He has assigned for you to do in His name and to His glory.

‘I think, therefore, I am’. We all know this quote by the French theoretician Rene Descartes very well. And also Proverbs 23:7For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (KJV). These two statements attest to the power of the consciousness of oneself, and there’s nothing more dangerous to a man than the lack of, or inadequate, consciousness of who he is an individual.  As long as the Lord Jesus kept His focus on this understanding of whom He was and what He was on earth for, He was able to focus on accomplishing the tasks given to Him by the father, and was able to make it back to heaven.

Therefore, brethren, I urge you to begin to see yourself as not just an individual in this world, but as someone on a special assignment given to you by the Father Himself! See yourself as the ambassador of the Kingdom of heaven that you are! An ambassador sent to represent the kingdom of heaven on earth, with specific instructions. Therefore, go to your Father in prayer and ask Him to reveal to you what He had in mind concerning you before sending you into this world! Then let the knowledge of who He sent you to be in this world be the guiding purpose for the rest of your life, to His glory!

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in SHORT MESSAGES

 

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BE NOT A CHILD BUT A SON OF GOD!

What does God desire the most from us believers? It is that we would all become sons and daughters to Him, not just his children. Because there is a world of difference between being a child and being a son or a daughter. A child is an immature human, and a son is a mature human. A child cannot be very useful to a father because he cannot help the father take care of business, whereas a mature son can.

Apostle Paul admonished the Galatian brethren that “…As long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces[a] of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.[b]Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[c] Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” – Galatians 4:1-7

Now, the main point Paul sought to make here is that though all men are made in God’s image and are therefore, His offspring, an unsaved man cannot operate as God’s son because the sinful nature of the unsaved man makes it impossible for him to relate to God as His son. So Paul likened this to a child whom, though he is his father’s son, does not yet live up to his proper and expected role as a son to the man, because there’s something still standing in the way: childishness and immaturity. And in the context that Paul used the analogy, what is standing in the way of a man being recognized as God’s son is sin. Therefore, the salvation from sin that Jesus has provided has made it possible for men to be fully recognized as heirs of God, as through salvation:

  • The nature of God is restored in men, and we can now call Him Father.
  • The power and authority of God is restored in men.
  • The ability to take care of God’s business as His sons is restored in men.
  • The ability to represent God on earth as his sons is restored in men.

So while that was the context in which Paul made that admonition to the Galatians, there are more contexts in which more understanding can be gained from that admonition. The story of the Prodigal Son provides one such context in that in this story we have the father and his sons representing God and His children, and the father’s estate representing God’s kingdom. [Please refer to Luke 15:11-32 for the full parable of the prodigal son]

This story reveals a number of issues that prevent God’s children – born-again believers – from being God’s sons, namely:

  • LACK OR INADEQUATE AMOUNT OF LOVE FOR GOD
  • SPIRITUAL IMMATURITY
  • LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF WHO WE ARE AS HEIRS OF GOD
  • SPIRITUAL CARELESSNESS

Though the prodigal son and his older brother were their father’s sons, they behaved more like children even after they had grown to the age when they should have behaved like sons unto him. As we know from the story, their father had a huge estate; the kind that requires that he appoint people in important positions to help him run the affairs of the estate. But his sons fell short of such important positions. Likewise do the majority of God’s children woefully fall short of expectations that God has of us, for the reasons listed above.

Though the prodigal son and his older brother had two very different personalities, both were very immature sons who lacked understanding of who they were in their father’s house. The prodigal son’s issues were more obvious than the older brother’s. The prodigal son didn’t care about their father at all, and simply wanted to go and live his own life for himself, at his father’s expense. Meaning that he didn’t have a sense of ownership over their father’s estate like a son would, and therefore, didn’t care to help grow the estate. Many in the church are like this man. We only see God’s kingdom as His kingdom, and not ours as well. We don’t see it as our Heavenly Father’s property that we must take part in helping to grow in this world. But most of our prayers are about asking God to give us our piece of His riches.

Had the prodigal son loved his father, he would have lovingly stayed and helped to build the father’s estate, and wouldn’t have even thought of the inheritance. And had he been wise, he would have understood that in helping to build the estate, he was building his own estate; that he was building his own future. Because you see, had he been wise, and had he loved his father, he would have waited for his father to die before receiving his inheritance. For instance, let’s say that his share of his father’s estate was 20%, and that the estate was worth 100 million dollars on the day he received his inheritance. That would mean a share of 20 million dollars. But then let’s say that their father got to live 20 more years before dying, and that at the time of  his death, his estate was worth 1 billion dollars. The prodigal son’s inheritance at that time would have been 200 million dollars! So had he been wise, he would have stayed and worked to build up his own inheritance!

If only we believers were wise to understand the glorious stake that we have in our Father’s kingdom!!!

The Lord spoke to me one day, and asked me “those mansions that I said I’m going to prepare for you in heaven (see John 14:2), what do you think I’m building them with?” He then proceeded to explain to me that it is the work that we do for Him here on earth that produces the resources that He uses to build our mansions in heaven. In other words, as we serve in His kingdom here on earth, we get paid both here on earth, and in heaven for our services, and the Lord uses the payments that we receive in heaven to build our mansions for us. This is why He told us in Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (KJV)

Here’s an illustration: Many Africans who live abroad endeavor to send money to their home countries to build houses for themselves. When I was living in Nigeria, a cousin of mine who lived in Germany came home one day, expecting to find a fully-built and furnished house waiting for him. He had been working hard and borrowing money to send to one of our uncles to build a house for him. But when he got there, there was no house. That’s an example of a man who tried to lay up treasure for himself here on earth, and the treasure was stolen from him. Had he endeavored instead to lay up treasures in heaven by investing all that hard-earned money into the work of the kingdom, he would have given the Lord the resources to build him a mansion in heaven. And the Lord would not have cheated him!

Now of course I’m not saying that one should not build houses for oneself here on earth. But I am very much encouraging us to re-evaluate our priorities in life! Because it is a fact that we believers do spend AND WASTE the resources God gives us on personal things, instead of spending it on things that concern and benefit the Kingdom.

  • A TRUE SON OF GOD IS ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THAT KINGDOM MATTERS COME FIRST IN HIS LIFE!
  • A true son of God understands that he is only a steward of whatever God puts in his hands, and that paying tithe of 10% doesn’t mean that the remaining 90% is for him to spend as he wishes. Rather He asks God how he is to spend every red cent that comes into his hands.

So much more work would be accomplished in the kingdom of God if more believers committed their possessions to serving God with it first.

Brethren, so many people will be shocked when they get to heaven and see the mansion that was built for them. Those believers who spent their time on earth pursuing their own things, seeking fulfilment in their own ways, serving God how and when it pleased them, will be shocked to see what they got. And they will be even more shocked to see the greater mansions that were built for those who selflessly and tirelessly served God! Those who gave Him their all here on earth, WILL go to heaven to receive their great rewards! All because they were wise enough to understand that their reward up in heaven is the more important one.

Proverbs 11:30 says “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. (KJV)

I used to wonder a lot about the meaning of the second part of this verse; I mean it’s obvious that winning souls is a good thing to do, which all believers are expected to do anyway. But what has wisdom got to do with it? I used to ponder this issue until the Lord gave me the understanding about the relation between serving in His kingdom and laying up treasures in heaven. If the work we do for the kingdom here on earth is the means by which we’re paid in heaven, then you’ll agree with me that a person who denies himself much personal pleasure here on earth in order to devote himself to the work of the kingdom is a lot wiser than a man who doesn’t, because he is wise enough to look ahead and build up a treasure for himself where it truly matters – in heaven – where he will get to enjoy the fruit of his labors FOR ETERNITY!

So we can see how the prodigal son lacked insight into the future, and was not wise enough to make the best decision for himself. ALL BECAUSE HE DIDN’T CARE ABOUT HIS FATHER’S AFFAIRS! Believers who spend their earnings on themselves and neglect the affairs of the kingdom are no different. True sons of God are mature and wise believers who know better! Who understand that true fulfilment in life is in helping to build their father’s kingdom by helping to populate it with His lost sons and daughters! Who understand that if they don’t do it, nobody else would! If they don’t do it, who would? The unbelievers? The careless and unserious believers who don’t have time for God?

So from all this we learn that a true son or daughter of God:

  • Loves God and wants to serve Him out of love and devotion, not for what he can gain from God
  • Sees God’s Kingdom as his own, and devotes himself to helping build it
  • Is wise to understand that worldly gains cannot be compared to eternal gains in heaven, where it truly matters. Like the prodigal son who would have gained much more if he had stayed and served his father to the end, we stand to gain so much more if we serve wholeheartedly, and never stop serving to the end!

Let’s now take a look into some of the older brother’s issues, which are summed up in his angry comments to his father when he said: “‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’” (Luke 15:29, NIV)

By his own admission, the older brother was so immature that he didn’t understand who he was in his father’s house. He saw himself as a slave, though he owned the estate. He served his father, not as a heir to his father, but as a slave because that’s how he saw himself. Not as a co-owner and co-builder of the estate, but as a slave. Hence another lesson from Paul’s statement to the Galatians that “as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.

The employees at a multi-billion-dollar retail chain don’t have a sense of ownership in the company as do the owners of the company because they are not heirs to the company. And by owners I mean the man or woman who owns the company along with his/her children. They’re the ones enjoying the billions. The employees only get their fixed salaries, so it’s understandable that they couldn’t care any less whether the company is doing well or not, because as far as they’re concerned, even if the company went down, they could go somewhere else and get another job making the same salary. But if the heirs of the company’s owner are grown up and are working in the company, they would take their jobs and positions more personally than the employees would, and the wellbeing of the company would mean everything to them.

We believers must see God’s kingdom as our very own kingdom because it belongs to us. We are heirs to it; so what concerns it MUST concern us! We must take personally the affairs of the kingdom of God. The church we belong to does not belong to the pastor-in-charge or the overseer, but it belongs to us because it belongs to God our Father. What concerns the church MUST concerns us deeply. The needs of the church must be our needs. We must love the church as Christ loves her, and avail ourselves to be used by the Lord to see that the affairs of the church are running smoothly.

If an heir to the retail company needed a 60-inch TV set, all he would need to do would be to order that one TV set be brought to his house from one of the company’s stores, because he knows that  the TV set, along with everything in the stores, belongs to him. The prodigal son’s older brother didn’t even have this understanding. He didn’t know that he had the right to order a servant to kill a goat for him to enjoy with his friends. He was waiting for his father to see him working hard one day and tell him to reward himself with a goat, when he himself was in the position to see one of the servants working hard and tell the servant to reward himself with a goat. But if he didn’t even know that he could reward himself with a goat, how could he tell the servants to reward themselves with one?

Brethren, if you don’t know who you are in Christ, how can you tell others who they are in Him??? If you don’t know who you are in Christ, how can you know what rights, authorities and powers you have in his kingdom as co-heirs with Him??? How can you call yourself a son??? It is a child who goes about his father’s house not understanding these things, because he is a child. Which is why the father assigns servants to care for him and provide him with things that he needs but doesn’t know how to get for himself. But it is expected that with time, the child would grow into a mature man who knows what rights he has as his father’s son, and begins to exercise his authority over the estate. Likewise MUST a believer grow into a son or daughter of God in whom now dwell God’s power and authority, and who knows how to use this power and authority to perform his God-assigned duties in the kingdom!

And just as a small child cannot be expected to work alongside his father to help build the family estate, neither can an immature believer successfully work with God. So it is expected that a believer MUST mature into a son whose existence on earth is all about working alongside God-the-Father and our Senior Brother Jesus, to help build and advance the kingdom!

This is why Romans 8:19  says “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (KJV)

Not the manifestation of the ‘children’ of God, but of the ‘sons’ of God! Only true sons of God have what it takes to manifest His power and glory for the world to see and believe in Him!

Lastly, we see the same lack of love in the older brother as well. In fact it’s not at all surprising that with all his immaturity, the older brother would also lack love, because a mature son would be man enough and loving enough to graciously welcome back his wayward brother. One of the greatest failures of the Church is in the way newcomers are treated sometimes. The existing members can at times be incredibly hostile to newcomers. Whether they realize it or not, they react as if they aren’t happy to see a lost soul come home to the Father. But a true believer is a son of Love. God doesn’t just have love, HE IS LOVE! So as His children we are children of love! And as we grow into sons, we grow to become sons of Love! Love MUST be a defining trait in a true son of God. AS GOD IS LOVE, SO MUST A TRUE SON OF HIS BECOME LOVE! The ability to love ALL men unconditionally and to readily welcome them into the kingdom must dwell in a son of God! Our lives must be all about working to reconcile our lost brethren to our Father, out of deep love for our Father and for our lost brethren!

WHO THE BROTHERS BECAME

In the parable, the Lord did not say what happened after the prodigal son returned and was accepted back into his father’s house as a son. But as we can see from the story, he and his older brother were subjected to some serious life-changing lessons on who they ought to be in their father’s house. The older bro found out that his father’s possessions were his to use freely, and that he was not to see himself as just one of the servants. And the prodigal son became a different person from who he was before he left.

As a result of this transformation that took place within both sons, they could now truly be sons to their father! How so?

The prodigal son was now a broken man. He had had his fun in life and was no longer interested in having fun. All he wanted before was to use and abuse his father’s wealth, but now he was ready to be useful to his father! HE HAD ‘DIED’ AND WAS BORN ANEW into a reformed and responsible person who could be counted upon, as a true son! The experience that he had gone thru was the kind that gives wisdom, and produces in a man the right kinds of personality traits, such as humility, wisdom and understanding, graciousness, dedication, selflessness, temperance, etc… Therefore, I can imagine that he must have gone to his father the next morning and asked where he could be of service on his father’s estate! And we can be sure that WHATEVER he was told to do, he would have done it judiciously and excellently, as he was now selflessly dedicated to the service of his father!

This is the kind of brokenness – and resulting reformation to our personalities, that God seeks to produce in believers that He is looking to make into sons! This is why He takes His time to put us thru harsh ordeals that are akin to the hardship the prodigal son endured.

The older brother also underwent a transformation that day, stemming from the understanding that had just been handed to him by his father. Here’s how his own future might have changed: From the way he saw himself, and the way his father spoke to him, it is doubtful that the father had given him a befitting position of responsibility and authority in his estate. Let’s remember the statement “As long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father…

Their father had servants who occupied positions of authority and helped him run the estate, instead of his own sons. One son had run away, and the older one who had stayed was unfit to take on such important positions. Just as the father waited for the day his prodigal son would come back and be a son to him, he waited for the day his older son would overcome his shortcomings and become a son to him. Therefore, if the father’s words to the older brother had had the right effects on him, then the older brother would have had the kind of change of heart, change of perspective, and change of self-view, that would have transformed him into the person his father had been waiting for him to become: A grown man who knew who he was as his father’s son! It is to such a son that their father would assign a position of importance within his estate.

The ‘new’ older brother would be a new person in that he would no longer be insecure and resentful of his younger brother and his father. His anger towards both men would dissipate and turn into love. And this love would produce in him the gentleness and graciousness with which he could lead the servants and treat them well and justly. He was already dedicated to serving their father; but while he used to do it with bitterness and resentment, he would now do it out of love and devotion to his father, and would happily and lovingly serve alongside his reformed brother.The Lord is not looking for slaves in us! He is looking for dedicated sons and daughters who CHEERFULLY seek to serve Him because they have grown to love and value Him above all things!

CONCLUSION

We will conclude this teaching by pointing out the powerful role that righteousness plays in all this discussion about sons. BECAUSE RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE SOURCE OF THE POWER IN A SON OF GOD!
We’ve mentioned that a son of God must be holy. But holiness is simply man separating himself from sin, and the simple fact is that no matter how much we try to be holy before God, we could never attain the standard of holiness that God has. Therefore, God devised a system by which He puts His own righteousness upon us once we believe in His Son. That way, He overlooks our imperfect state by looking at us thru His Son’s own perfection, and sees us righteous.

This presence of God’s righteousness in us brings us into an incredible position! In fact the greatest tragedy this world has ever known is the fact that believers do not understand the kind of position the righteousness of God brings them into in this world! Imagine a homeless vagrant with no good name and origins, no possessions, nothing whatsoever to boast of in this world. One day, a wealthy and powerful man takes in the bum, adopts him and confers upon him his own powerful name, then places him in a position of power within his estate. This is literally what happens when God confers His righteousness upon a man! His authority and power are suddenly placed upon the man!

Now imagine that the only condition placed upon the bum is that he be faultlessly obedient to the man who has adopted him and made him his son. That’s exactly the condition that sons of God MUST meet without fault! The secret to the Lord Jesus’ success is simple this: He was always obedient, even to the point of death!!!!! (See Philippians 2:8) As long as He was obedient to the instructions that He received from God the Father, the power and authority of the Father were upon Him and worked for Him. Likewise, as long as every single person in the Bible whom God had worked with, had been obedient to God, His righteousness was upon the person, and produced the mighty manifestations of the power of God in the person’s life!

God’s kingdom belongs to God!!! He decides how things are done in it. His Church belongs to Him. He decides how it is to be built! His sons are his servants. Therefore, all that is expected of them is to listen attentively to His instructions and do as instructed. Nothing else and nothing more or less!!! If the Lord Jesus came to earth and did nothing other than to receive instructions from the Father and then do strictly as He was instructed, how much more we whose righteousness comes thru Him!?! As long as the prodigal son and his older brother obediently served their father as instructed, he would be pleased to maintain his authority and power on them. The day any of them disobeyed in any way, his position of authority would be in jeopardy. The estate belonged to their father, and he had a specific vision for where he wanted to take his business. The sons were there to help him take his business where he wanted, and the only way they could do so was by receiving their father’s instructions, and strictly doing as instructed. Even if they never understood where he was taking the estate, they would obey faithfully because they now believed in their father, that he knew best, and they loved and respected his judgment.

So brethren, God is looking for sons and daughters of His who have grown into mature believers who have learned to be obedient to His every command, for therein lies the secret to their success as sons and daughters of God! EVERY SINGLE SON AND DAUGHTER IS UNIQUE! Therefore, the way God works with one son or daughter is not the way He works with another. Every church or ministry is unique. Therefore, God has a way that He plans to build every church or ministry. Watch and learn the way God works with you to build what He has committed to your care, and determine to follow His lead no matter what the cost of doing so may be! Seek out and faithfully follow His instructions no matter how ludicrous, crazy, unpleasant or scary they may sound! Therein lies the key to your success as a son or daughter of God!

If you’re a man, be a SON unto God! If you’re a woman, be a DAUGHTER unto God! Go and be great in our Father’s kingdom and vineyard! Be blessed!

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in SHORT MESSAGES

 

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COME TO YOUR SENSES AND BEGIN TO LIVE!

We’re all very familiar with the story of the prodigal son. Here it is, as our Lord Himself told it in Luke 15:11-32:

“11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring[b] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

25 “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.’”

This story is about you and I who are believers in – therefore, children of – God. And as His children, we all relate to Him differently. The prodigal son knew that he had a rich father, and set out to enjoy the riches of his father. In his particular case, he actually ‘cashed’ out early on his inheritance, then went far from home and spent it all away. At that point he became a miserable poor son of a rich man.

But as werse 17 says, “when he came to himself…” meaning, when he came to his senses, he realised that he could actually go back to his father’s house, even if to serve as a servant.

A man who has never known Jesus-Christ is a prodigal son to God the Father. Like all men, he became lost thru the sin of Adam, and must come to his senses and seek to be reconciled back to God. A simple confession of belief in Christ is all he needs to make to be reconciled to the Father.

A believer who has backslidden is a prodigal child to God the Father. He needs to come to his senses and realize that he is on a dangerous path to eternal damnation. Like the prodigal son in the story, he needs to run to the Father and ask for forgiveness.

Now on to the other son, who became very angry when he heard that his brother was back, and that their father was so overjoyed by this that he threw a party. But really, why was he angry? BECAUSE HE HAD HIS OWN SONSHIP ISSUES TOO! He too was the poor son of a rich man, even though he lived in his rich father’s mansion, AMID ALL OF HIS FATHER’S RICHES.

As he confessed to his father in verse 29, he had been ‘serving’ his father all these years, BUT HE WAS WAITING FOR HIS FATHER TO TELL HIM TO GO AND TAKE A GOAT TO KILL AND ENJOY. He knew not who he was in his own father’s house! He made himself no different than the other servants by not enjoying his father’s possessions.

Brethren we must come to our senses and realise who we are in Christ: Co-heirs of God’s vast possessions!

Don’t be like the prodigal son in the stroy by being the type of Christian who just sees Christianity as a way to get rich off of God the Father. Don’t be the type that do not serve in His kingdom any way at all. We were saved to be used by Him to accomplish the great things that He wishes to accomplish in this world. Who did you think He would use to do this? The unbelievers? He saved you and put His Holy Spirit, therefore, His anointing, on you that you might work with that anointing to do great things in His name!

PLEASE NOTE that the prodigal son SPECIFICALLY DECIDED that he would go and be a servant to his father. That’s because he now had an understanding that he couldn’t just be his father’s child and not serve his father by helping to manage his vast estate.

THIS IS CRUCIAL: It was the lack of servant-son attitude in him that made him to take his father for granted in the first place. And it was the new-found servant-son attitude that would ground him firmly in his father’s estate, and help him be the type of productive son that his father would be proud of.

This was the attitude the Lord Jesus had when He was here on earth, and that He still has in Heaven right now. His food was to do the will of The Father! LIKEWISE, SERVING GOD MUST BE THE SINGLE GREATEST DESIRE OF EVERY PERSON WHO CALLS HIMSELF A CHILD OF GOD!

Now back to the other son, who was so consumed by the servant-son attitude that he failed to enjoy his son-ship in his father. He was so busy being productive and making his father proud that he forgot to live.

You see in verse 32, their father said “…for your brother was dead and is alive again…” The NASB version of the Bible says “for your brother was dead and has begun to live…”

Like the prodigal son, those outside of Christ aren’t really alive. They haven’t begun to live.

Like the prodigal son, those who once knew Christ but left Him, aren’t alive. They once begun to live when they came into Christ, but die again when they went back to their former lives of sin.

Like the prodigal son, those who do know Christ, and are living for Him, but aren’t serving Him in any way, are alive in Him quite alright, and will make heaven if they die in Him. But what kind of life are they living if their lives are all about them and not about serving Christ? There’s a joy of living that comes with serving the Lord that they will never know!

SO COME TO YOUR SENSES AND BEGIN TO LIVE FOR GOD AND NOT FOR YOURSELF! Then you’ll feel the true joy of living! The joy of living FOR THAT ONE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE FATHER CREATED YOU AND PUT YOU IN THIS WORLD!

And on the other side of the coin, like the older son, those who serve God but do not taste of His riches, and are in constant lack, either financially or in so many other ways, aren’t fully alive either. WHERE’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM AND UNBELIEVERS WHO DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO GOD’S RICHES AND BLESSINGS???

God told Abraham that He was going to use him as an example of the way it ought to be between Him and men. Therefore the goal of every believer ought to be to live the way Abraham lived. He serve God with all of his heart and might, AND ENJOYED THE BLESSINGS OF GOD IN RETURN! He was not a poor servant of a rich God! He was not a poor son of a rich father!

GET THIS: If the older son had known who he was in their father’s house, and had been satisfied in life, he wouldn’t have been angry that his brother was back, nor that his father was happy about it. He himself would have been overjoyed as well. His problem was insecurity. Because he didn’t know his place in his own father’s house, he felt threatened when his brother came back, and resent him. And because he was only service-oriented, he had a holier-than-thou complex.

Those of us who slave in God’s kingdom but have nothing to show for it resent those who seem to have it all but don’t serve much, and try to compensate this by having a holier-than-thou attitude towards them. AN ACCOMPLISHED BELIEVER is one who has discovered God’s purpose for him on this earth, and spends his life pursuing the fulfillment of that purpose. Such a believer has learned who he is as God’s child, and has learned how to tap from the wealth that God has made available for His children. He does not resent anyone for having much, but rather seeks to help everyone else become fruitful children of God as well!

SO COME TO YOUR SENSES, REALISE WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST, AND BEGIN TO LIVE AND ENJOY CHRISTIANITY!

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in SHORT MESSAGES

 

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