In Luke 15, Jesus tells the parable of a man who had two sons. We see one son ask for his father’s inheritance, run off, waste his life on sin and return home to his father thinking he has no chance or right to be called or treated like a son. The older son stays home, works for his father, and stays obedient. When the young, rebellious son returns home, we see the father embrace his son with compassion and throw a huge party in honor of his son’s return. The older son is jealous and angry that the younger son was treated so favorably while he himself had been so obedient all the years serving his father. The father reminds the older son that he has always been by his side and everything the father owns is also his.
Both of the sons deal with an extreme. The younger son looks thinks he has been destroyed by his reputation and actions. The older son think his reputation and actions should qualify himself to earn more respect than his younger brother. The younger son is approached with grace and without condemnation from the father. The father treats him with a feast because nothing can take away the fact that that is his son. The older son has to be reminded that he is also a son and has been faithful all the years. He is stuck on his righteous acts and believes that he is entitled to an inheritance. His works would have never saved him, but the fact that he is a son of his father gives him an inherited value and worth. (Read Luke Chapter 15:11-32 for the whole story here.)
Balancing these two extremes of self-hate and egotism is very difficult. It can be harmful to dwell on either too long in our walk with Christ. I can’t live a life acting like I’m not forgiven, yet I have to keep in mind that I do not deserve forgiveness. Live like you are forgiven, and meekly remember that you would be nothing without the Father. As Pastor David said in our last sermon, “Forgiveness is the source of incredible joy in our lives.” Live in that joy.
We cannot earn an inheritance. We have to be born or adopted into one.
When we worship, we should come to the Father humbly and boldly because of what Christ has done and who we are in Him.
Have a great week!