Month: March 2019
Give me the portion of goods that fall to me (Luke 15:12). The prodigal son knew what belonged to his father and if his father had it, that meant he had it. His father gave him what he asked for, but his problems began when he stopped obeying what he was taught by his father. He started doing things that sons shouldn’t do. The moment he disobeyed, he became a slave – to sin, debt, poverty.
But one day, his eyes were opened. He realized that he didn’t have to live the way he was living. He remembered that his father, who he had left, had hired servants who had enough bread. The prodigal son wasn’t just in a distant country, but he was in a distant relationship with his father. The moment he returned to his father, everything he lost was restored. The servants placed on him a robe, sandals and a ring. The ring signified that when he decreed a thing, it would be established and no one could change or alter what he had spoken.
The elder son was angry because he saw his brother living the way he should have been living. Although he had read the commandments and had not sinned against them, he still didn’t understand what belonged to him. All that I have is yours (Luke 15:31). Even though he took his anger out on his brother and father, he was really angry at himself because he didn’t know how to access what his father had already given him.
While the household was celebrating the return of the prodigal son, the elder son was outside when he should have been inside. He couldn’t believe his ears. Why were they celebrating? How could his brother who left his house and his country to become a citizen of another country, lose everything, return to his house and get back everything he lost? To him, that wasn’t fair, but it was fair. When the prodigal son asked for his portion, the father divided it between the elder and the younger. The elder had the same thing as his brother, but he didn’t do anything with what was given to him. (This reminds me of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30).
It took the prodigal son becoming a slave to discover that he was a son. He discovered that the things he was under were the things that he was created to rule over. He wasn’t created to toil or to beg.
The elder and the prodigal son lived in the same house. They had the same father. Isn’t it interesting how you can go to the same church with someone and hear the same sermon and the same instructions yet you’re still at the Jordan while others have already crossed the Jordan and entered the Promised Land? What did they do that you refused to do? Perhaps the problem has been that we like to hear a good word, but we don’t do anything with the information we hear in church because sometimes it’s not easy.
Do you think that leaving a country that was afar off to return to his home was easy for the prodigal son? It was a fight, but he walked until he walked himself out of his situation.
There is an enemy who is angry because he lost. He is angry that he got kicked out of heaven and he is doing everything he can to get you kicked out of the garden like Adam. He doesn’t want you to know who you are and what you have. He doesn’t want you to get everything that belongs to you.
Don’t do what the elder son did. He told the father what he didn’t have and what his father never gave him (Luke 15:29). Some of us do the same thing.
I don’t have the money to purchase a home.
I don’t have anyone to help me.
I don’t have a college degree.
This is why God asked Moses, What is that in your hand? Elisha asked the widow, What do you have in the house? I think sometimes we are so focused on what we don’t have that we can’t see what we do have.
May God not only reveal what He has given to us, but I pray that we use it for Him.
Refuse to be a church that is a hearer, but not a doer of the word.
miracle: an act impossible with man, but possible with God
There were people in the bible who were in some type of bondage for 400 years (children of Israel), 38 years (impotent man at the pool) and 12 years (woman with the issue of blood, but God freed them all. He transformed their lives. He changed their story.
One of the reasons why some of us haven’t seen the same transformation in our lives is because of unbelief. When the woman with the issue of blood heard about Jesus (Mark 5:27), she believed what she heard and she acted on what she believed. For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
Another reason is because we don’t want to give up anything or let go of what we have to get what Christ has. It was November 2008. I had been having problems with my car and I was searching for a new car, but I couldn’t find what I wanted at a reasonable price so I became discouraged and stopped looking. Then one day, my pastor said something that made me ‘look again’. A few days later, I saw the car I liked, but it wasn’t the color I wanted. I didn’t want another black car, but I saw in red letters the word, ‘reduced’.
That Friday after work, I called the dealership and the gentleman told me that the car was still on the lot and he would be waiting for my arrival. When I got there, he got a copy of my license, but he didn’t offer to ride with me. He just told me to test drive the car. When I returned, he got all of my personal information and helped me empty the contents that were in my car. He then told me to take the car home and return the following day. But before I left, I remember that he and another gentleman asked me where I had been as this car had been on the lot for weeks and no one would purchase it. When I think about it now, this car wasn’t meant for anyone else. It was for me. God wanted me to have this car, but He was waiting on me to let go and trade my old car for this new car. He was waiting on me to accept the change.
Before a miracle was performed at the wedding, Jesus asked the servants to give Him what they already had. There were six (the number six is symbolic of man) waterpots there filled with 20 to 30 gallons of water, but they weren’t filled to the brim. They were used for the washing of hands, but now Jesus wanted to use them for another purpose. He wanted to do something inwardly that would be displayed outwardly for everyone to see.
If we want Jesus to change us from water to wine, we must first become like the waterpots and allow God to completely fill us (with His Spirit) so that He can use us as His vessels to pour into the lives of others and to meet their needs.
Have you ever met a person who told you about their past and you found it so hard to believe their story? They didn’t look like what they went through. They didn’t look like they were once a drug addict or mean or promiscuous or sick. To me, that’s a miracle.
Now, let us become a miracle for those who need a miracle.
Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, Draw some out and take it to the governor of the feast (John 2:7-8).
Come to Me.
Talk to Me.
You have My ears.
Tell me what concerns you. Tell Me what bothers you. Tell Me what hurts you.
I told you that I would do it. I will bless you. I will restore you. I will heal you. I will fix it, but you are trying to do it on your own and now it has become a burden to you.
You have carried this burden long enough.
Give it to Me.
Put on My yoke and let us walk together and as you walk with Me, you will find strength and the help you need.
You need Me.
You have talked to everyone else about it.
Now, talk to Me.
Come to me, all of you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls (Matthew 11:28-29).
pass by: to see something or someone, but not take advantage of the opportunity; to overlook; to ignore
Jesus said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and he saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him (Luke 10:30-34, NIV).
Three men saw the same man.
This was a question my pastor asked during bible study:
How many times, as Christians, are we going to pass by the man and not help him, expecting an unsaved person to do what we were supposed to do?
To those who have questioned why God chose them or why He wants to use them, this is your answer.
I didn’t wait until after you were born.
Before I even formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew all about you. I knew what you would do. I knew the choices (good and bad) you would make.
Before you took your first breath, I had already chosen you to be My (prophet, evangelist, son/daughter, spokesman, etc) to speak My word to the nations.
I did not make a mistake.
I chose you because I loved you and I have not changed My mind about you.
Yes, I know your past, but I also know your future.
Don’t use (fear, past mistakes, ‘I’m not good enough’, I’m not smart enough’, etc) as an excuse.
You can and you will go wherever I send you.
You can and you will say whatever I tell you to say.
You have no reason to fear for I am with you and I will defend you.
My words are in you because I have placed them there.
You will know what to say for you will be My voice.
This day I have appointed you to speak with My authority over nations and kingdoms.
My word – in your mouth – has power.
Let My word change your life so you can change the lives of others.
(Jeremiah 1:5-10, paraphrased).