How are you responding to your prodigal? Are you helping or hindering?
And what about you … Are you a talker or a doer? Talking about God isn’t living for God. Talking about winning souls isn’t sharing the Gospel. Talking about prayer isn’t prayer.
Judges 7 & 8
Judges 7 & 8:
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Cor. 1.27). We see the truthfulness of that verse in the story of Gideon. It would seem like foolishness to send 32,000 men home and keep only 300 to fight an enemy who were “as numerous as locusts” and who had “camels without number.”
When we feel the weakest and the least able, or even foolish in comparison to some people, who are full of the world’s wisdom, that’s when God can use us in the greatest way if we will trust Him to direct us.
Received by God
Verse 15, “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for He shall receive me. Selah.” Remember “selah” means pause and think.
Unless Jesus comes again before then, all of us will die—saint and sinner. But death is not the end of our existence. Death is separation. In the case of physical death, it’s separation of our body from our spirit. In the case of unbelievers who are spiritually dead, they are separated from God.
And those who die without being spiritually regenerated, will die a second death, being separated from God for all eternity in a place where the fire is not quenched and the worm never dies (Mk. 9.44-45).
But those of us who have received Him here, have the promise that He will receive us into everlasting glory!
Not just talkers
Verse 23, “In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty.” This is true of spiritual things, too. Too often we talk about the things of God, but don’t do the work that goes along with it. Talking about God isn’t the same as walking with and living to please God. Talking about winning souls isn’t sharing the Gospel. Talking about prayer isn’t prayer. Let’s be doers of the Word and, in this case, not just talkers.
The care and feeding of prodigals
So often when we read this well-known parable, our minds go to all the prodigals we know. Even with our own children, we often fret and push and prod our prodigals to repent and come home. And, all too often, instead of letting them spend enough time in the pigpen to come to the end of themselves, we keep “feeding them”—bailing them out of many of their problems, not understanding that the “hunger” they are experiencing is God’s method of helping them come to their senses.
And what about the “older brothers” in our families? Unless he or she has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, that child who didn’t “rebel,” who finished college and has a good career is just as lost as the prodigal. And often, like the older brother in the parable, they think they are “righteous” and see no need to turn to God. While we must entrust both of them to God, we should be just as faithful to pray for the “older brother or sister” as the prodigal.
What about you?
So ask yourself the questions we talked about the last couple of days. What is God saying to you personally in today’s reading?
Are you a talker or a doer?
If there’s a prodigal in your life, how are you responding? Are you helping him (or her) stay relatively happy in their pigsty or are you letting him get hungry? And what about the older brother? Are you one? Do you know one? Are you just as passionate about praying for him?
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