Do you ever ask yourself why?
Why do you serve? Why do you give? Your why is the driving force of your life. When you lose track of your why, what you do and how you do it will be done with the wrong motives.
In the story of the Prodigal Son, the older brother lost his why. Overtime, he lost who he was in what he did, and self-righteousness took over. He became me focused, and when his “doing” didn’t have the outcome he thought it would, he developed hate towards God, his younger brother, and even himself.
He couldn’t freely celebrate his younger brother’s return because he was angry and bitter. He believed he deserved certain things from God, and felt the need to remind his father of all the things he had done for him. When we lose our why we operate on the defense; we constantly defend who we are, and measure it by what we do. He felt superior and entitled, and believed he should be getting the praise and celebration that his brother was getting. He reminded the father of all the mistakes his younger brother made and compared it to his obedience. However, he was only obedient out of duty instead of being motivated by love. And because he was a slave to his works, he remained joyless. He didn’t know the father's love, so he tried to earn his way to it. He had no assurance in God and in God’s love for him.
Falling victim to the older brother mindset will take us off mission. Church, our why, is the younger brother. It’s going for the one just as our loving Father came for us. It’s never giving up on someone no matter how far gone they seem. And it’s celebrating them when they turn around and come home.
- Remove unnecessary fears from church
- Take away guilt trips
- Simplify Jesus
- Dispel misconceptions about Jesus and the church
- Bring hope, not doom and gloom
The Bible says that the father came to talk to the older brother (Luke 15:28). So, even in our stubbornness our reckless Father still pursues us reminding us that all He has is ours – life, salvation, health, material possessions, family, spiritual disciplines, money, and work ethic. The point of the Gospel isn't so that we can say we’ve arrived. No. The point of the Gospel - why Jesus came, died, and rose again - was to rescue the lost.
You can be in church and still be far from God. I believe he's reminding you today that you are His, and in Him you have EVERYTHING.
You don't have to earn it, and you surely don't deserve it, it's a gift - the reckless love of God.