I was listening to a Godfirst Church podcast from their most recent sermon series called “City Slickers” and this message he was talking about the brother in the Prodigal Son parable.
It was seriously convicting, especially because I am very often the older brother. I am the bitter, self-righteous judgemental older brother, that looks at the returning son as undeserving of all that the Father gives. I am the arrogant, angry older brother that is focused more on doing, on duty, than I am on my Father’s Grace. I find that when I am doing well spiritually, it is usually because I am doing [such] and [such], but I don’t think I’ve ever once consciously thought or attributed it to God’s Grace, I think that I’ve always conciously(or unconciously) attributed it more to me doing Bible readings and devotional stuff….not because of His good Grace. Which is why, even if I miss one thing, I feel like I’m the worst person in the world. When I don’t feel like doing something, I feel like I have to white-knuckle force myself to do a devotional, or read the Bible. Those are the times when I have no joy. those are the times where it is a begrudging submission. As if Jesus will be glorified in my forced submission.
It was this sermon, that Jesus used to remind me, that just like the prodigal, the older brother needs Grace as well. How often that I forget that it isn’t the devotions and Bible readings, it isn’t the duty that makes me close to Jesus, rather it is His Grace that brings me closer to Him. It is Jesus, Himself, that pulls me close, not because I am good, or dutiful but because He loves me. He continues to WRECK me with that notion alone. He loves me, not because of what I do. He loves me, despite all I have done. And that is all I could ever hope for.
Help me Jesus, to understand, believe, and cherish Your wonderful, matchless Grace.