Posted by: pastortomvabeach | January 14, 2015

Thought For The Week January 18, 2015

I was reading the new magazine that the Assemblies of God has published to take the place of The Pentecostal Evangel. The magazine is named Vital, and rather than being published weekly, it comes out every other month. The inaugural edition had a short article that stirred my thinking.

The writer discussed what it is in our lives that indicates the depth or intensity of our relationship with Christ. Many would suggest certain disciplines like Bible reading, prayer, worship, and giving as good indicators of a strong and growing intimacy with the Lord. But is the real measure just doing the right things?

In Luke 15, Jesus was seen teaching many tax collectors and “sinners”. On seeing that the Pharisees, a religious group who were known as those who always did all the right things, began to be critical of Jesus being around such people. The rest of the chapter contains three parables that show how important the lost are to God.

The last parable we know as the parable of the prodigal son but might be better named as the parable of the father’s heart. The story goes that one of a man’s two sons took his inheritance and wasted it all in wild living far away from the father. Upon finding himself literally in the pigpen, he decided to go to his father in shame and become one of his servants.

But the father’s heart changed all that. After watching and waiting for his son to return he was overjoyed to see him coming and threw a party, dressing the son in the finest garb, and receiving him back into the family.

The rest of the story is that his brother totally missed the point. He was angered that his father had never thrown any parties for him even though he had been at home doing all the right things “for” his father. But somehow, in doing the right things, he didn’t grasp the essence of the father’s heart. Had he caught the father’s heart, he may have gone out to that far country searching for his brother knowing how his father hurt and longed for his lost son. Then, when the prodigal came home, they would have rejoiced together.

So let me ask you, how do you measure the health of your relationship with Christ. Is it just that you are “doing the right things”? Or have you caught the longing in our Father’s heart for every lost soul? Peter wrote, The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9)

I had to ask myself and begin to evaluate whether I’ve gotten into a rut of doing the right things instead of always being on the outlook for lost sons and daughters whom I can bring back to the Father. Good question, huh?

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