Jesus Re-Defines Lost

Big Point: The father had two sons and both were lost. 
When we think of someone being lost, the prodigal son really makes sense to us; after all, he physically left his childhood home in search of what he thought would be a better life. But, as we’ve discussed this week through this parable, Jesus wants us to also understand another, more insidious type of lostness. Tim Keller calls this “elder brother lostness” that brings “as much misery and...
grief into the world as the other kind”. Why? Because it leads to the enslavement of feeling you are owed more than you are getting.
If that’s what we believe, then in addition to anger, there will be other signs of elder brother lostness: self-righteousness, feelings of superiority, criticism of others, joyless obedience (often for the sake of duty), moral for our own benefit, and living for ourselves. The truth is that this life reflects no real assurance of the Father’s love and “as long as you are trying to earn your salvation by controlling God through goodness, you will never be sure you are good enough.” We remain enslaved, working hard for ourselves, while seeing it as working hard for good.
To live as a son and daughter is living from God, not for God. This is a shift in how most of us think. It moves us from a scarcity mindset that says, “There’s not enough for everyone; work harder to be good enough” for God, to an abundance mindset that instead says, from God “there is plenty, more than enough for everyone.” 
READ IT… What does the Bible say?
Luke 15:29-32 (New Living Translation)

29 but he replied, “All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!” 31 His father said to him, “Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!”
Question: What are the first words the son says to the father?
BELIEVE IT… What is the lesson for me?

Was the son a slave to the father? Why or why not? 
LIVE IT… What will I do now?

How do you respond when your loyalty and hard work is seemingly overlooked with recognition and celebration for someone else? 
In what ways do you feel enslaved to doing good because you should, rather than because you are living from the Father? 
PRAY… Use these words: God, it’s likely that I have some elder brother lostness in my heart that I don’t even notice. Reveal the ways I’m trying to be a slave to You rather than a slave for You, experiencing the freedom of Your love. Amen.
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jan, beautiful lesson! Thank you for sharing. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. xo