Day 3—The Indignant Older Son
1. Read Luke 15:25-32. What did the older son misunderstand about his father?
2. What wrong attitude did the older son have about his younger brother?
3. Do you ever struggle to love someone in word, thought, or deed? Why?
4. Think of some specific people you struggle to love. Pray for them. Ask the Holy Spirit for the right words.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven…” (Matthew 5:43-45a)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2)
Day Two—The Love of the Father
1. Read Luke 15: 20-24. How does this illustrate the father’s love for his lost son? Are there any ideas which stick out to you?
2. Read John 3:16-18. How has God shown His love for the world? How should we respond to that love?
3. Reflect and write about some ways which God has shown His love for you.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son Daily Devotional Guide
This 7-day devotional will guide us through understanding the message of Jesus’ parable in Luke 15:11-32 and how to apply it to our lives. I hope and pray this is useful to you in understanding how to read a parable and also how to live according to the spiritual nature of God’s Word. On Sunday, the sermon will be given, then 3 more daily devotionals will be offered to help us all make application to our lives.
Day One (Thursday)—Overview of the Parable and the Younger Son’s Repentance
Summary of the parable: A wealthy man has two sons. The younger son asks for his inheritance, then goes and squanders it with frivolous living. When hard times come, he tries his hardest to make it work. Eventually he comes to his senses and humbly asks his father for forgiveness. The father is so happy to see him and welcomes him back. The older son does not share in his father’s joy over and love for the younger brother. Rather, he is indignant, not wanting to be part of the celebration. The father takes time to come to the older brother, pleading with him to join the celebration. The older brother responds in a way which indicates his wrong understanding about the father and wrong attitude toward his younger brother—which the father corrects.
1. Read Luke 15:11-32. Use the space below to write down the three main characters
2. Read Luke 15:1-2. Who does the father in the parable represent? The younger son? The older son?
3. The younger son saw his need for a relationship with the father. He was as good as dead otherwise. Read Psalm 23. What attitude should you have toward the LORD, your heavenly Father? Use specific examples from the Psalm and from the parable, verses 17-19.
“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the quipping of the saints for the work of services, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
The emphasis of these verses is the building up of the body—not on spiritual gifts, as some like to emphasize.
God’s Plan: To build up the body: 1) Unity in Faith; 2) Unity in knowledge
A mature person can discern right and wrong, and thereby practice God’s will.
Ephesians 4:17-19—there is only one head--Christ. We either have a head or we do not have a head.
Household of God —New Testament Perspective
The Household of God is one of the key features in God’s plan seen in Scripture
Household means family.
Acts 15:16-18. Prophecy that God will build back the ruins of David’s House or Household so that the Gentiles can come in to God.
The New Testament Church as looking forward to an unshakable, eternal kingdom or home.
Luke 12:32 Don’t be afraid little clock, the Father has chosen to give you the Kingdom
Hebrews 12:38 Unshakeable kingdom
John 14:1-3 — Jesus refers to this “Home” idea when He says, “In My Fathers’s house there are many mansions.” He is creating an image of a home that is owned by the Father.
John 3:16 — We gain access into His Household through faith in Christ
Romans 5:1 — We are justified by faith and therefore have peace with God
Galatians 3:28-29 — Paul was clear in his writings about one family
Family Member is defined by his/her behavior:
You are of your father, Satan — you speak his language!
Paul says, “You are no longer of Satan’s household, stop acting like him!”
Three Definitions of Family that are rejected by the Gospel:
John 1:12. He has given us the authority to be children. The invitation is open to all.
There can be no division based on:
Nationality… Matt. 15:21-28
Culture… Acts 10:24-34 (no partiality w/Cornelius)
Race… Philip & eunuch / Jesus and Phoenetian woman
Wealth… Luke 8:1-3 Mary delivered, Joanna Herod’s steward and Susanna
Education… John 1:40-41. Fisherman
Occupation.. Matthew 9:6. Matthew was a tax collector
Lifestyle… John 4: Woman at the well was a Samaritan and a sinner
Condition in life… John 9:6-7. Blind man can see
There are many other scriptures which show the inclusiveness of Christ…Roman soldier, tax collector, prostitutes, Pharisees, women of wealth, lepers, poor, blind, rich, Gentiles, Jews
God as the Father of the Household
Romans 8:14-16. By receiving Christ, we receive His Holy Spirit. That is why we can call God our Father. His life is now in us!
Luke 15…Parable of the Prodigal Son shows us the truth that LIFE IS WITH THE FATHER. Son who was far and son who was near both misunderstood the importance of the RELATIONSHIP.
Result of Being in the Household of God: Worship in Spirit and in Truth
John 1:12; John 4; Exodus 19; 1 Cor. 11:23
Daily Fellowship: Acts 1:13-14; 2:46-47; 5:42; 12:12
When I come to the end of my life, I don't think I am going to say things like, "I wish I had spent less time talking with my wife," "All that time spent teaching my kids was a waste," "I wish I had spent more time sleeping, rather than being as productive as I could be," "I wish I had spent less time in prayer and reading the Bible," "I wish I had spent less time worshipping God and in fellowship with other Christians, learning and growing in devotion to this great God who I will live with for eternity," "All the time spent reaching out to neighbors with the hope of the Gospel, helping those in need any way I could, and preaching and teaching the Word of God was fruitless," or "I really should have spent more on my selfish desires, such as -------."
Paul's letter to the Ephesians says we should make the most of our time because the days are evil, and that the way to do that is to learn the will of God for each of us.
"...having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God...though He is not far from us;" (Acts 17:26-27).
God is this one determining our time here on earth, and is pleading with us to seek Him--the one who has given us life, breath, and all things.
As hard as we try, we really cannot give ourselves more time than God has allotted. How are we using that time?
For me, it is a question of whether I am living my life with an attitude of pleasing myself and others or with an attitude of pleasing God.
Many issues in this fallen world present challenges in various capacities. This is not a simple question because what could be considered an “issue for Christianity” could be examined through the lenses of the Church, Christianity the religion, Christian orthodoxy (right thinking) and orthopraxy (right practice), or the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
A question comes to mind that may shed some light on contemporary thinking. What will be our Lord? Will the Church—organization, institution or body of believers—be our lord? Will adherence to some perceived or human-created standards of right teaching and practice govern our every thought and action? Too many churches get bogged down and sidetracked with these things. Our one Lord is Jesus Christ Himself, whether we accept Him or not. Ephesians 4:1-6, "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."
The most significant issue facing the Church and affecting our thought and practice is whether or not we accept the Lordship of the God of the Bible. It is really going to be a question of whether or not people understand and accept the ultimate authority of Scripture. Too many people even now get at least distracted and at worst turn themselves and others completely away from the faith. Families are and will be neglected. Sin is accepted and propounded—and things are only going to get worse. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Timothy 4:3). People—and whole churches—are already doing this, so over the next ten years we are going to witness things getting much worse, in the world and in the church. Judgement is coming. The question is will we be people who will endure God’s discipline and the world’s persecution? We can only do this by examining God’s Living Word and seeking deeper submission to the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness
for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.
Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and yet He was tempted.
1. Temptation often comes upon a believer with its strongest power when he/she is nearest to God.
Why does God allow temptation for a believer?. Look at a tree...storms make roots go deeper and deeper and enable to stand even greater storms. Oak trees don't become strong within a day or two; they go through different seasons and heavy storms.
2. Another example: Fire makes paintings on ceramics permanent and beautiful. Take examples of any missionaries, John Bunyan, William Tyndale or William Carey and many saints, who were going through temptations and testing and became a model for us.
3. When the devil tries to distract us from following the Lord, we need to overcome by the Word of God. Then we can feel the touch of our Lord Jesus Christ in the middle of the storms sufferings (Heb. 12:11). There are many examples from the Bible of people who overcame.
4. Our Lord Jesus stood the test and came out victorious, defeating the devil. Jesus said "In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." We may experience various tribulations and temptations, but we have a victorious Lord in everything. Praise the Lord, let's follow His steps.
This devotion was sent to us from a friend who trains pastors in India.
"For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.
Our meditation today:
This is a wonderful verse which has very rich meaning of each of the attributes of our Lord.
3. The Lord of hosts
5. Holy one of Israel
6. God of all the earth.
There is a rich meaning of all the above attributes. We were meditating, He is our Redeemer. This redeemer aspects has relationship to all other attributes.
1. The Redeemer concept developed from Exodus onwards. The Lord redeemed Israel from their physical bondage which has a direct implication of our redemption from sin and death, spiritual.
2. No redemption possible without shedding of blood. Hebrews chapter 9 specifically deals with the issue of redemption, comparing OT verses NT redemption ( 9:9 & 14). 3. We were under the bondage of devil and his power (Colossians 1 13,14). Jesus Christ our Lord paid it by His precious blood and redeemed us.
4. Christ is our Redeemer, like Boaz became the redeemer of Ruth. Ruth symbolizes the church and Boaz as Christ.
5. We are redeemed to be His, His alone. Complete recovery to be used by Him, to be His servants.
Compared the following points and added into our meditation:
The purpose of God redeeming the people of Israel. This is a wonderful imagery of the real lifestyle of Israel and the New Israel, we the church and each one of us. The people of Israel are redeemed by God:
1. To dwell among them (Ex.25:8;29;46; Deut. 23:14; Jn.1:14)
2. To be their God (Lev. 25:38; 26:12,13; 2 Cor. 6:16)
3. To sanctify them for Himself, a special people for Him (Lev. 22:32,33; 1 Thess. 4:3)
4. To be His servants (Lev. 25:42,55; isa.41;8;42:1;43:10; Rom. 1:2)
5. To separate them from the Gentiles (Lev. 20:24, 26; Deut.26:18,19; 1 cor. 10:20,21; 2 cor.6:14-17)
6. To be a Priest and a Holy nation for the Living God (Ex. 19:5,6; 1 Peter 2:9,10).
The redemption brings a special privilege for a special responsibility to perform.
Our prayer today Lord discipline us, help us, give your grace to be used by you. We're yours, your servants alone. Give us a single eye devotion towards you and to live in your presence eternally.
(This is not our original work. The original author is cited at the bottom).
Have you ever noticed how in the scriptures men are always going up into the mountains to commune with the Lord?
Yet in the scriptures we hardly ever
hear of women going to the mountains,
and we know why — right?
Because the women were too busy
keeping life going;
they couldn’t abandon babies,
and a thousand responsibilities to make the climb into the mountains!
I was talking to a friend the other day,
saying that as modern woman
I feel like I’m never “free” enough
from my responsibilities,
never in a quiet enough,
or holy enough spot
to have the type of communion
I want with God.
Her response floored me,
“That is why God comes to women.
Men have to climb the mountain to meet God, but God comes to women where ever they are.”
I have been pondering on her words for weeks and have searched my scriptures
to see that what she said is true.
God does in deed come to women
where they are,
when they are doing their ordinary,
He meets them at the wells
where they draw water for their families,
in their homes,
in their kitchens,
in their gardens.
He comes to them
as they sit beside sickbeds,
as they give birth,
care for the elderly,
and perform necessary mourning and burial rites.
Even at the empty tomb,
Mary was the first to witness Christ’s resurrection,
She was there because she was doing the womanly chore of properly preparing Christ’s body for burial.
In these seemingly mundane
and ordinary tasks,
these women of the scriptures found themselves face to face with divinity.
So if — like me — you ever start to bemoan the fact that you don’t have as much time to spend in the mountains with God as you would like. Remember, God comes to women. He knows where we are and the burdens we carry. He sees us, and if we open our eyes and our hearts we will see Him, even in the most ordinary places and in the most ordinary things.
Original 🖌: Heather Farrell
We will occasionally post Scripture meditations, encouraging stories, answers to prayer, or Bible Study notes here.