Prodigal Humility IV

father and son_FF 
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.” ~Luke 15:20-21 (NLT)
 
Today I finish up where I left with humility found in the story of the lost son and would like to answer the question that I left off in my last Freedom Fighter, “So why is this a cool parable?” Well I think the biggest thing I get outta of it is the forgiveness given to the prodigal. You can heap all the ugliness you want on the shoulders of the prodigal but it all comes off with his father’s forgiveness. But it is very easy to maintain a certain animosity towards the prodigal son, after all, he wasted his inheritance and he ain’t getting that back any time soon. We all get a bit aggravated when someone wastes what we earned to give them…don’t we?
 
However, the father made the decision to give his son his share and in this day and age that just might go down as the “norm” but back in the 1stcentury it was wasteful. The society surrounding this family would have been appalled to see the father running down the road to love on his son. No matter how much he missed him this boy still squandered his father’s earnings. And that society was so steeped in what The Law said, how The Pharisees interrupted it, that it would not see the forest for the trees in what was going on. If they would have just remembered what went on back in The Garden, when their originals parents were “naked and ashamed” maybe, just maybe, they would have seen humiliation being flipped into humility. But they were too busy being…offended.
 
Ya see the moment the son comes back into the picture the father can now speak to his son. I’m sure that before the “prodigal living” actually took place the idea of it had been nicely harbored in the heart of the son. Ever been so stubborn over something that you couldn’t be reasoned with it going a different direction? (Tell me no…go on…I dare you!!) Well this is where I see the younger son. Having been a prodigal myself I know that once my mind was made up to do this act of “riotous living”, the coals were thrown into the furnace and the train kept-a-rollin’ all night long (sometimes into the wee hours of the morning) and when I woke up from this little adventure regret was on the back burner. Until spiritual famine got the better of me and a need to have faith kicked in.
 
Andrew Murray put it like this, “Humility and faith are more nearly allied in Scripture than many know. See it in the life of Christ. There are two cases in which He spoke of a great faith. In the first instance, the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home.” At this humility, Jesus marveled and replied, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” (Matt 8:8,10) In the second case, the mother humbly spoke,“That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their master’s table.” And the Lord answered her, “Dear woman, your faith is great.” (Matt 15:27-28) It is humility that brings a soul to be nothing before God that also removes every hindrance to faith.”
 
And this is what really makes the parable of the prodigal so cool. It shows how it is gonna take a complete empting of self to bring one to feel humility (and NOT humiliation), to find the faith within ourselves to ask for forgiveness and to receive grace and mercy. Simply put in YHVH’s Word…” Trustin the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” (Psalm 37:3-4) Yes sometimes one has to travel through the wilderness to find the end of their self but it is good having the promises of YHVH make themselves worth the journey? Today take a moment and understand what you have been saved from by making Jesus Christ LORD and SAVIOR. Faith and Humility can make this walk well worth the journey. Amen?
 
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married with two adult children (you may remember them from summer staff) and serves on the Deacon Board at Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne NJ.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 112; Proverbs 21

Daily Quote: “Humility makes the soul fear that it would dishonor Him by not trusting Him wholly.” ~Andrew Murray

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.  Psalms 32:6-7

Read past entries in Chris’s “Prodigal Humility” series:

Prodigal Humility III

Prodigal Humility II

Prodigal Humility I

Prodigal Humility II

Prodigal Humble

“God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.” ~1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (NLT)

Have you looked at the parable of the prodigal son and ever ask yourself what his aim was with receiving his inheritance early? What was the end game with all that loot? I’m gonna stretch this out a bit and say that where ever your heart is with the story there you will not only find the prodigal but the prodigal within you. If you’ve said that he just wanted to rock and roll all night and party every day and needed the money to throw away on it…I would wonder if that was what you wanted to do. Me? I’ll be honest, since it is a young lad we’re talking about, I’ve leaned towards that same answer in the youth of my walk but I now I might just give him the benefit of the doubt and say he wanted to start his own life with it. Maybe….

So…what was your aim when you came to a saving grace knowledge of Jesus Christ? Do you plan an end game with that? Now if you give me that same fire alarm answers that states the end of The Bible can be summed up in two words (WE WIN) then my guess is all you want is to be able to say you’re on the winning team. Which isn’t a bad thing but it can’t be what you rest your walk on. Because if that’s all you intended to do then you’ve cheapen the grace that YHVH has imparted to you and it really is all about you. And I think when you come to humility we should see the end game much clearer than we did when we first accepted Christ. But the unfortunate truth to this is very often we don’t tend to make God our ultimate end because humility isn’t an easy thing.

When you look at the parable of the prodigal do you ever wonder how his presentation was when he approached his father for his inheritance? Was he asking as a humble son or was he belligerent one? Once again I’ll say where ever your heart is with story there you’ll find not only the prodigal but the prodigal within you. And I’ll once again say that in the youth of my walk I could envision this kid being pushy about getting’ his stuff BUT I’ll give benefit of the doubt and say there was a certain sense of humility to it, but in the sense that I said in my last Freedom Fighter. Parleyed humility…I be humble to you if are humble to me. Philia over agape.

Being humble on our terms is a contradiction of itself. And at times we can slip into “moral corruption” and make humility some kinda happy thing to do. Like there is a pleasure seeking end game to it. So our walk looks more hedonistic than Christ-like,

(then the Doobie Brothers sing…” Jesus is just alright with me, Jesus is just alright oh yeah”!!) and I think that like the prodigal getting the father’s inheritance, we sorta waste our inheritance from Jesus and we feel good about. Never one time bringing it to the forefront of our mind that this is gonna get hard and this gonna take effort. And a funny thing to note is there are some who would dangle the enjoyment of heaven as the reason to come to Christ, never once telling you about the cost. Sad, but true.

Well my time with you is coming to an end today but in closing I hope you not thinking that I’m being a killjoy. It isn’t wrong to enjoy conveying humility to one another and it isn’t wrong to have that as a desire but what I am saying is to make sure it is not ultimately and only self-serving. I’ll be getting into the parable of the prodigal a bit further next time I am with you but until then let me ask you…How much me-time do you need? How much of your time, money and energy go into bringing yourself pleasure? Now think of the widow with the two mites and tell me if you see yourself worth more that. Me? I have to be content on knowing that wasted time, money and energy I don’t get back but I’m also content knowing that losing 100% for the Kingdom is time/money/energy well spent. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married with two adult children (you may remember them from summer staff) and serves on the Deacon Board at Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne NJ.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 81; Proverbs 21

Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan

Daily Quote: “To many of us it has been a new joy in the Christian life to know that we may yield ourselves as servants, as slaves to God, and to find that His service is our highest liberty—the liberty from sin and self. We need to learn another lesson—that Jesus call us to be servants of one another, and that, as we accept it heartily, this service too will be a blessed one.” ~Andrew Murray

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 

But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;

The future of the wicked shall be cut off. ~Psalm 37:38 (NKJV)

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