COTL.LIFE: Not What You Think!
Colossians 1:24-29, “I can even celebrate the sorrows I have experienced on your behalf; for as I join with you in your difficulties, it helps you to discover what lacks in your understanding of the sufferings Jesus Christ experienced for his body, the church. This is the very reason I’ve been made a minister by the authority of God and a servant to his body, so that in his detailed plan I would fully equip you with the Word of God. There is a divine mystery—a secret surprise that has been concealed from the world for generations, but now it’s being revealed, unfolded and manifested for every holy believer to experience. Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it! Christ is our message! We preach to awaken hearts and bring every person into the full understanding of truth. It has become my inspiration and passion in ministry to labor with a tireless intensity, with his power flowing through me, to present to every believer the revelation of being his perfect one in Jesus Christ.”
John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
1. God is infinitely good far more loving, gentle, and kind to His children than any earthly Father imaginable
2. God is also infinitely complete nothing can threaten or disturb Him, Nothing can be taken away from Him, making Him less or complete nor added to Him to make Him more complete.
Luke 15:11-32, “Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’ “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ”
1. This is probably the most well known story in the New Testament
We know it as the story of the Prodigal Son. Who gave it that name? We did! That name blinds us to this story and the deeper truths that it teaches.
First lets see that there are two Prodigal Sons in this Story.
We know the first one: He asks for his inheritance. Lets say it like it is He is saying Father you are dead to me. This is outrageous to us in our modern culture but just imagine how horrible this would of been in this patriarchal Culture where the Father was like a King. He shamed His family, he shamed himself, and condemned himself feeling that He could never be a son again but he could be a slave. So while eating the pig slop he came to himself and decided it would be better to go home and be a slave than to stay where he was.
Luke 15:25-32, “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ”
Lets be clear it does not say that he ever came to His Fathers table.
Could this be the prodigal son who never came home?
Could this son be the greater tragedy of the story?
Could his judgement of His brother brought judgement on himself.
2. What if the brothers were not the main characters in the story
What if we called this story the Father’s Love
1 John 4:19, “We love Him because He first loved us.”
Notice that the Father did not judge either son. That is just like our Father
John 5:22, “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,”
John 5:45, “Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.”
Matthew 7:1-2, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
When we judge someone according to the Law of Moses we condemn ourselves to be judged by that same standard instead of by the Love of our Father.
John 3:17-18, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Romans 8:1-4, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
1 Samuel 12:22, “For the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people.”
3. The Love of the Father and our Identity
Luke 15:19, “I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”
I change my identity to that of a slave.
The Fathers Response. The Father saw him. Had compassion on him. Ran. Fell on his neck. Kissed him. Bring out the best robe. Put a ring on his hand. Sandals on his feet. Feed him the best BBQ in Texas. The other son was angry and would not go in.
Luke 15:29 I have been serving you, I never transgressed your commandment at any time.
His identity was in what he did (his service) (his keeping of the law).
The Fathers response. He came out and pleaded with him to see his Fathers heart.