Have you noticed?
When the younger son was away from his father and joined
himself to a citizen of another place, the owner considered
him worthy only of feeding the swine; Further, the master
gave more value to the swine than the younger son by not
giving even the swine pod to him to eat. Even his hard work
did not get any recognition!
Position: Away from the father; remaining in sin;
Value : Not worthy to eat even the swine pod.
But, when the younger son came back, even before he finished
his confession, the father instructed his servants to kill the fatted
calf; the father not even allowed the son to call himself a servant
but called him ‘my son’!. That too, after the loss of possessions
by the prodigal living of the younger son!. Even the heavy material
loss did not stop his recognition!
Position : Close to the father; repenting from sin;
Value: worthy to eat at the table of the father; because of this
younger son’s repentance, even the servants can get a special
and satisfying meals!
Your position defines your value;
Feeling worthless, deceived, inferior and longing for the swine pod?
Check your position;
You may think that you are not away from the Father but because
of some unconfessed sin you may be away from HIM!
The longing for swine pod indicates that!
Know and acknowledge your position in CHRIST!
HE only can satisfy our longings!
…… BUT GOD …… …… RAISED US UP TOGETHER,
AND MADE US SIT TOGETHER IN THE HEAVENLY
PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS. ( EPHESIANS 2: 4 – 6 )
Three parables to illustrate repentance;
But have you noticed a subtle variation in the contents?
ONE: Luke 15 : 4 – 7. Lost sheep.
One in hundred;
How it got lost? – It does not matter!
Responsibility of searching lies with the owner;
He goes after it until he finds it.
Response of the sheep: It can not come back on its own
but can respond to the searching voice of the master!
Active response to the owner’s initiative!
TWO: Luke 15 : 8 – 10. Lost coin.
One in ten;
How it got lost? – It does not matter !
Responsibility of searching lies with the owner;
She seeks diligently until she finds it.
Response of the coin: It can not come back on its own
and it can not help, the owner in searching!.
Passive response to the owner’s initiative!
THREE: Luke 15 : 11 – 24.
One in two:
How he got lost? – Premeditated, willful rebellion!
Responsibility of searching becomes responsibility
of accepting provided the failed son takes the first
step of remembering the Father’s attributes and
returning back! Till that happens Father patiently waiting!
Response of the son: Accepting the unconditional acceptance!
Active response of the Father to the son’s initiative!
Dear friend, we all fail, we all fall; but we only know what
kind of failure we met;
In some cases, like the sheep, we have to wait for HIS voice
In some other cases, like the coin, we can not move on our
own and we have to wait for HIS searching light and seeking
But in most of the cases, like the son, we have to remember
HIS love for us and HIS attributes and worth, and repent!
May GOD give you the discernment to know your state and
to respond in the right way in the right time!
I SAY TO YOU, THERE IS JOY IN THE
PRESENCE OF THE ANGELS OF GOD
OVER ONE SINNER WHO REPENTS.
( LUKE 15 : 10 )
The most excellent Governor Felix;
Governor at Caesarea and having a Jewish wife, Drusilla;
As a Governor, he met so many prisoners, inquired and
set them free or punished them.
This Felix got an, once in a blue moon, opportunity to
Watch the conversation and inquiry that unfolded in
front of Felix!
In fact, Paul, under the cover of defending himself,
preached almost all the major doctrines to Felix!
He preached about the Way and what was written in
the Law and the Prophets!( ACTS 24 : 14 ).
Preached about Hope and Resurrection( ACTS 24 : 15 ).
Preached about clear Conscience( ACTS 24 : 16 ).
Preached about Faith in Christ ( ACTS 24 : 24).
Preached about Righteousness, Self control and
Judgement to come ( ACTS 24 : 25 ).
Even though Paul was imprisoned and his life was at risk,
He answered in a cheerful way!.
The attitude of a MENTOR!
But think about Felix! (Incidentally Felix means ‘happy’!!!)
He, knew not just what Paul preached but, also had more
accurate knowledge of the Way. ( ACTS 24 : 22 ).
Further, his wife Drusilla was a Jew!
With all these inputs and opportunities for more than two
years, Felix left that city without embracing the Way or
even without set Paul free! ( ACTS 24 : 27 ).
Alas, what a loss!
Do you know the reason?
Yes, whenever he met Paul, Felix had only one thought
to control him ‘ expecting money from Paul, as bribe, to
set him free!( ACTS 24 : 26 ).
The attitude of a VENDOR!.
Even after two thousand years this problem is still
plaguing the Church!
Listening to great preachers for years, making all kinds
of pious connections and having accurate knowledge of
the Way, but mind obsessed with the manipulating tools
and threats to approach the Way as an ATM!
Money! Money ! Money!.
The attitude of a VENDOR!
The most excellent Felix lost the opportunity to embrace
The most excellent TRUTH!
Are you a mentor or a vendor?
BUT SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS
SHALL BE ADDED TO YOU. ( MATTHEW 6 : 33)
PHILIPPIANS 4 : 22
Paul’s one more prison epistle; usual way of greeting his
readers; but here some thing unusual!
Greetings not just from Paul and his co workers,
but also from the saints who are of Caesar’s household!
Saints in Caesar’s household?
See the situations;
Claudius Caesar banished Jews from Rome( Acts 18 : 2 );
After him came Nero Caesar, whose hatred against Jews
and Christians was so sharp and strong;
In these averse situation, how in that Caesar’s household
a group of saints?
When and how they came to Lord?
Who was instrumental in their Truth discovery?
They are of Caesar’s household, but they are bold enough
to have fellowship with Paul;
Actively involved in Paul’s epistle ministry!
Now think about Paul;
In Roman prison because of his faith(Philippians 1 : 13 );
Facing envy and strife from some Christians( Philippians 1:15);
Uncertainty about his life (Philippians 1 : 22 & 23 );
Under prolonged affliction (Philippians 1 : 30 );
Feeling forsaken by all (Philippians 2 : 20 );
Grieved by the sickness of his partner(Philippians 2 : 27 );
Full of tears because of strange teachers (Philippians 3 : 18 );
Depending on others for his financial needs (Philippians 4:14);
And with all these pressures and challenges,
Paul was able to have a healthy prison fellowship;
That also for the Caesar’s household!
Dear friend, almost all the genuine works for God got roots
and flourished from these kinds of uncertainties, pressures, challenges, backstabbing, financial insecurity, misunderstandings, health constraints and loneliness!
Waiting for the ‘right time’? Right place?
Expecting red carpet welcome? peaceful circumstances?
Complete deliverance? Financial security?
Good; GOD can and will give these all;
But, to start the work, to exercise your gift,
The right time is always ‘now’.
Start your work subject to ‘conditions from Above ‘.
Remember Paul; Remember the household of Caesar;
Remember their ‘GLITTERING GREETINGS’ to saints!
Pray; Discern; Use the opportunity!
HE WHO OBSERVES THE WIND WILL NOT SOW,
AND HE WHO REGARDS THE CLOUDS WILL NOT
REAP. ( ECCLESIASTES 11 : 4 ).
LUKE 15 : 11 – 32
A well known parable; Father and the lost son!
We know it, accepted it; enjoyed it; we all were like the lost son;
When we come to the second part of the parable, we usually hate the attitude of the elder son; His actions and attitude are so natural, so common in an ordinary family of this world.
But, in the DIVINE family?.
Compare the parable and the reality.
1. PARABLE: The younger son took the initiative to come back.
( verse 18).
REALITY:THE FATHER took the initiative to bring us all back.
2. PARABLE: The older son was in the field, when the reunion of father and the lost son happened. (verse 25).
REALITY: The only SON was on the cross, when we all got the right to call GOD as our FATHER!.
3. PARABLE: As the father received the younger son safe and sound, he killed the fatted calf.( verse 27).
REALITY: To receive us safe and sound, THE FATHER allowed the killing of THE UNBLEMISHED LAMB!
4. PARABLE: The older son felt unhappy to share the inheritance with his brother.(verse 30)
REALITY:THE SON, by HIS sacrificial death, made us all co-heirs with HIM! Not ashamed to call us HIS brothers!
5. PARABLE: The older son was not able to accept his brother coming near to his father.(verse 28).
REALITY: THE SON opened a new way, by HIS flesh, for all of us to come boldly to THE FATHER’s presence.
6. PARABLE: The older son was not willing to sacrifice even a calf (verse 30)
REALITY:THE SON poured out even HIS soul unto death voluntarily.
7. PARABLE: The older son was not interested to share his father’s house with his brother.(verse 28)
REALITY: THE SON, after HIS death and resurrection, started preparing a place for the adopted sons, us, in HIS FATHER’s mansion.
8. The older son argued with his father by explaining his brother’s failures in detail.( verse 30).
REALITY:THE SON is interceding for us, even now, by covering our transgressions by HIS blood.
Do you really know the meaning of The Cross and The Grace?
…..HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE IF WE NEGLECT
SO GREAT SALVATION?( HEBREWS 2 : 3 ).
Note: I didn’t give the Bible references for all the above REALITY points; Can you please spend little extra time in Scriptures to find the suitable references?
LUKE 1 : 1 – 4
The Gospel according to Luke; One more Gospel?
Check the first four verses carefully?
1. Luke’s target: Most honorable Theophilus, some official.
But, is it necessary to write a detailed account of 24 chapters just
to convince only one person? Remember no word processing tools.
WILL YOU DO THAT? JUST FOR ONE PERSON?
2. ‘Many people have written accounts …’. Wait please!
When so many other versions are already available, why torture
yourself? Is it necessary? Why you have to write? Just for Theophilus?
Cut, paste, send. Why so much labor and pain?
WILL YOU DO THAT? EVEN IF YOU ARE AN ONE MORE PERSON?
3. ‘ What I received from the eyewitnesses …’ .
Not an Apostle, not even an eyewitness?. Stop writing.
Who will believe you, if you are not an eyewitness?
Why wasting time, money and energy?. Please stop!
WILL YOU DO THAT? EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT IN THE ELITE LIST?
4. ‘ I decided to write it down ‘. What, You decided?
No instruction from the Church at Jerusalem?
No office order from Theophanyilus? No Angelic visitation?
You decided?. Better stop that and relax. Do something else!.
WILL YOU DO THAT? EVEN IF THE WORLD IS NOT EXPECTING IT?
5. ‘ What you have been taught already…’. Theophilus knew it?
Already known Theophilus should take the initiative to grow!
Why you bother? What extra you are going to do?
WILL YOU DO THAT? EVEN IF THEOPHILUS KNEW IT ALREADY?
6. ‘ I carefully investigated the facts…’. Research?
Theophilus knew it, you got it from the eyewitnesses, enough!
Your writing itself is meaningless; why careful investigation?
Research, analysis and personal interviews? Brain storming?
WILL YOU DO THAT? EVEN IF IT CAN BE MANAGED SOMEHOW?.
7. ‘ Our dear friend Luke, the physician..( Colossians 4 : 14).
You are a physician, not a writer, by profession? Then why?
Just excel in your work for the Glory of God!. We have more people!
You accompany Paul in his mission trips? Is that not enough?
GOD will send some one else, You may even sponsor him!
Why waste your training, talents, treasures and time?
WILL YOU DO THAT? EVEN IF YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL?
Yes, it is not one more Gospel. Even after 2000 years, it is still
speaking, still convicting and converting, still in circulation!
The eternal impact!
Do you know some interesting facts?
Luke’s Gospel only gives us the more detailed account of JESUS
Birth than any other gospel!
At least 18 parables of JESUS, including that of Prodigal son,
are only in Luke!
At least 13 women who followed JESUS, you see only in Luke.
Chapters 1 & 2 and then 10 to 19, so unique contents, only in Luke!
Historical records, Kings names, places and census you can find only
But, his name is not at all coming, not even once, in his writings!
Targeting only one person, but against all the odds, Luke wrote it.
1.Many wrote Gospels; but only four were accepted as Divinely inspired. Luke’s writing is one among the four. Luke is not even a Jew. A Greek. The Reward! His writings are in the Bible.
You know, he didn’t even think in that direction.
2. Many wrote Gospels; but to write the Acts of Apostles, the mantle is
only on Luke!. You know, he was not even an Apostle!
Dear friends, what kind of excuse you can give for your lifestyle?
Busy? Not qualified, Not needed?, People are there? Not my calling?
I give money? Some how I will complete? Only few people?
Remember Luke, Identify your Theophilus!
No quantity does not mean no quality!
Your work will have an eternal impact!
I HAVE PUT BEFORE YOU AN OPEN DOOR
THAT NO ONE CAN SHUT ……( REVELATION 3 : 8 )