APRIL 22 – 28, 2018
“The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.” (2 Corinthians 13:14 MSG)
We know him as “The prodigal son” of Luke 15:11-32. The son who wanted to be his own boss. The son who did not want to be under his father’s control anymore. The son who had obviously not learnt about the ways of the world outside of his father’s but wanted to go out there to have a relationship with it, and make a name for himself. The son who wanted to be like his father where his life and maybe the lives of others would be under his own control… just like we see Adam desire in Genesis 3:5 and as the bible records concerning Lucifer (Satan) in Isaiah 14:14.
That right there is pride! Lucifer fell because of pride. Adam fell because of pride. The prodigal son fell because of pride. So many have, so many are, and so many will fall because of pride. But that’s not you, and that’s not going to be you… because you are reading this. People who are full of pride don’t like truth. They are stuck with what they want and what they know because that’s what is driving them to pursue an ungodly ambition.
Adam had one job in the garden, and that was to manage it. Managing the garden meant managing his life. Neither the garden nor his life belonged to him… they belonged to the Lord. That was the reason he was told to manage. In the garden, everything was provided for him. After Adam fell, God sent him and his wife out of the garden where he had to farm or work the ground for himself. This was not so in the garden, where the ground was already prepared before he got there. This difference is like managing an already existing business in a friendly environment with every required resource available, and starting a business from the scratch with very limited resources in a very unfriendly environment.
When Adam chose to eat of the fruit God told him not to, he fell from his place, his position of grace. He lost his life in the house of God where everything was provided for him. Psalm 23 gives s good picture of the house of the Lord; the Garden of Eden. He forcefully took himself out from under the mighty hand of God, where the Lord was responsible for him; the place where God must defend His word to bring it to pass in Adam’s life for the sake of His reputation. Man fell from the place of grace to a hard place where he was the one responsible for his own life… just like the prodigal son.
However, the goodness of God is such that He always makes a way to bring us back to Himself because of the deep love He has for us. Before Adam and Eve left the garden, God killed animals and wore the skins as clothes on them. The tone of God’s voice seemed to soften after He wore the animal skins on them, compared to His tone when He spoke the consequences of their sin to them (Genesis 3:14-22). Was God trying to cover their physical nakedness? I don’t think so! They did that already on their own when they sewed together fig leaves (Genesis 3:7). So what was the significance of the animal skins? For one, God was sending His grace along with them. He never ever leaves us alone!
This amazing grace of God, was a helping hand to go with His beloved man. The father of the prodigal son did not seem to hesitate to give his son his portion of his inheritance to go away with. What was that? Again, a helping hand to go with his beloved son. Even though the young man asked for it, his father reserved the right to not give it to him… but the grace of God is so amazing! Until we take our last breath, His grace never leaves us alone.
Adam and the prodigal son had something in common, I believe. They had both not learnt to manage their lives where there was an abundance of grace. Hmm… how are you managing your life in this time of grace? Rather than use their potentials to serve the father’s purpose, they looked out in the world. One cannot serve God and money. You must choose one (Matthew 6:24). I wonder whether it seemed to them that it was taking too long for promotion to come to them, so they had to seek it out themselves in the world. Could it be that the Lord was too slow in taking them to the next level? They did want to be successful, but I guess they wanted it to happen too quickly without being diligent enough to follow the process – from seed to fruit… (Genesis 1:28).
Had they discovered their potentials and all they could see was the fame and wealth they could get from it? Hmm… there are many Adams and prodigal sons out in the world today. But the amazing grace of God is quietly moving with them to bring them back to the home of abundant grace. For every person who comes back home, there is celebration in heaven (Luke 15:7), as there was celebration when the prodigal son made his way back under his father’s care. However the celebration is not one off! The grace life is a life of celebration. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s a life of work too. Remember God told Adam to tend the garden? Management involves work! This was what the brother of the prodigal son did for his father. The problem with him though was that he worked for his father as a servant. That was why he complained that his father never celebrated him the way he celebrated his wasteful returnee.
Dear Reader, I mention in FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE that grace works with truth. This means that you cannot be in the place of grace and do nothing. The truth of God is that you were created to carry out a specific work that serves the kingdom of God here on earth. I bet you, after the experience of the prodigal son outside his father’s house and the regal way he was received back (he thought he was coming back to be a servant in his father’s house), he would want to give his very best to please his father. We need the active working of God’s grace in our lives, to please God. We need to be carrying out the work we were created to do, to please God. All of which involves faith.
The beauty of serving the Lord is that you must submit to His grace. The prodigal son’s father basically told his other son, “Son, you can have a celebration anytime you want! Everything that belongs to me, belongs to you. It is your inheritance. My grace is completely yours! Go on and enjoy yourself!!” Hallelujah! The work of God’s amazing grace is to help you manage your life effectively and help you thoroughly enjoy your life.
I pray that you will experience and enjoy the amazing grace of God in a powerful way this week. I pray that you will open yourself up for the grace of God to teach you how to effectively manage your life and thoroughly enjoy your life. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen! Enjoy an amazing week of celebrations!