April 2, 2014

Grace Killers

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.”  Luke 15:28 (NIV)

The Parable of the Prodigal Son reveals three types: grace receivers; grace givers and grace killers. Which type are you? When the prodigal returned he received grace, not karma. He deserved punishment. He received a father’s love and forgiveness! We love that part of the story. We all need it! The father was the grace giver. He could have easily responded with judgment. After all, his son ran away from home and wasted all his inheritance. When he left, he was saying he wished his dad were dead. Imagine the pain the father would have felt the rejection and abandonment. He could have been angry and vindictive. But, it was contrary to his nature as he was a picture in the parable of God, the Father. God is love, and His love knows no bounds! He is a grace giver! He offers grace to the broken hearted. Sin had broken the heart of his son. Only grace could heal it. But then we meet the “older brother.” He’s the grace killer. He was living his life on the basis of karma. When he returned from working in his father’s fields and heard the music and dancing and was told his brother had returned, he became angry and refused to join them. If you’re still living under karma, you can’t celebrate grace! The older brother was a grace killer. It’s amazing to me that even after receiving grace, how quickly we can return to an attitude like the older brother. His pride made him feel angry and resentful. He felt entitled to the party. When his father pleaded with him, he answers, “‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’” Sounds like a grace killer, doesn’t it? I love the response of the grace giver. “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'” What was the father saying? If you’ve ever felt like that older brother, and we’ve all been there too often, the father was saying, “Stop! Stop resisting my grace and rejoice in my blessing!” Receive God’s grace today and enjoy all His blessing! He is with you and everything He has is yours in Christ! As a grace receiver, be a grace giver!