In Luke Chapter 15, we find the parable of The Prodigal Son. As I read, I can’t help but notice the polarized attitudes of the two brothers.
One came to understand the power of grace, after he understood the depth of his sin. He knew where he had been and what he had done, saying, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” (Luke 15:21)
The elder son, as good as he was, failed to understand grace. He saw the love and respect of his father as something to be earned. “And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.” (Luke 15:29)
The latter represents the self-righteous among us–those who believe that being good is good enough. They feel that salvation is earned by good behavior and a long-standing commitment.
Timothy Keller writes,
“Neither son loved the father for himself. They both were using the father for their own self-centered ends rather than loving, enjoying, and serving him for his own sake. This means that you can rebel against God and be alienated from him either by breaking his rules or by keeping all of them diligently.”
(Timothy J. Keller, The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith)
Grace and good works go hand in hand. God loves us deeply. We’re saved by grace through faith in His Son. We’re not saved by works, we’re not loved one day and discarded the next. Regardless of where we have been and what we have done, He welcomes us home. But if we say that we love Him, and truly mean what we say, then we’re motivated to serve Him, we’re determined to seek Him, and we’re eager to walk in His will.
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Tilling the Soil
Read the Parable of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-31
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6, KJV)
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Darlene Schacht and her husband Michael live in Manitoba Canada where the summers are beautiful and the winters are cold. Together they’ve come to learn that relationships aren’t always easy, but that marriage, the way God intended it to be, is a treasure worth fighting for.
She began her publishing journey about twelve years ago when she pioneered one of the first online magazines for Christian women, known at the time as “Christian Women Online Magazine.” After three years, Darlene left CWO to blog as a solo author at Time-Warp Wife Ministries.
It was also during this transition that she worked alongside actress Candace Cameron Bure to write the NYT Best-Selling book, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness. Reshaping it All was the winner of both the 2011 USA Best Book Awards and the 2012 Christian Reading Retailers Choice Awards.
Author of more than 15 books, Darlene continues to write and to minister to her readers through her blog at TimeWarpWife.com.
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You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife