I've been submerged in a Bible Study in my church for the past few weeks studying the parable Jesus gives in Luke 15 regarding the 2 brothers-one asks his father for his inheritance, spends if foolishly, and returns to his father who accepts him with a grand party to celebrate his homecoming. The second brother, always being a rule-follower, and honoring to his father, sees this homecoming and becomes bitter and greatly offended, as a party like the one thrown for his younger brother has never been thrown for himself.
I'm learning that either side-being rebellious or a rule follower leads us away from the Lord.
Huh? Did I say that right? I've always identified myself with beind a structured rule-follower. I was raised in a home where obeying rules-specifically ones that dealt with spiritual issues were very important to follow. I did go through a time in my life where I could identify with the younger brother-looking at people as a resource rather than appreciating the person. But today, I struggle with identifying with the elder brother in this parable.
So, I've been trying to wrap my head around "how could the elder brother be in the wrong"?????? It has taken me 3-4 weeks now, as well as last week's sermon to start to grasp this concept.
See, I struggle with pride, and I didn't even know it. I want to be an encourager to others. I want to serve kiddos overseas and be a mama to kids to do not have a safe home.
But why? Is it because I may look better in the eyes of God? SURELY NOT!! But I do! I have learned that I do.....
Last Sunday's sermon was all about what it means to "Die to Myself". Wow. That struck me.
Am I willing to serve others even though I may not get credit for it, or others may get credit for it but not me?
Am I willing to serve in doing menial tasks?
Do I serve because I love God? Or, because I feel like it will help God love me more???
I have learned that there is NOTHING I can do to make God love me more. God loves me for me. God desires me to serve others because I love him.
For some reason, I've "known" this but not until this week to I FULLY GET IT!
So, I completely surrender. I surrender my desires, Kenya, my rebellion, my rule-following pride and I completely want to be engulfed in adoration for God.
To bring application to this in my life, I will choose to put things away around my home as a way to serve my sons and my husband and not grip about it. I will choose to serve others in the community because I love God and I see a need, rather than boasting about it later. I will choose to form relationships with the "unlovable"-the drug addict, the woman who "doesn't fit in" at our church, the orphan across the world or my neighbor whom I have barely known but lived next door to for 4 1/2 years.
I know it will take the grace of God. But if I do not die to myself and recognize what Christ did for me, then I will be no more closer to God at the end of this earthly life I have than today. And I'm not okay with that. I want more.