Monday, May 19, 2014

May 14, 2014   

Today's Photograph . . . . We Can Sin By Acts or By Attitudes , , , .
Bible Study Verses
Luke 15:21-28
"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'  "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.  "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.  'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. (NIV)

In this great story told by Jesus, a reckless sinner is restored to his family by the free and generous grace of his steadfast father. But, his older brother is full of resentment. This illustrates two types of sin. We can sin by acts or by attitudes. 

This story about a lost son followed a story about a lost sheep and a lost coin. We fail to notice that there were really two lost sons. The one who was physically and spiritually lost is found and returned to the security of his father's estate. The other, who never left home and thought he was secure in his place, turned out to be spiritually lost. 
(Steve S)

Action Point
The story of the Prodigal Son clearly illustrates two ways of life that clash. Tim Keller, in his book, The Prodigal God, says, "The person in the way of moral conformity says: 'I'm not going to do what I want, but what tradition and the community wants me to do.' The person choosing the way of self-discovery says: 'I'm the only one who can decide what is right and wrong for me. I'm going to live as I want and find my true self and happiness that way.' "

These two ways are so ingrained in us that almost everyone thinks the moral choice is between being the wild-living runaway and the pleasing, obedient non-roaming son. But, that's not the choice Jesus is giving us in this story.

You can only find yourself by abandoning your pride. It took a pigsty for the younger son to abandon his pride. What will it take for the older son to abandon the pride he has in his lifelong obedience? We don't know.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If a landowner allows you to hunt on his land, do all you can to keep that relationship intact. Don't abuse the privilege. Don't invite other unwanted guests. Do pick up trash you find. Do share the bounty with him. Do send a Christmas card and occasionally give a small gift. Express appreciation and keep the welcome mat out.