Tag Archives: repent

Good Friday for a Rebellious Son or Daughter

  • Deuteronomy 21:1-22:30
  • Luke 9:51-10:12
  • Psalm 74:1-23
  • Proverbs 12:11

Today is Good Friday, the day we recognize that Jesus, the son of God, was crucified on a cross to pay the price of repentance so that our sins would be forgiven. All we have to do is believe and trust in the fact that Jesus is Lord and then follow him. I am praying for each of us to grasp how deep and how wide the love of God!! Not only did he suffer the cruelest of deaths, but then Jesus rose again on the 3rd day. Today we celebrate that day as Easter!! He is currently seated at the right hand of the Father for YOU, my friend. He’s calling to YOU today.

As an illustration of what Jesus has done for us….let us consider some examples of sons and daughters. Some of these were before Jesus came to die for our sins in the Old Testament, and some are after Jesus paid the final price in the Gospels.

If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard. Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21

Who amongst us hasn’t been a drunkard or a glutton at some point or another. Who amongst us hasn’t kept on doing the wrongs over, and over, and over, and over again, even thought we KNEW that we knew that we KNEW that it was wrong? The evil in this world is overwhelming, and Satan is its ruler. We all fall into temptation. If you are recognizing a sinful behavior in your life, trust me when I say, you are not alone. You are not alone.

The word “sin” is a term used in archery to mean, “missed the mark”. No matter how far off the bullseye an archer is, its a sin. There’s no big sins or little sins, they’re just sins. Often we might find ourselves saying, “well, at least the thing I did wrong isn’t as bad as his/her wrong doing”. That’s off limits folks. Its not our place to judge, only repent for our own.

In the Deuteronomy readings today, there are various laws that Moses lists and the punishment is that the evil doer must be brought before the elders, and the person stoned to death. “You must purge the evil among you” is insisted upon for each.

But then Jesus came.

Jesus didn’t use the term REBELLIOUS Son, Jesus calls him “lost” in the Parable of the Lost Son. Oh, and the term “son” can be used for daughter too…..so ladies, this is for us, as well.

Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

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 fatted calf and kill it. Lets 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.

Luke 15: 11-24

The son asked for his half of the estate inheritance. The only time we get an inheritance, is when someone dies, right? Well, so in essence, the son was telling his father, “you are dead to me! Just give me my money! I don’t need anything from you but my possessions.” Total rejection of the Father. How sad the father must have felt, right? How rejection of a child can be overwhelming. I know this from experience, its the worst feeling in the world, the rejection from a child.

But then, as could be predicted, the son squandered off all his possession in “wild living” in the distant land of drunkardness and gluttony. Just the way the first son did in Deuteronomy. He partied with his buddies in a way of life that was foreign to that in which he was raised. Then, of course, when it was all gone, where were his friends? Poof. Gone. So with no money and no possessions, the boy was forced to get a job. He took a job feeding pigs.

Nothing like feeding pigs to bring you to your senses, right? Have you ever fed pigs friends? Ugh, its the worst. My daughter had pigs in 4-H, and man-oh-man, those animals have a whole new level of stink. But, a man’s gotta eat right? When you get to the point of wanting to eat pig food….that my friends, is what we call rock bottom. The desperation of no where else to turn. Unfortunately, that’s what it takes sometimes to draw us back to the Father. Sometimes we have to experience the consequences of our choices. Our very own pig food and pig pen.

He came to his senses. He decided to swallow his pride and go home to the father. Maybe dad wasn’t so bad after all. Maybe dad had been right about a few things. Maybe this way of living isn’t what he thought it would be. Perhaps its time to go home. This son knew that he deserved to be purged from the family, as the reading from Deuteronomy describes. But he was willing to just go home and eat the crumbs of the servants.

But Jesus says something different. Jesus died to pay the ultimate price of stoning and purging and NOW…..while the son was still a long way off, his Father saw him, and was filled with compassion for him; he RAN to His son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)

When we get up and go to the Father, He RUNS TO US, friends! By giving the son the best robe and putting a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet, the Father restored him to his place in the family. When we repent and turn to the Father, we are no longer outcast. When we go off and are doing our wild living, God calls us lost, and when we return, God calls us found. We were dead in our sinful behaviors, and now we are alive, in Jesus.

Friends, are you lost? No matter the sinful decisions, in sin, we are lost. We are all lost, but Jesus came to let us know that no matter what, we can just say the word, think the thought of returning to the Father and he runs to meet us. We don’t have to make a big production of it, go to a special place, put on a strong exterior, quit the bad habit, get cleaned up, go anywhere, do anything. All we have to do, right now, in each of our quiet hearts, say the words, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son/daughter.” (Luke 15:21) And God will come running to wrap you in His arms. Please do that today, friend.

Lord, I come to you in praise and gratitude for this Good Friday. I thank you that you came to seek us lost souls and redeem us to the family of God. Lord I pray for the person reading this right now. I pray that Peace be on their house. I know that those who promote peace, your peace will rest on them, and if not, it will return to me. I pray that if there is any illness or sin in which needs healing that You would heal them and cause them to follow you. I seek the same for myself, if there is any evil or sickness in or around each of us, that in Jesus name it would quietly leave and that the Holy Spirit fill its place. The kingdom of God has come near. The kingdom of God is near, I pray that this knowledge would cause us to get up, and go to You, Father. In Jesus mighty name. Amen.

How can I be praying for you today?

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Obedience

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Mark 14:38

I had a dream last night that I was pregnant. Many years ago, someone I worked with was having dreams that she was pregnant. She was probably the age I am now when she was having these dreams. She was also an recent empty nester at that time too. So really, now that I think about it, I am in the same stage in life now, that she was then. At the time, I was in my child bearing years. Anyway, she was having dreams that she was pregnant. She shared with me that her and her spiritual director discussed that God was revealing “new life” for her. She was discerning her “what’s next” in life, similar to what I am now. She determined that her next venture was to be a Spiritual Director, which meant more education and a leap of faith. I remember thinking how awesome it would be to be SO CLEAR about what God was guiding her to do. I was just a baby Christian at the time, and I desperately wanted that kind of vision and clarity.

Then last night, I dreamed I was pregnant. I don’t think its the first time I’ve dreamed that recently, but last nights dream was different because it was REALLY clear. There was so much detail that I could actually see the silhouette form of the baby in my belly. The baby was breech and would be coming soon. Somehow I had to get it turned around so that it could be born. I felt somewhat afraid because I didn’t know how to get the baby headfirst.

That’s my book, I think. I have mentioned before that I feel like I’m supposed to be writing a book or articles or something, and I think that’s my “baby” of the future. That’s my “what’s next”. But then sometimes I get afraid and think, is it? I mean, I’ve never written anything before? Is this just a distraction? I am beginning to believe perhaps this IS true…..but oh my goodness. How in the world am I supposed to be birthing this book?

Do you have something you’re supposed to be doing too? Does it feel impossible? Do you know that God will tell you what it is if you Watch and Pray? Many people don’t believe that, ya know. I believe that the reason our world is in such a mess is because people aren’t seeking God’s will in their lives so people are just running amuck and/or sleeping.

…..I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!

Numbers 11:29b

In this passage Moses had gathered up a bunch of his guys and God had laid down his Spirit on them and they “prophesied”. Prophesied in Biblical terms isn’t necessarily revealing the future, its some form of “ecstatic expression to an intense religious experience”, according to the footnote in my Study Bible. Moses wanted everyone to have the same face-to-face conversations with God that he did.

I wonder what the world would be like if everyone one of us had intense prayer time and clear vision of the future like Moses did? Wow! I bet the world would be a different place, wouldn’t it? I want that too. I want it to be like “Speak Lord, ALL your servants are listening!

But Jesus knew that it wasn’t that way. Jesus knew that the human “flesh” is weak. We all get distracted. Like I did yesterday…..

I’ve been so stressed out at my regular job, lots of deadlines and computer work driving me crazy. For about a week, I’ve been pretty lazy in my spare time. I have a habit of playing candy crush. Ugh, its just mind numbing, ya know? I haven’t been eating right either, and yesterday was my run day, and I didn’t go do it. I came home, took a nap, and played candy crush. Then last night I couldn’t sleep, I had a headache.

Phone games and naps are miniscule compared to some of my sinful behaviors in the past. At least alcohol, cigarettes and drugs weren’t involved! (*deep sigh*) But honestly….is it any different? It’s still distracting me from what I KNOW THAT GOD HAS CALLED ME TO BE DOING RIGHT NOW. Couldn’t I have just gone for a walk instead of run if I was tired? I wonder if I would have felt inspired to run after all? Also, there are some writing classes and videos that I need to be watching….but I didn’t do those either.

41Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!

Mark 14:41-42

Jesus had been off in the Garden of Gethsemane praying before his crucifixion. He had told Peter, James & John to “Sit here while I pray.” (vs 32). He returned three different times and each time, he found his friends asleep. The first time, he warned them to “Watch and pray so that (they) wouldn’t fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Jesus knows our weakness, friends. Do you know yours? I know mine…I have a plethora of weaknesses. Some I don’t indulge in anymore….and some still get me. In the twilight of the morning, I feel this tug of urgency that I wish the whole world felt too!

Rise! Let us go!

Your “To-Do List” may not be writing, gardening, exercise. I don’t know what yours is. Is it blogging? Is it gardening and ministering to others through that (thank you, you know who you are)? Is it volunteering at your church? Do you need to be finding a Bible based church home? Do you need to be mending relationships? Is it getting up early enough to have quiet time with the Lord before the kids get up? Do you have a bad behavior that you need to be getting some help with? Is it to get away from the negative effects of social media? Is it making the first step and cooking a romantic dinner for your husband for after the kids go to bed? What is it?

This morning, I deleted candy crush off my phone, and this other tile placement game…..mind numbing stupid games. I’m going to have my book with me and prepare for my afternoon walk run. What are you doing to prepare for your day?

Dear Lord, I am so grateful that you speak so clearly to me sometimes. I am sorry for my slothfulness. Keep me alert Lord! I pray for the person reading this right now, that they would seek clearly your face today. That you would help them to understand Your will for their life. If they have gotten off track, gently guide them back to the right path to where they need to go. I thank you that you are a light unto MY path Lord. Help me stay on it!

Is there something I can be praying for you today?

Do you know your path?

  • Number 24:13:33
  • Mark 14:22-52
  • Psalm 52:1-9
  • Proverbs 11:1-3

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