Just another soul searcher.............

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  • Just another soul searcher.............

    I guess I could have named the topic "the lost son" or "the prodigal son" or even "Luke 15:11-32" but there probably wouldn't be as many looking to find out what the topic really is, hence, "just another soul searcher".

    Soooo many sermons and messages have come out of this fantastically revealing parable that most folks are tired of hearing them but this time I really want to expose a couple of the finer points that aren't really spoken of and see who we can relate to in the story.

    In short, the story starts with a dad with two sons, one of which cashes in his part of the business and goes to another town to find himself. Later, we do find the kid did find himself but not as he expected for he found himself dead broke and tending to a bunch of pigs and even having to eat the same stuff the pigs were enjoying. Later, the boy goes home and humbles himself to his dad and his dad receives him with all the honor and grace a person could possibly muster while at the same time bringing up the ire of the other brother who stayed loyal and worked all the while with his dad. I'm sure that everyone remembers what the dad told the jealous son.

    Now, all that said, who do we relate to? Is it the wayward young person who left and came back? Or, can we relate as the other brother who stayed loyal and found someone who seemingly has received so much more attention even though they were very disloyal at times?
    Or, back to the first brother who found himself broke, hopeless and helpless doing the unthinkable?

    Why the unthinkable? Jesus told this parable to believing and practicing Jews who stayed far away from any connection to "swine" as they are deemed to be unclean. The young man in question found himself deeply entrenched with the unclean pigs and not only that he was eating with them. Needless to say, this particular meshing in the story lends to how low people can go but also tells another story such as: How many of us who are staunch believers cross over into other unsanctioned worlds in our dealings with everyday life? How many of us work in an industry that we do not believe we can take part of in regular life? (Selling or serving alcohol perhaps )

    Again, in short, is there anyone we can relate to in this parable that might cause a bit of soul searching?

    As always, I'll come back and discuss more but for now I'd just like to sit back and see what you folks have to offer up.

    God Bless.........Bobby


  • #2
    Originally posted by Bobby Cole View Post
    I'd just like to sit back and see what you folks have to offer up.
    Colossians 1:9-14:
    • 9 And so, rfrom the day we heard, swe have not ceased to pray for you, asking that tyou may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all uspiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as vto walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, wfully pleasing to him, xbearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 yMay you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for zall endurance and patience awith joy, 12 bgiving thanks4 to the Father, who has qualified you5 to share in cthe inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He dhas delivered us from ethe domain of darkness and transferred us to fthe kingdom of ghis beloved Son, 14 hin whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

    Heard this story today in church:

    There was a couple In London that could not have children of their own. God in his providence did not provide them with children of their own. The couple had done what so many have done, they set out for adoption. They went to the orphanage and found Tommy, Tommy was there for several years. The family took him home, gave to him new clothes, the clothes were nothing that he had ever seen before, there was even a maid to help out with the chores. They set the dinner table and served him food that he never seen before. Well prepared meat and fruit. After the evening was done they took him upstairs to his new bedroom and read him a bed-time story from Scripture, prayed over him, tucked him in and kissed him goodnight.

    The next morning the father went upstairs to Tommy’s bedroom to wake him. Tommy was not there, the bed was empty. The father immediately came down and told his wife, both of them searched the house while informing the maid. None of them could find Tommy. The father went out into the street and called out for Tommy, he began asking people on the street if they saw the young boy. Nobody had seen him. After a time a man at the end of the street called out to the father, saying Tommy is at the end of an alley. The father went to the alley and at the end of the alley could see half of Tommy. Half of Tommy was visible and the other half was below the street as he stood in the gutter, his clothes were filthy and wet. When the father approached him, Tommy held up some food from the gutter and said, look, isn’t this the best food? Who would throw away such a delicious meal! The father said, son, why are you in the gutter searching for food? Tommy said, I was hungry and wanted breakfast. The father said, your breakfast is on the table at home: eggs, oatmeal, toast and orange juice so why would you search for breakfast in the gutter? Tommy said, because this is who I am and what I do!

    Do you go into the garbage can of the world searching for scraps?

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

    • #3
      Yes William, I am all too familiar with that particular status. One set of verses enlightened me as a younger and less wise person as to the ramifications of "searching for scraps" particularly when I knew better.

      II Peter 2:20- For if after they escaped all the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

      2:21- For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

      2:22- But, it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is returned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed has returned to her wallowing in the mire.


      Now, in the case of the lost son, he did not know of any other life than the one he left. I do understand how that is possible no matter how good life was before leaving. He tried the wayward life, left it to go back to a better way, hopefully never to return.
      That said, woe unto those who know both sides of life but live in the world for those things of the flesh rather than abiding in the Christ with whom we are joint heirs to the Kingdom of God. Foolish, foolish, foolish.

      May the Lord bless ....Bobby
      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by Bobby Cole View Post
        Now, in the case of the lost son, he did not know of any other life than the one he left. I do understand how that is possible no matter how good life was before leaving. He tried the wayward life, left it to go back to a better way, hopefully never to return.
        Hi Bobby,

        I think someone needs elaborate on the "good life", how it was before leaving (Prodigal son) or the new life in the case of the adopted son (the story I shared). We are adopted into the family, and have the finest food... the word of God and from the Holy Spirit we drink and taste from His finest fruits. In both stories, the children set out into the world, diving into dumpsters looking for the scraps or worldly wisdom. The best the world has to offer. Both were compared to filthy swine or garbage.

        In both posts (yours and mine) the children were clothed in Christ's righteousness, and from Colossians I read that we should walk in a manner worthy of the Lord while sharing in the inheritance of the saints.

        Or as you stated:

        Originally posted by Bobby Cole View Post
        That said, woe unto those who know both sides of life but live in the world for those things of the flesh rather than abiding in the Christ with whom we are joint heirs to the Kingdom of God. Foolish, foolish, foolish.
        I can only image though that someone from the Prosperity gospel reading both of our stories or commentary and twisting the message to "God wants you to have the finest clothes, food, and house, a maid etc" ...... worldly things.

        God bless,
        William
        Comment>

        • #5
          The prosperity thing has always been a proverbial thorn in my side. "Send me $100 and God will multiply it ten fold"!!! "Okay," said I to one particular TV aquaintance, why wait for someone to send you money when you could send 100 people $100 and God will then multiply what you sent 10 fold and you wouldn't have to ask anyone for anything any longer"? Hmmm....why doesn't that work?

          Prosperity to me is a combination of 2 of Jesus teachings. He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life" and He also said, "I came that you may have Life and have it more abundantly. Although it isn't necessarily good teaching, I equate "I am the Life" + "Have life and have it more abundantly', to equal, "I can have HIM and have HIM more abundantly.

          Blessings.......Bobby
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by Bobby Cole View Post
            The prosperity thing has always been a proverbial thorn in my side. "Send me $100 and God will multiply it ten fold"!!! "Okay," said I to one particular TV aquaintance, why wait for someone to send you money when you could send 100 people $100 and God will then multiply what you sent 10 fold and you wouldn't have to ask anyone for anything any longer"? Hmmm....why doesn't that work?

            Prosperity to me is a combination of 2 of Jesus teachings. He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life" and He also said, "I came that you may have Life and have it more abundantly. Although it isn't necessarily good teaching, I equate "I am the Life" + "Have life and have it more abundantly', to equal, "I can have HIM and have HIM more abundantly.

            Blessings.......Bobby
            As to your question to the Prosperity adherent, Bobby, I chuckled. Your question makes total sense to me, and your Scriptural reference.

            As for Jesus saying, I am the way the truth and the life, I have to read the previous verse to make sense of it.
            • John 14:5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?"
            • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
            • John 14:7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."


            John Calvin wrote on John 14:6, which I think nails your point home.

            The statement amounts to this, that whoever obtains Christ is ill want of nothing; and, therefore, that whoever is not satisfied with Christ alone, strives after something beyond absolute perfection.
            Worldly wisdom can not lead us to eternal life, therefore, no wisdom is higher than God's. God satisfies all that we need, and reminds me of the Prodigal Son, Tommy, and the Samaritan woman. The Samaritan woman at the well that Jesus spoke, to her He said that the food and water that he will give her... she'll never hunger and thirst again. The Prodigal son set out, like the woman at the well that had a God sized void in her, jumping from relationship to relationship, having no knowledge and understanding that she was attempting to fill - a void that only God could fill. In Colossians, Paul prayed, "asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding". Filled with knowledge of his will, spiritual wisdom and understanding.

            To my point I remember a riddle, so riddle me this!

            "I am greater than God, and more evil than the devil. Poor people have me, and rich people need me. If you eat me you will die!

            What am I?"

            “If any man turn aside from Christ, he will do nothing but go astray; if any man do not rest on him, he will feed elsewhere on nothing but wind and vanity; if any man, not satisfied with him alone, wishes to go farther, he will find death instead of life.” - John Calvin
            God bless,
            William

            P.S. The answer to the riddle is "nothing".
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