Have you ever felt so surprised by the words that come out of your mouth sometimes? By the less than kind remarks you make of others? The presence of criticism exposes unforgiveness. Many times we point at others because we still haven’t resolved the internal issues that if faced, would make us feel as small as an ant. Being fully aware of your own shortcomings, weaknesses, and mistakes is no fun. about pain is that it’s neither right or wrong, it’s just a fact. The person who hurt you probably moved on. This is also one of the reasons why you squander in painting a picture as if he or she was the perpetrator. And again, this may be valid, but it’s time to go deeper. As uncomfortable at it seems to have a field trip into the lairs of our hearts, it’s necessary. Let’s go to the book of Luke and explore this topic carefully. I believe it will change your perspective about not only forgiving others but yourself.
Our focus today is on the parable found on Luke 15. This is a famous story, which I know you’ve heard a gazillion times in church. Before we start our bible study, let’s pray and invite the Holy Spirit.
We come before you God in the name of Jesus. We acknowledge your greatness today and put our focus on you. We pray that you will create in us a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit with us. Holy Spirit we welcome you and ask you to give us a spirit of wisdom and understanding, in order to walk and mature in love. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen
A Son Who Knew
'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. '
Luke 15:11-12 NIV
I am surprised by the younger son’s boldness to ask his father a portion of the estate. If you think about it he had an older brother, which means both were raised in the same environment but had two different perspectives when it came to the father and ownership. He didn’t have a poverty mindset. He knew that in his father he could obtain whatever he needed.
'I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. “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! '
Luke 15:17-19 NIV
This is the part when the son understood his need of going back to his household. This is after he went to Vegas, fooled around with the wrong crowd, spend his dollars on worthless casino games and bets, among other things. Here’s my question for you: What did you do the last time you did something wrong? Maybe cussed someone out, didn’t keep your word, etc.? Did you went to alcohol, friends, Bath and Body Works, the movies, a concert? We sometimes do that to subside our conscious. However, it takes to be humble to understand our need of Jesus, instead of covering it up with fig leaves that will make it worse. The son was humble enough to understand this.
'For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 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.’ '
Luke 15:20-21,24 NIV
In this section we can see the vulnerability of the son. Now, before you hit your brakes and shut down on me, think about it. This son was a bad boy in modern terms. How hard is it for a bad boy to arrive at this level of vulnerability? If he could do it, then it gives me hope that I can as well. Vulnerability, honesty, sincerity, and transparency are not the same. We don’t have time to discuss the differences of each, but in a nutshell vulnerability is the willingness of exposing motives, feelings, and confession.
A Final Nugget
'For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. '
Luke 15:24 NIV
Lost and Found. What was the first thing that came to your mind this? I honestly thought of my former alma mater’s section in the cafeteria; stocked with bookbags, glasses, jackets, and knicknacks. I remember the joy I felt once I had retrieved my transparent Pochacco drawstring backpack from one of the cubbies. There’s nothing like being found. Found by friends, a lover, a talent agent, an employer… When you grieve the Holy Spirit (yes, it’s a real thing) you feel so lost and distant. It’s time to return to him. Return to him with boldness, humility, and vulnerability. Asking for forgiveness and repenting is essential for the medical state of your soul. You’ve been looking at others in a flawed manner because you haven’t really felt forgiveness from your past or current sins. I leave you with two verses to encourage you pursue forgiveness. Trust me, he will not turn away from you.
'And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.'
Ephesians 4:30-32 NIV
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
Photo on Visualhunt
Photo on Visual Hunt
My mind is not a trash can for accidents.
It was not created to withstand impossibilities. My mind is a cloudless sky. It’s supposed to have thoughts that fly. Just like a kite. But in actuality, my mind is like a landmark in the middle of a deserted city. It stands tall, but wrapped. Wrapped in a ghostly tarp. Such tarp is an irony, more than it is an impediment. The sun sets and rises. It rises and sets. It rests upon a gleaming city, that no one seems to get. No fancy details. No vivid colors. No statue to draw about. No footsteps to follow. My mind was an urban souvenir for friendly eyes to wallow. Now just fig leaves. No deep water. Everything's so shallow.
Have you ever felt that your passion died suddenly? Have you ever woke one day and felt the obvious shift in your heart? Almost like you have backslidden and the last person to notice was you. I found a gem in the Bible. Understatement indeed. The Bible itself is a gem, don't get me wrong, however, this passage rocked the very insides of my heart.
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.
I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.”
Psalm 63:1-2, 4-6, 8-11 NIV
How is it that we lose our passion? One of the things I have been analyzing during this period of growth is that it's not about complying to the codes of church culture, but rather creating an environment where the Holy Spirit feels comfortable. Here some questions that I ask myself often:
I hope this simple entry can stir up in you a hunger for Jesus. I pray that you will be encouraged to rekindle the passion for Jesus.
I pray Jesus that you would soften their hearts and open their eyes, In Jesus name. Amen