Many of us know this story. The son receives his inheritance, leaves home, lives a lavish life for a few minutes and then loses it all and ends up working with pigs to earn enough to survive. However, that is in no way the part of the story that matters most. The best part, the part God really wants us to hear is how he is greeted upon his return.
He is greeted with the biggest celebration. He draped a robe over his shoulders, a ring on his finger, and threw a grand feast with the finest wine & beef. There was no passive aggressive comments for weeks or months to come, no hostility, no cold shoulder and certainly no disowning. Truly all of those things above, he probably deserved. He more or less wished his father dead. It really doesn't get much worse than that. And still, the moment his father had him in his sights, the celebration begin. Why? Because all that mattered was his son was home. Our Father is inviting us into this same kind of response and celebration today. He is always happy when he come home to Him. Wherever for the first time or the fifteenth time, no matter what we have done, the heavens roar in celebration of another son or daughter of commits their life to Jesus.
And, just as our Father is being generous with His forgiveness and resources to us today, He calls us to be an extension of His hand and be a blessing to others too. These things are not ours, and His forgiveness is not only for the deserved and perfect. May we take note of the free love and generosity this father lavishes on his prodigal son and practice being this kind of a giver in our own lives today.
Thoughts: Salt and Light. Two things we are commanded to be. While we have a clear understanding of what light is, what does it really mean to be the SALT of this earth? We sprinkle salt on our meat and potatoes and stir a pinch into our cake batter and bread dough. But if we go without, our meal tastes a bit bland and our baked goods flavorless. That’s because salt brings out the flavor and adds strength to the dough. A lot isn’t needed, but you can definitely tell the difference without it.
In the same way, God’s people are sprinkled into many different places in this world—different work spaces, different families, different economic statuses, and different hometowns. And we’ve also been stirred into different mixtures with different ingredients—one person may have a heart for the homeless, be struggling through a divorce, and heavily involved in their child’s sports team; while you are passionate about animals, have experience in retail, and are facing an overwhelming amount of debt.
There may not be a lot of other Christians in your office, neighborhood, friend group, or family. But just like with the amount of salt on our steak and in our pancake mix, a lot isn’t needed; God’s grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in our weakness, limitations, and minority. But every single believer is called to show up, shine God’s light, and sprinkle salt into this world, because if we don’t—and instead, lose our saltiness—the rest of His body will be able to tell the difference, even if we don’t think what we do is THAT important.
Together, as a church and the light of the world, may we let our good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise our heavenly Father and experience His grace.
Discussion: How are you the salt of the earth in your world—to your particular neighborhood, your unique friends and family, and your exact workplace? How can you improve on what you are already doing? Which of the fruits of the spirit are you gift? How can you share that specifically?
Activities: Set a small goal each day this week of how you can be the salt for the people you come into contact with that don’t know the love of Jesus.
Sign up to receive these via email HERE