I recently listened to Carter Conlon's "The Incredible Strength Of Knowing God's Joy". Very good! My friend from Canada once mentioned to me that she discovered that the real sin did not lie with the Prodigal son- but in the older brother. I really never got that until I listened to this sermon.Here was the older brother "working' for his "Father" as he should much of his days. You can just imagine him meeting up with his younger brother on the road. "Look at you! Look at your hair, look at your clothes, look at the mess you are! Why are you not like ME. (I am so GOOD and HOLY). I think so many in the churches these days treat outsiders and "prodigals coming home" like this older brother saw his younger brother.They have "worked" and put in their time and hours and service and feel self righteous about it. They say- I am so glad I am not like "them". (also the sin of the pharissee when He prayed that "thank you that i am not like that sinner over there")When in reality- no one is deserving. No one deserves the mercy that Christ has granted us. No matter how long, if or when you did "works" in the church or whereever. No one is more righteous than the next.The other point that is brought out is that everyone who quotes "the joy of the Lord is my strength" thinks it's talking about their own joy- it's not- it's God's joy- His delight in you and your obedience, etc... that gives us strength! Cool, huh? His joy and delight gives us the strength we need. The way I see it-The more joy we bring Him (not by works but by basking in His presence and communing with Him and obeying him) the stronger we'll be.In Him, Chanin
My friend from Canada once mentioned to me that she discovered that the real sin did not lie with the Prodigal son- but in the older brother. I really never got that until I listened to this sermon.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
I have not listened to the referenced message by Carter Conlon yet but I wanted to share some things that the Lord showed me concerning the prodigal sons brother. I hope it will speak to your heart and draw you closer to Jesus Christ. I will keep it as short as I can.The Lord has opened the door for me to preach about half a dozen times over the last year at a small A/G church. I no longer attend there due to several reasons, but in any case one message that the Lord gave me to preach I titled A Form Of Greed. My title came from Luke 12:15 where we are admonished to be on guard against every form of greed. I am skipping much of the text that I preached to get to the prodigal son and his brother. I am also leaving out a lot of the message that can only be listened to on the original taped copy as the Holy Spirit was giving me words and thoughts to speak at that moment.The Lord showed me how this angry brother had a form of greed and that greed was called self, self-exaltation and self-seeking. The angry brother did not know the heart of the father. Even though he worked for the father and was close to the father in proximity, he had no close relationship with the father.When the prodigal son returned the brother became angry at the fact that the father was rejoicing over the returned prodigal son. The father came out to the angry brother and entreated him to come and join the celebration.The word entreats means to invite, comfort, admonish, and speak by way of instruction and exhortation.But the angry brother answered and said Look! Ive done all these things for you, I have served you, and Ive never neglected your commands. You never have given me a kid or goat to be merry with my friends. The angry brother wanted a reward but not to share with the father or his brother, he wanted to share it with his friends. We need to ask ourselves who or what is are our friends. Do we want some recognition from the Lord to share with our friends? To show ourselves as something special. Are we greedy for self to exalted, acknowledged and recognized. Do we get a twinge of anger when another brother or sister is acknowledged and we arent. Can we truly rejoice when another brother or sister prospers physically or spiritually more than us. Will we or do we get angry when one strays from God, returns and the father seems to use him or her more than us.In Luke 15:30 the angry brother says to the Father, but when this son of yours came. He didnt even call the prodigal son his brother. The same selfish spirit that Cain displayed when he said, am I my brothers keeper? The same greed of self that consumed Cains heart and killed Abel.The word son here indicates intimacy and kinship. Are you a son?In Luke 15:31 the father said to the angry brother, my child, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.The word child here indicates something different than the word son above. Or are you a child?When the angry brother continued to reject the fathers love, his entreating, his words of comfort, his admonishment and instruction his heart continued to grow cold toward the father.The father told him he had always been with him. The wording in Greek used here indicates a local or casual company. The angry brother was only giving the father casual company. He did not have a close intimate relationship with the father. How many of you in church today give God casual company. Many professing Christians today only give God a kind of Lip Service Company. A casual approach when Jesus wants us to enter in to intimate fellowship with Him. A casual Christian will always grow cold. A person that gives God casual company will always get angry when self has to die.This greed of self keeps us from the true inheritance, which is to know, experience and share the Fathers heart. To know and have the heart and mind of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He wants our substance and existence to be in Him, not around Him. When we are in that kind of relationship and fellowship with Christ we will know His heart and rejoice with Him.God bless,Mike
Mike, I really appreciate this.In Him, Chanin