We Are All Prodigals

Most of us know the story of the Prodigal Son. I think there were two parts to the story, Jesus had two lessons in mind. First, God loves us all like sons and daughters. And, no matter what we have done in life, He still loves us and wants us to come back to Him. As it says in 2 Peter 3:9, He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Second, we should not be jealous of others and we need to be humble and not self-righteous, because we all fall short. As Paul says in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

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Worship with Psalms

As you spend time with God and as you worship Him, it is good to look through the Psalms and remember what a great God He is. Take time each day to pray and read some of these (maybe even out loud) to give God praise as your act of worship. As we discussed in the previous post, this is not the only way to worship God. Also as we discussed, worship is more than singing in church. It is your daily devotion to Him. Let us start each day with an attitude of worship to the God who loves us beyond measure and has given us so much to be thankful for.

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Working in God’s Vineyard

Many are called to do God’s work. It might be something seemingly insignificant that may be behind the scenes or a small task or it might be something that will impact many others. Whatever work you do, do it as unto the Lord (because you are!) and do it wholeheartedly. If you are called to lead, be the shepherd God has called you to be and follow what the Holy Spirit tells you. Listen to godly advice. And leave pride out of it. And do not compare yourself to others. Again, let God be your guide. Let us remember that God is in control, not us. The leaders of Israel did not see it that way. When God sent someone to give a message, they would not listen. Pride got in their way. They wanted the power and prestige and didn’t want anyone to take that from them. Jesus told a couple parables that deals with the heart of those who are called to do God’s work.

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Vine and Branches

Many of Jesus’ parables relate to Israel’s way of life. Many people understood about sheepherding, vineyards and olive groves. That was their lifestyle. Jesus would teach with relatable stories. In this parable He teaches that our relationship with Him is much like a grape vine and its branches.

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Malachi: Honor God

In Malachi’s time, things seem to be going well. The people have returned to their land, the wall has been built and the temple was rebuilt. But the people have forgotten the goodness of God. They have become complacent. They question God’s love and faithfulness, but still go through the motions. How often do we do that today? Do we surrender to God, or worship Him half-heartedly? Do we praise Him when things are good, or just cry out to Him when things are not? Or do we question His love when things are not going our way? Malachi has a message. Honor God. Give of your best. He has a plan.

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