TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, December 05, 2017:
Negotiate; trade; do business with; an agreement; a bargain or agreement for mutual understanding.
I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me one of your hired servants. Luke 15:19.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
We often hear of people trying to make a deal with God. Our relationship with God has no room for negotiations. Have you ever heard a person say to God that they would serve Him but please do not take away my freedom to act as I see fit. Many people think this way even if they do not express it verbally. This does not work with God.
We have learned over the years the wisdom of putting our trust in God and asking Him to lead us every day. Deals just do not work with God. We encourage you, as a believer, to understand that when you put all of your situations, problems and goals in the Lord’s hands, you will soon find out that God will do bigger things for you than you ever thought could happen.
We have often referred in these devotionals to the parable about the prodigal son that we read about in Luke. The prodigal son did what many of us try to do with God. He had left home with his share of the riches of his inheritance. He lost everything. He was living with the pigs and starving to death. The son realized he had wronged his father and was not worthy to return. Then he remembered how is father’s servants were well fed. He had made a fool of himself when he left home and dishonored his father. So, he thought he would go home and make a deal with his father.
We need to understand the culture of the day before we can truly understand this parable. There were three kinds of servants in that day. There were part time day workers that came and were paid on a day by day basis. There were the hired servants that worked very long hours but were able to live in town so they had their own independence. And finally, they had bond servants that lived on the estate and gave all of themselves, day and night, to serve the family.
The prodigal son had hit bottom with nowhere to turn so he decided to return to make a deal with his father. He chose to try to become a hired servant. He felt that if his father would agree he could get paid and continue his independence.
The father of the prodigal son saw his son returning and before the son even had a chance to negotiate, his father had a better deal for him. He received him back as his son and welcomed him back with open arms and complete forgiveness.
Just like the prodigal son’s father, Jesus has his arms wide open ready and willing to receive us as repenting sinners back into His family. We do not have to negotiate a deal with God to become a part of the family of God. Before we were created God set a deal. It is simply stated in Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” All those who welcome Jesus as Lord into their lives, God welcomes into His family. It is our choice to accept or reject the offer.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Isaiah 26:3.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Thank You that through the work of Your Holy Spirit You have shown me that even though I have wronged You, my Heavenly Father, because of my wayward ways, I can come home to You and be welcomed with Your loving arms as one of Your children. I thank You that because of Jesus’ death on the cross all my sins are forgiven and I have an eternal home with You in heaven.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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