Many, many times, I have heard sermons preached about the infamous ‘Prodigal Son’ and how the story shows how much God loves us even when we go off on our own ways. But I do not think I have ever heard a sermon preached about the other brother. The (for want of another word) ‘Un-Prodigal Son’. The older brother that did not go off. The one that stayed home. The one that I believe is like many of us. How? Let me explain.
While it is true that we get a sense of how loving a father God is by how the father in the parable treated the errant prodigal son when he came back to his senses and returned home. Do you know that we can get an even truer sense of how wonderful God’s love is by looking into how the father treated the older, un-prodigal son? You see, this brother was always with the father and was in a position to enjoy unlimited access, fellowship and partnership with him. But guess what? He was worse then the Prodigal Son who left home because even though he was living right there with God, he never understood his privileges and so could never receive or enjoy them! Can you beat that? While the Prodigal Son ran away from home, the older brother was far from enjoying being at home even while he lived there. I say many of us are just like him. And it is such a crying shame.
FULL salvation is what God has given us through Christ and it includes unceasing fellowship and unlimited partnership. Listen to what the father told the sulking Un-Prodigal Son in response to his ‘No fair’ rant:
‘Son, thou art ever with me (fellowship) and ALL that I have is thine (partnership).’
The elder son was complaining about the way the father lovingly and graciously welcomed back the Prodigal while he, who had never been ‘bad’ had never been given even a little lamb to enjoy. The father’s answer was basically saying lovingly ‘My dear son, how could you say such a thing? But you live here with me, you have always been here with me, all you had to do was ask and I would have given you anything you desired or needed!’.
Such love! And this is exactly what God is saying to us his children. If only we would get with the programme and quit all our negative-thinking or ‘vexing’ about what God is doing in the lives of Lagbaja and Modina down the road!
There is nothing we cannot accomplish in this life as long as God is our father. Stop all the negative ‘I cannot do this’ excuses. True, you cannot BUT God can and He is saying to you now:
‘All that I have is yours’.
Do you realise how much God’s ALL is? Let me help you do the Maths: ALL the Holy Spirit’s Power and Wisdom + ALL the joy and riches in Christ + ALL of God’s Love = A Powerful and Mega-Blessed YOU (QED)
Praise God! So please if you don’t fully understand any of this, go to God now and ask him to explain it all to you. As FULLY saved Christians we must understand the privileges we enjoy in Christ. We cannot continue to be like the Un-Prodigal Son. We cannot be in God’s house and not enjoy all that God has for us there.
That would be like living by the Ocean yet washing one’s hands with spit! Shall we let this be our story?
Bola Essien-Nelson (aka Salt) is a blogger/author based in Lagos, Nigeria. You can connect with her via her blog – The Salt Chronicles on Blogger where she is ‘seasoning’ the world around her one salt blog at a time.