Luke 15:25-32 (NIV)

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.

26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry1 and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property2 with prostitutes3 comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 ” ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ “4

Luke 15:31-32 (NIV)

31 ” ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

DEVOTION – Andy Baker (Tennessee)

The story of the lost son is one of Jesus’ most familiar parables.  When we study the story, the relationship between the father and the son usually gets most of our attention.  However, we sometimes forget the other son in the story – the older brother.

Remember when the younger brother came back home and his father threw a party to celebrate his return?  The older brother refused to go.  Instead, he spent his time pouting and complaining.  Unfortunately, sometimes I can relate more to the older one than to the younger brother.  When I find it hard to rejoice when others rejoice or I complain when things do not go my way, I am acting like him.  When I criticize the food efforts of others instead of focusing on God and pleasing God no matter what others do around me, I am acting just like that older brother.  When I do not rejoice when others come back to a faithful walk with God, I am acting just like him.

At the end of today’s story the father and the younger son were still rejoicing, and the older son was still grumbling.  Instead of being resentful we can focus our attention on God, on sharing the gospel of Christ with others, and on welcoming all “prodigals” on their way back to their Father.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Because God has welcomed me, I will welcome others.

PRAYER: Dear Father, keep us aware of our attitudes and actions that take us away from you.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: SIBLINGS

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