The Prodigal’s Pain

The Prodigal’s Pain

Isaiah 66:9

“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” Says the Lord; “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?” Says your God.

This verse is powerful, God is saying why would I cause pain and not let something good come out of it. Why would I waste a trial in a persons life? why would I let the test not be a testimony? Why would I let the very pain that my child is experiencing not have any good come from it?

I have been brought to this verse many times in the past. With the passing of a loved one, a broken relationship, we’ve all experienced pain. And there was always a purpose behind it.

You see, “…He has put eternity into man’s heart…” – Ecclesiastes 3:11. God put in our heart, eternity. There’s nothing that this World offers that replaces, fills, permeates the desire that our hearts long for — the Creator, God. Your friend or family member who has once tasted and seen and felt the love of God at one time who is now living life to the fullest, so they think. In the World. They feel the pain, and so do we. But we have to remember that there is a purpose with the pain.

Much like the Prodigal in Luke 15 who packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land. He spent all that he had carelessly, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. “When he finally came to his senses” the pain had finally caught up with him and he said to himself “At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!” So he returned home to his father.”

But today, as I was praying for a family member who have strayed away, who once knew Him, the Lord showed me an analogy of Isaiah 66:9 of the person who I was praying for.

A pregnancy is nine months, nine long months of having discomfort, sick, carrying extra weight that they have to carry until the time of the birth. Much like the Prodigal, they too are experiencing pain, discomfort, the shame and guilt. But remember that God has to cause the pain, the discomfort to lead them back to Him. His love is relentless, He is always pursuing the hearts of those who have known Him and have not yet known Him. It’s His kindness that leads us to repentance. It’s all part of His plan.

If you know someone who is a prodigal, don’t stop praying, don’t give up. They are of the Lord’s, He sees them where they are, even if they have forgotten Him, He has not. There is purpose in the pain, your prodigal is coming home!

The Position, Posture & Place of our Worship

Part 3 — The Place of our Worship

In the book of Mark is a story of a woman’s act of love, service and devotion to the Lord. Her story is lost to time, not even her name is given in this passage. We don’t know her life story, we don’t know her past but we do see a glimpse of her heart. It is a story that shows us the position, posture and place of our worship.

Mark 14:3-9 ESV

And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

  1. The Place of our Worship

When I think about the place of our worship, my mind goes back to the verse when Jesus is speaking to the woman at the well. He says in John 4:23 ” But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.” Jesus then says this in verse 24 “For God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth.

We can go deeper into what Jesus is saying here but put it simply this way; we don’t have to go to a building (church) to worship. Our worship should not only be contained within the four walls of a building, but outside, in your car, in your home, in your workplace. His Spirit is what is living inside of us! Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.”

God, His Spirit is what is living inside of us. He is our place of worship!

The Position, Posture & Place of our worship Part 2

In the book of Mark is a story of a woman’s act of love, service and devotion to the Lord. Her story is lost to time, not even her name is given in this passage. We don’t know her life story, we don’t know her past but we do see a glimpse of her heart. It is a story that shows us the position, posture and place of our worship.

Mark 14:3-9 ESV

And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

  1. THE POSTURE OF WORSHIP

THE BIBLE RECORDS NO WORDS FROM THIS WOMAN, JUST A SIMPLE ACT OF DEVOTION. A lot of times especially in worship, we come to know God with and without words. We don’t always have to sing along with a song in order to worship Him. We worship from the heart than with our lips.

IT’S NOT HOW WE LOOK WHEN WE WORSHIP, ITS ABOUT THE POSTURE OF OUR HEART.

GOD HONORS WORSHIP FROM THE HEART, JOHN 4:24 “GOD IS SPIRIT, AND THOSE WHO WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH.”

WE MUST GIVE OUR ALL JUST AS THIS WOMAN DID.

///REFLECTION///

ONCE THE VESSEL THAT HELD THE OINTMENT WAS BROKEN, THERE WAS NO STOPPING IT, IT HAD TO BE USED AT ONCE. ARE WE STOPPING OUR PRAISE FOR ANY REASON? HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE GRIEVED THE SPIRIT FROM HOLDING BACK OUR PRAISE?

The Position, Posture and Place of our Worship Part 1 – The Position of our Worship

In the book of Mark is a story of a woman’s act of love, service and devotion to the Lord. Her story is lost to time, not even her name is given in this passage. We don’t know her life story, we don’t know her past but we do see a glimpse of her heart. It is a story that shows us the position, posture and place of our worship.

Mark 14:3-9 ESV

And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Part 1 – The Position of our Worship

  1. THE POSITION OF WORSHIP.

We must know who we are in Christ when we worship! If we have repented, we are no longer that man or woman who we once was. He has forgiven you! “Our sins are as far as from the east is from the west.” Psalms 103:12

That’s why we can come into His presence boldly!

HEBREWS 4:16 “LET US THEREFORE COME BOLDLY TO THE THRONE OF GRACE, THAT WE MAY OBTAIN MERCY AND FIND GRACE TO HELP IN TIME OF NEED.”

THIS WOMAN WHO COULDV’E HAD A HORRIBLE PAST, LABELED IN SOCIETY AS AN OUTSIDER, TALKED ABOUT, MOCKED AT, POINTED AT BUT SHE CAME BOLDLY. SHE WASN’T THINKING THAT HER PAST WAS TOO BAD.

When we worship the Lord He Doesn’t see who we used to be, He sees our position in Christ.

Let’s look at verse “There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that?

THIS WOMAN WHO IS SEEN POURING HER MOST VALUABLE POSSESSION ON JESUS HEAD GETS MOCKED BY THE VALUE OF THE PERFUME, THEY WERE MORE WORRIED ABOUT THEIR POSITION IN SOCIETY MORE THAN THEIR POSITION IN CHRIST. WHILE GIVING MONEY TO THE CHURCH AND TITHING IS BIBLICAL OR GIVING TO THE NEEDY; IT’S ONLY IF WE ARE “IN CHRIST” THAT MATTERS.

They were more worried about their position in society more than their position in Christ.

ONCE THE VESSEL THAT HELD THE OINTMENT WAS BROKEN, THERE WAS NO STOPPING THE FLOW OF THE OIL, IT HAD TO BE USED AT ONCE. 

How many times have we grieved Holy Spirit by not giving our all to Him in worship?

PRAYER: Lord, bring us back to the heart of worship, let us give you our all and not to hold back. Let us realize the authority, the power & our position in You when we worship. Amen

Your Thoughts Matter

There is one mission, one priority that the enemy aims to do — destroy our fellowship with the Lord. He did this in the beginning when Eve believed the lie and at times we fall victim.

So we know the enemy doesn’t come to us with a pitchfork or as some other mythical creature. We know he is real and his mission is never going to change. So how do we not fall into sin? How do we not believe those lies that Eve fell for? How did they all start? Our thoughts.

THE WAR AGAINST THOUGHTS OF SIN AND STRONGHOLDS ARE FOUGHT IN OUR MIND.

The question to ask ourselves is what type of thoughts are we letting in?

Here is what we should think about:

PHILIPPIANS 4:8 “FINALLY, BROTHERS, WHATEVER IS TRUE, WHATEVER IS HONORABLE, WHATEVER IS JUST, WHATEVER IS PURE, WHATEVER IS LOVELY, WHATEVER IS COMMENDABLE, IF THERE IS ANY EXCELLENCE, IF THERE IS ANYTHING WORTHY OF PRAISE, THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS.’

We may think, “But why is it so hard to focus on whatever is pure, or honorable, or etc?.”

  • If we are watching TV programs that you know you shouldn’t be watching.
  • If we are socializing more with unbelievers than believers.

2 CORINTHIANS 2:15 “TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.”

Are we truly taking every thought captive? Do we filter our thoughts?

We may think — it’s just one look
We may think — it’s just one more drink
We may think — It’s just one more hit
We may think — it’s just one more, one more.

What we may think is small in the beginning, can wreak havoc in our walk with God now or later on.

Galatians 6:8 “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”

REFLECT// Ask Holy Spirit to search your heart, your mind, what am I thinking on? What do I need to do different? Remember that thoughts can change your life.

Do You Have Room For Him?

You’re begging to the attendant at the service counter, “Please make room for me!” But every attempt goes unheard of. You go from hotel to hotel and motel to motel, still no room can be found.

She brought forth her firstborn Son…and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:7 NKJV

In the gospel of Luke we read that Mary and Joseph having this same ordeal. Their trip was planned though, much anticipated and I’m sure Mary was anxious to get the child labor out of the way. But why couldn’t they find a room? Really? The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Messiah, The Chosen One, Son of God, the Creator, they were told to go away. Jesus, Mary and Joseph got rejected at every Inn (motel) they came across. They came to one Inn and all they had was a stable, a stable for animals. Not the best amenities but it worked.

  • Do we make the same mistake of the innkeeper? Do we tell Jesus that you have no time for Him today, ignore the prompting of the Spirit because its not convenient?
  • This Christmas, give to God your life, your time, and especially your heart. Listen for that urgent knock, and every time you hear it, move aside and make room for Him.

Seek Him, Continually

Are we seeking God for what He can do for us? Or for who He is?

1 chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and His strength; seek his presence continually!

There’s one thing that we need and that is God, you would not have been reading this devotional if you were not seeking God or seeking something from Him today.

This verse tells us that we seek God for what He can do and also for who He is. 

Why does the Word tell us to “Seek His strength”?

  • God is all powerful and we need His strength in every aspect of our lives.

Why does the Word tell us to “Seek His face continually”?

  • His strength is what He can give us, His face is who He is, we need His presence.

We don’t need His presence just today, but day after day, continually seeking after the face of God.

Why His presence is so important:

Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fulness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

When we seek after His presence we receive all of Him… strength, peace, love, mercy, that is why our enemy the devil uses the tactic against us for staying busy so that we don’t seek after His presence but rather, bothered with life’s daily tasks to seek our own ambitions.