I read a inspiring book over the weekend. "The Prodigal God" by Timothy Keller. "in The Prodigal God, Keller takes his trademark intellectual approach to understanding Christianity and uses the parable of the Prodigal Son to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation.
Within that parable, Jesus reveals God's prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and the moralistic. This book will challenge both the devout and skeptics to see Christianity in a whole new way."
This book so opened my eyes to more of the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. I have always heard messages about this parable, and the focus was always about the younger son, and the father. I never really thought about the older brother nor why Jesus told this parable when he did and to whom listened to it.
I learned that both sons resented their fathers authority over them and both sought ways to get out from under it. Neither of the sons loved their father for himself, they both rebelled and both were LOST!
Timothy Keller says there are 2 ways we can find personal significance and worth, and how to determine right from wrong- through moral conformity or self discovery. But both paths lead to us being lost!
The younger brother chose the path of self- discovery as his way to find happiness and the older brother chose moral conformity. Jesus told this story in front of the Pharisees ( whom the message was directed to). The older brother represented the Pharisees as they followed the path of moral conformity also- believing that they were the people chosen by God and they maintained that place in his blessings through strict obedience to the Bible. They put the will of God and standards of Community ahead of individual fulfillment. Which sounds good and is good, but if our hearts are not changed by Jesus and we are not pursuing God through our behaviour, the each way to happiness is selfish and will not work!
Religion says "I obey; therefore I am accepted by God." But the Gospel teaches us that "I am accepted by God through the works of Jesus, therefore I obey".
The amazing grace that the father gave the son, is what God gives to us when we return to Him our first love!
I would highly suggest this book if you are interested in knowing how to pursue God with your heart and behaviors that God instills in a changed heart.
Technique: When I hear a message at church, or read a book, or do some research on a topic, I like to take notes, and then create a small booklet with my notes. I add stamps, pictures and emphasize words with color, and backgrounds. This is an example of what i created with my notes from reading this book. I can use this small booklet and tell you what I learned from this book easily. I used one sheet of white cardstock, adhered with glue stick a piece of my alcohol ink papers. Folded it in 1/2 and then journaled. The beautiful organic alcohol papers are instant beauty and interest to journal! As you can tell I am highly enamored by the alcohol ink and deli papers!!!!