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The Prodigal

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Silk, May 22, 2012.

  1. The first time I heard the story, I was probably five or six (Baby Boomer here). I didn’t understand the point of the story. My sympathy was with the son who had done the right thing all along but secretly, I wanted to be the prodigal who got to squander money and live wild and be forgiven at the end. I’d be very surprised to find I am the only one who thought this way – but hey, maybe. (Shrug). I guess I really thought that God loved the prodigal more. And I wanted God to love me more than you (or you, or you – pointing). All my life, people always thought I was smarter than them – It always mystified me – but none-the-less, I always basked in their admiration and tried to encourage that view. (Stupid smile). I DO sometimes have brilliant 20/20 hindsight. (Polishes nails on chest). As I grew older, tossing away, negligently, the many blessings God continued to heap on me, I continued to view the story with increasing disdain. (Ah, the cleverness of me!) My only excuse is that I tend to be literal (Sighs). I don’t remember what caused me to rethink that story. It was probably when I began to think that God loved me less than he used to, with good reason (guilty smile). I thought of myself as one who was “enlightened” and yet I stole things once in a while. I told people, sincerely, what an honest person I was and then bragged, in the same breath what a good liar I could be, if I wanted. (Rolls eyes to God and shakes head). At my worst point, God showed me he loved me still (in my judgment, totally undeserved) and he led me to reread the prodigal son. We are all that prodigal and God does not love me more than you – we cannot “earn” his love and therefore we can NEVER lose it. It is his true lovingness and legacy to mankind. To believe otherwise is to believe the greatest lie ever told.
    It’s a terrible metaphor (Don’t shoot the limited of imagination) but what if God were a cancer patient and we were the tumor in his left leg. Wouldn’t you slay the fatted calf, if it healed? The right leg should rejoice too because it’s hard to stand on one leg. If God rejoices in each cell that turns non-cancerous, shouldn’t we? If he wants to keep every single cell, if he loves every single cell, if those cells love him back, they will indeed heal. In my terrible metaphor, you do not see the saintly right leg happy to see the left leg go (You’re going to hell and I am not, nah nah nah nah nah.). God is personal. No proselytizing and beating someone over the head with your story/proof will do it for someone else. Each person or cell must ask for the proof that he is part of God. The hardest part is listening, sincerely for the answer. Take my word for it, it comes fast and furious and even the stupid (like me) can see it, if they truly want to know the answer. Each is sculpted to the asker, uniquely. Every once in a while, I have been privileged to see someone else’s answer, a brief glimpse of a miniscule, subatomic, thread of God’s design, in a far off corner and I am totally blown away with awe. I would never be able to think of such a perfection and I am glad that I am not the boss. I’m equally glad you aren’t either. Finally, I am glad that God loves you as much as me, no matter what we do or think. I don’t see this, anymore, as license to be prodigal and I am still a cell in the left leg but I pray now that God will fix me, undeserving as I am, and help me to the road of soul-health. Not only that, I pray that he helps you too. I realize that the prayer is selfish (halo disappears) because as part of the left leg, I don’t want to be cut away from God. That is the true description of hell – cut off from God’s light. So that’s how, in my humble estimation, the worst story in the Christian bible became my favorite. When I think of it, it reminds me that God loves me me Me me (okay, and you too) but me me me, unconditionally. What do you think?
    little flower and darla say Amen and like this.
  2. Sounds a lot like GRACE to me!

    Personally, I have never gotten over the fact that God saved me!
  3. "Sounds a lot like GRACE to me!"

    Wow. You have no way of knowing this but my first name, in all the baby name books, means grace. While I did not post this with "grace" as the point, in re-reading my post, I see grace splashed all over it. (Thank you). I don't remember the time when I didn't know God existed. I am told this is a grace. My cousin, when she was 7 and I was 5, told me, " Yanno, not everyone believes in God." Without understanding the why's and wherefores of her statement, I was truly shocked. My reply was just blurted out - " I feel so sorry for them" because I was bereft at the thought of living without him. Grace.

    "Personally, I have never gotten over the fact that God saved me! "
    Major, 50 minutes ago

    Can I tell you that I revel in your salvation? God doesn't make mistakes.
  4. Silk..........It is a blessing to have you on this site. I wish you all the best and look foreward to speaking with you.
    Grace is God's provision and faith is man's appropriation. Faith is not a meritorious act, but the indispensable channel through which man receives God's free gift of salvation.
    The proper understanding of God's grace just may be the most imporant Biblical doctrine to grasp because everyhing else hangs on it.

    Blessing to you............Major.
  5. Hey Major (waves). Thanks for clarifying that we both understand the term grace. I wasn't sure when you first replied. Have you heard the term, "Take it on Faith?" It means, to me that you accept without question, perhaps without understanding, something that is presented as true. Faith is a very meritorius act. If you operate under God's grace, you know not just believe. Thank you for your blessing and I do have much to learn here and I look forward as well to talking with you in the future. I will leave you with my favorite grace:

    "Rubba-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, YEAH God." ( aw c'mon, smile)
    JG27_chili likes this.
  6. As do I............Have much more to learn that is!!!!
  7. pssst Major. You can admit it - no ones listening (apparently)... you did smile didn't you? You just have to be sure to get the second part right. Arms in the air, crooked at the elbow, with the hands and fingers waggling, to frame the "Yaaaaaaaaay (that's how it's pronounced) God". You can extend the ayyye part but that is the "let 'em starve" version and takes good breath control. 'Scuse me a sec (brb).

    {private conversation: OMG and Lord, you lead me to a dead board. (listening)... Okay it was Me who googled but you are the boss of everything including...What? (grumpy). Oh, alright....I'll try to be}

    Back Major (smile) so could you recommend a few lively threads?
  8. Yes, I smiled because I can see my Grandkids doing exactly that!

    I have to agree with you. Our site has become rather tame since some new rules of engagement were introduced.

    It had to be done though because of the outrageouse comments and personal attackes that were done by the few.
    IT seems to me that in life it very un-common to find the middle. There seems to be two extremes. Either one says nothing or the other extreme is that we do not know when to keep our mouths closed, hence comes the peronal stuff that hurts the fellings of others. The moderators have to either allow it all or disallow it all because there simply is no middle of the road.

    Some people who were on this site did not have the ability to communicate but instead used the tactic of being a "BULLY". They were always right and if you did not agree with them, they attacked with the vicousness of a Georgia bull dog when you took his bone away. Hence the new improvements of calmness, and talking nice to others and trying to be helpful and encouraging to others or better said......being a Christian!!!
    If you are looking for a site that is lively, to fuss, and clash and argue and call names, just goggle .................
    "Christian Forums" and you will get a load.

    Now that I think of that, it is sad to me that when I think of a place to be combative and argumenitive, we think of Christian Forum web sites.
  9. One of the points in this passage that is seldom preached is the father's perspective. I believe that I was listening to Pastor Lee, of China (an outlaw there), one time when he taught this parable. He used the most beautiful illustration I've ever heard and I have since stolen it from him. (With his consent, I'm sure.)

    A Chinese artist, a Christian, painted the scripture on canvass and a good understanding of Chinese Culture is required to appreciate it. In past times a Chinese man, a father, would be very careful to present himself properly dressed, in order to present the "proper" image. But in the painting of this man, 2,000 years ago, he is running toward his son with his pig-tail flying, the back of his garment sailing behind him and he has on one red shoe and one blue shoe!

    The reasonable assumed scene is that he had been sitting on his porch, bare-footed, watching and wishing for his son. When he saw his lost son returning, a disgraceful mess and stained with pig manure, he never looked to see the shoes he slipped his feet into! With complete abandon for all things proper and for all things required he left the porch with protection for his feet to run to the son he had been unable to touch for so long and image be damned!

    That is the love our Heavenly Father has for us! How do I know? I live, every moment, with the liar, thief, womanizer and a continued list, that describes my former self and the idiot that sometimes pops his ugly self up where I should be, I am worthy of Eternal Hell! And yet, in spite of what the world might think of Him, God has run to embrace me with His love and His heritage.

    This passage is one of the most beautiful to sinners like me.
  10. Hey Major, my heart soared to see your reply. I was afraid you werent going to. It is not my way to be nasty, whether you agree or disagree with me. And I don't mind people poking my opinions - I believe you can learn from that if your heart and mind is open. I can also see the need for regulation and that is terribly sad. For instance, I went to the CNN belief section of comments. About the vati-leaks story. I posted that I was shocked that the Vatican would trade its credibility world wide for an arrest for which the best they could do to the butler was ex-communicate him (they dont have jail cells in the Vatican). And the arrest proves the Vatican lied. I am talking about this because I was even more startled to see the replies. It wasnt my intention to dump on Catholics as a whole. Athough I'm not Catholic, theres many things in their religion I admire (like masses praying for the dead). When the replies became nasty about Catholics, I posted that I knew many good, nice, honorable Catholics. Someone replied, there's lots of good people who are muslims, atheists, hindu that are good people and what was my point. I replied that I felt Catholics had been attacked and I felt the need to respond. Of course there are good people of all persuasions. He later apologized. My point here is that I got lively replies that had nothing to do with the story, my posts, or reason. People used it as a forum to be angry and righteously ( I use the term lightly) nasty. They only paid attention to their "enemy" posters and there was no insight to be had. I suppose it is hard to discuss things religious that are close to our hearts but not always easy to put into words and have them savaged. God didn't send me to this board for that. But there has to be a happy medium where we can discuss things for everyone's betterment - not to tear down but to build. I hope I have offended no one with my posts. I tend to be exuberant in my love for God. I love to laugh and make others at least smile. (Yay God). This I can promise, I never intend to cause anyone hurt or harm but I hope for talk. I betcha I'm older than you, Major, but I am a child of God.
  11. Hey there, th(e)one Bill (waves and thinks "I like that handle), I hope you will steal my insight in the passage like I intend to add yours to mine. Yours shows the overpowering exuberance with which God loves us, no matter what. I never feel worthy but I revel in his love for me just the same. I didn't want to tell you all that I have previously lied and stolen but God wouldn't let me post without it. I would have preferred that everyone thought of me as perfect (grin) but I guess that's the amazing grace, that God could love a wretch like me. Running, slap dash, over half the way to your returning to his side. (High Fives Bill). I guess we aren't so stupid after all, to realize God's love for us and return to him. Some never do.
  12. Well, hello again!

    Glad to hear from you. You did not offend me at all but then there are many Catholics on this site who are sensitive about there faith. Personally I believe that every thing should be adble to be discussed but in a Christian loving attitude. But that is not the case no matter where you go.

    People looking for an argument will always find one somewhere my frined.

    I do not argue the Catholic faith with those believers, but those believers also know that some of the things they believe in are simply not in the Bible. If they choose to believe these things....fine with me, that is their choice. All I am saying is that they are not Biblical so we who are not Catholic should not feel guilty if we do not accept them.
    I love them and have more Catholic friends than I can remember, and they are wonderful loving Godly people, but facts are facts and if they choose to believe these things then God bless them all.

    1. Infant baptism for salvation.
    2. Celebracy of priests.
    3. Accepting Mary as the co-redeamer.
    4. Mary being sinless.
    5. Confession.
    6. Rosery beads/objects of worship.
    7. Pergatory.

    Now.......these are NOT things that need to be argued. I am simply saying that these practices are not found in the Biblical texts, no more no less. No Catholic should think of these examples as "bashing" simply because I list them as examples of their faith. They are well established practices that the protestant church does not agree with.
    KingJ likes this.
  13. Hi Major (smiles). I brought up the Catholic faith thing because I felt it exemplified what you were referring to as the new rules. I experienced at that site just blatant nastiness and people typing their anger out without care or reason. I am saddened but can see the sense to putting a stop to battles where no one listens or gains any insight and feelings are pierced. I do not fault Catholics for sins of their leadership any more than I would blame a congregation who's pastor has fallen. You mentioned several concepts you don't agree with but you left one out - the infallability of the pope in doctoral issues. If the pope lies, can he be a man of God?
  14. oops I meant doctrinal.
  15. (Ooops – Bigger Mistake). Forgive me Folks, for not thinking through that last question in my previous post and I pray the monitors strike it. What, I guess, I really wanted to ask was can any man or woman claim to be “of God” when they refuse to leave their lies behind them. It’s an amazing paradox we live in these days. In every survey, worldwide, when asked what they detest/hate most about other people is lying. And yet the current mantra, “Everybody lies” is accepted as truth. There is no good reason, ever, for lying and yet people will say, “I lied to save their feelings” as justification for “white lies”. Most lies are told to benefit the liar. But does it? Ever benefit anyone? I think of that princess on top of a lot of mattresses, with a pea at the bottom, rippling and waving through time and space. We might not know that’s it’s a pea (lie) that’s causing discomfort but eventually when we realize we made choices/decisions based on lies, we realize we have been led astray. A wise man once said that to lie is to open the soul to evil. That the lie is the true paving stone to hell. Do not focus on other’s lies – focus on your own. There is always a good way to tell your truth, there is no good reason to lie, for you or me, that doesn’t lead to both our damnation.
  16. I remember a quote "Whenever a man lies he murders some part of the world."
    You must remember that not all lie for the same reasons, and not all are aware that they are lying.
    One must ask what the cause of the particular lie is.
    Many lie due to their own ignorance, promoting commonly held beliefs that are popular with the crowd and rarely questioned. A perfect example being "global warming", no amount of facts will deter those who have an emotional attachment to the idea that mankind is killing the world by breathing.
    It's still lying, and in the long run can cause a lot of harm. Closely tied to the following.
    The little white lie. Of course dear, that dress does not make your *&*^ look fat.
    No, I can't go, busy that day. Examples of lies told to save face, save feelings, or just because they'd rather not be bothered. The sad thing is that it shows a complete lack of respect for the one lied to.
    The endless string of lies to boost ego and position amongst others. Listen to almost any politician or famous person speak for more than two minutes and you'll see a host of object lessons on this type of lie. I wonder how many of this type of liar believe their own propaganda.
    The attempt to decieve for hate and greeds sake. Quite the soul killer.

    But regardless of the reason behind it, they are all lies, and ultimately all lead to death.
    covered_by_grace and Silk say Amen and like this.
  17. Wow Glomung! A most excellent post. Amen to the 100th power. In terms of categorization, you got it down. I tend to think in terms of my own past lies, most of which fall into my category as stupid. Like calling into work - "I'm taking a sick day." (So far true and please stop there)."Yep, projectile (pause) both ends. See you tomorrow." Why would you open your soul for that? The truth should have stayed with "I'm taking a sick day." No need to add details to a fictional illness. If you don't take the mote out of your own eyes, you never see the log in the other. (Hey Pastor, loved the sermon...."Thanks, you missed the one last week". "Erm, yeah family (indistinct mumble)". You could answer such with "I needed to experience God in my own way (true...any fisherman will tell you what it feels like to catch a big fish.) Seriously, there is always a good way to tell truth rather than lie.
    covered_by_grace likes this.
  18. Grinning sheepishly with his hat pulled down over his eyes and with his head slightly bowed, the graying old fossil says, "I was once introduced as the one Cowboy Bill when I was on stage. The handle is a hold over from those days.

    You are correct, my post is only to add, just a little, more depth to yours and thank you, sir!
  19. Hello again The only Cowboy Bill I know (grin). Pshaaaw Bill, we are all spring chickens in the eternal. The only thing I don’t hate about getting older is the somewhat wiser part. God Bless...

    Silk Never Use Love in the Past Tense
  20. You are correct. I only listed a "few" of the practices as examples. The infallability of the pope is an excellant example as well.

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