“And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”” Luke 15:11-32
I can’t read the prodigal son without thinking how often we fail to recognize all that God gave us because we are focused on what someone else is receiving. Both sons were given the inheritance, when the father told the son, “All I have is yours” it was a true statement. If the brother spent his half, the half that was left belonged to the son that stayed.
Yet the son that stayed was focused on works. “I stayed and did. He left and sinned.” He felt his works somehow entitled him to have his father host a party for him. He was focused on what his brother received, not all that he had. He didn’t want his brother celebrated with the fattened calf because he believed it should have used for him.
Both sons were never worthy of the gift given; the father was not dead. The inheritance was not theirs to spend but it was given anyway. That was the father’s love for them both equally.
The same is true of us, we want equal or more in the present. When we don’t have what we think we have earned we start saying “you did this for this person and they don’t even….”. We turn our focus on what we have done that would somehow entitle us to God’s blessings. We start focusing in on what He us done for others and focus in on their shortcomings. We forget to count all He has already done for us.
What the Father gave in the beginning was equal for all and still more than we deserve. The blood of Jesus was the equal inheritance we all received. None of us deserved it. We can not work to earn it. No sin is too big that it will keep us from receiving if we are drawn to Him.
I can honestly say if God did not answer another prayer, bless me in any other way, I have already received more than I deserve. I’ve been the Prodigal and I’ve been the child that stayed working for what God already provided. We are blessed. Yea, things may not seem fair, but as I told me kids growing up, “The fair is in Sedalia in September” (or fill in where your state fair is located). Christ died for us all equally. The gift of inheritance that He provided was more than we will ever deserve. So the next time you start comparing what Hod is doing in the life of the other, ask yourself “which son am I acting like?” because God provided equally and more for us!
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