Monday 18th February 2019

Welcome to Digital Church

Welcome to Digital Church, I hope you find the teaching useful. My prayer is that you will be encouraged in your walk with the Lord and that you will bring glory to his name.

Killing God

The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
Luke 15v12- 13

In the parable of the lost son, Jesus sums up in a simple example the depths of rejection we show towards God by our actions and desires.

In this parable we have a young man who has grown up with a loving father, yet never appreciated what he had. Instead he was constantly looking at what he thought others had and his desire for their ways grew within him.

James puts it quite simply:

But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
James 1v14-15

For this young man he had spent so long looking at the ways of the world that the desire for those things became his obsession until they ruled his life. To give us an idea of just how much those things had taken over him, he asked his Father for his inheritance. His desire had so overcome him that he treated his father as a dead man, for an inheritance is only given out after death.
This young man was figuratively saying that his father was dead to him, that he only wanted him for his goods and nothing else. The relationship, his fathers teaching and advice meant nothing compared to his desire for the things of the world. It was not as if he was even going to invest his inheritance in something useful, he just wanted to use it to chase after the perceived excitement of this world. He would be free to do his own thing in the way he wanted, when he wanted.

How this must have broken his father's heart as he watched his son walk off into the distance. The pain of the financial loss would have been nothing compared to the feeling of total rejection that his son had shown towards him, but what could he do? Sometimes love has to let go, to allow someone to go the wrong way to understand the true value of the right way.

We can look at this tragic tale and think that we are above this kind of thing, yet we so often do the same to our Heavenly Father. From the earliest days man has rejected the ways of God in favour of the instant gain of this life. In the garden of Eden Adam and Eve threw away their daily relationship with God for the perceived benefits of this world. They ignored God's warnings and followed the ways of Satan.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it, she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Genesis 3v6

Adam and Eve had their eyes taken off God and fixed on the freedoms and benefits of a life without God, no longer would they seek God, but they would be wise in their own eyes making their own rules, doing the things they wanted to do.

Sadly for Adam and Eve it was only after they had walked away from God that they started to truly understand the consequences of their decision.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Genesis 3v7

Adam and Eve suddenly had their eyes opened to their true spiritual state. Instead of the freedom and benefit they had been promised, they now became slaves to sin, separated from God. So it was with the young man in the parable. In his initial excitement at being able to do whatever he wanted he missed the fact that the world was taking away from him everything he had received from his father. The world was bankrupting him in ways he could not have imagined. It was not until everything had gone and he suddenly found himself feeding pigs that his eyes finally opened to the depths he had fallen to.

When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
Luke 15v17

The realisation came to him that he had become a slave to his own disobedience.

Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey - whether slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness.
Romans 16v16

Too often we don't realise the true value of the things we have and are instead constantly drawn into the slavery of wanting more, not realising the pain and loss it causes us. It often takes a real disaster in life to being us to our senses. Sadly this is so often the case with those who have drifted away from God. The little things of the world slowly draw them away and before they know it they have become truly spiritually bankrupt, not realising how far they have gone and how much they have lost.

At this point it is easy to try and play the blame game, to give a reason why we have finished up in this state, so justify ourselves before man and God. To give God a reason why He should forgive us, as if somehow God owes us, as if our temptations and desires are the fault of another. Thankfully this young man in the parable did no such thing, in fact he did quite the opposite. He took a good look at himself, it was not the world who had forced his money out of his pocket, it was his own desires. It was the desires of his own heart that had got him to this point and only now did he truly see the benefits of his father's ways and teachings.

He saw his situation and state as being of his own making. Instead of making excuses he would ask for undeserved mercy from his Father. No excuses!

His opening words to his Father were:

I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
Luke 15v21

He no longer sought position or fame; instead he was willing to become a servant to his father. This is true repentance. A sorrow that is not about us, but the harm and damage we have done to others.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
2 Corinthians 7v10

He was truly sorry for the harm and rejection he had shown towards his father, he had a true shame for the squandering of the blessings his father had provided with a goal to turn his life around and walk in the ways his father had shown him. This wasn't about coming back to save up some money to go and do it all over again, this was a life time commitment to follow the ways of his father.

God's love is beyond understanding; his forgiveness and mercy know no bounds, if we will only recognise our true state and turn to him with our lives, not making excuses, but turning in true repentance to walk in his ways. Not claiming any righteousness of our own, but recognising the true state of the pig pen we are in; then the Lord is willing to take us back to himself and treat us as a son, not because we deserve it, but because his love is greater than any other love we will ever know.

The Bible says:

Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, but rather with sober judgement.
Romans 12v3

Let us look at ourselves before God in the light of Christ, not in the light of others. Let us look at our hearts; is it a heart that serves the Lord or a heart that want the Lord to serve us? Is it fixed on the things of God or the things of this world? What are our desires and goals? What are we truly putting our heart and soul into?

With sober judgement it is easy to find we have drifted far further than we would like to admit. It may be a long and tough walk back, but at the end there is a loving father watching out for us with a loving heart that desires to bring us home.

"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate."
Luke 15v22-24

The amazing thing about the Father in this passage is that he not just allows his son to come back as a servant as he asked. His joy at having his son back was so great that he called for a celebration. For his son was alive to him again, the relationship was fully restored. The father placed a ring on his finger, a robe on his back and sandals on his feet. He wanted to show the whole world as well as his son that the relationship had been restored and his son had been put back in the position he had thrown away. Once more this son carried the covering of the father, once again he came under his protection.

This kind of love can be difficult for us to accept or give. There is always a tendency to bear a grudge or assume that a grudge is still bore against us. Yet God as a Heavenly Father does not treat us as we deserve but instead celebrates and welcomes us back into his household.

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Luke 15v7

The Spiritual Man

The Spiritual Man "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed."
Romans 8v19

So often we talk about walking according to the Spirit or being led by the Spirit when we really have little idea what these terms mean.

This short book looks at some of our attitudes and behaviours and challenges what is being led of the Holy Spirit and what is being led of the flesh and how can we change how we are led.

ISBN: 9780957698819

Author: Simon Coward

Number of Pages: 42

Click to Download or Order

A Walk in the Park

A Walk in the Park An easy to read book covering the basics of Christianity in short chapters. ideal for new believers or those wondering what Christianity is all about.

ISBN: 9780957698802

Author: Simon Coward

Number of Pages: 44

Click to Download or Order

Killing God

The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in ... (read more)

The Dangers of Processed Foods

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
John 16v13

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No one inquired of the Lord!

The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.
Joshua 9v14

Joshua chapter 9 tells us the account of the Gibeonite deception. These people that God had told the Israelites to destroy came of with a simple decept... (read more)

True Unity

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes.
Psalm 133v1-2

Unity among Christian... (read more)