Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Outsiders (Part 7)
Prodigals and Partyers
Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the Law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?'
John 8:3-5 (NKJV)*
A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.
Luke 15:11-13 (NKJV)**
Prodigals and partyers are old news. Perhaps the only difference between Israel then and America now is their socially-accepted abundance. 'But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control... reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God' (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
Even so, Jesus embraced prodigals and partyers, as evidenced by the woman caught in adultery: 'I do not condemn you' (John 8:11); also in The Parable of the Prodigal Son, whose father 'Was filled with compassion for him' (Luke 15:20).
'For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved' (John 3:17).
Actors, models and talent for Christ, consider three things:
1) One day, every prodigal and partyer will be in pain: suffering the consequences of poor choices. As sure as God is perfectly just, bad actions bring bad reactions... sooner or later. 'His mischief will return upon his own head' (Psalm 7:16). When a child of God reaches this pitiable place, be there. Welcome him or her with kind words and open arms. Because Jesus did.
2) Strange to say, bold immorality is closer to Christ than boastful morality. Because 'There is none righteous, no, not one' (Romans 3:10); 'All our righteous acts are like filthy rags' (Isaiah 64:6). To proud priests, Jesus said: 'Truly I say to you that... prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you' (Matthew 21:31). When we're full of ourselves, we cannot be full of Christ.
3) When any church parades in a 'Holier than thou' (Isaiah 65:5) posture, it stands in opposition to the Word of God. Therein, it risks a great fall. Because Jesus said, 'I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance' (Mark 2:17). Therein, your calling sets the stage for their calling: the calling of penitent prodigals and partyers to a loving embrace.
To Be Continued...
* The Woman caught in adultery: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+8%3A1-11&version=NKJV
** The Parable of the Prodigal Son: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+15%3A11-32
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Outsiders series.