5.28.2012

An Old Story Made New.

saturated canary digis
saturated canary digis
saturated canary digis
headband c/o Pretty Little Maniac

I've been reading The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller.  It was recommended to Phil and I by our [former] assistant pastor.

For all the years of Christian school education, faithful Sunday School attendance, and a Christ-centered up-bringing, I have never seen salvation (or myself, my own heart) like this book is revealing as I flip through its pages.

It is a tiny book.
An 'easy read.'
Deceptively small in content.
149 pages and hardly the size of my hand.

In the book, Keller tells that old, old story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32).  I must have heard it 100 times before. I know the story inside out.  Or so I thought.

As I've gone through the pages (and I'm not quite done yet), I've realized I missed the whole point of Jesus' parable to the pharisees.  I didn't realize the focus of the story is as much on the older son as it is on the youngest.  More than that, I never realized he was hugely at fault.  If anything, I think I identified with his feelings of entitlement.

I know that out of the two, I'm that elder brother.  I think my whole life, I've tried to control God by obeying him.  I've lived out my faith in fear and mis-trust.  Trusted in my actions/faith/works to bring me what I deserve and keep me from getting what I don't deserve, what I fear.

Fear.  I hate the feeling, but know it well.

This beautiful book is making a clear argument for my lack of trust and hope and joy in my Father.

It hasn't been easy to read, after all.
It kinda made me uncomfortable.
And maybe even a little mad at times.

But that is a good place to be in your faith.
Comfortable isn't growing.  
It's stagnant.
And luke-warm.
It isn't passionate.  It isn't moving.  It isn't heaven-bound.

I'm so thankful for being presented with an old, well known Bible story in a complete and real way.  It has put my own faith, salvation, and human existence in a new light altogether.

saturated canary digis

"The choice before us seems to be to either turn from God and pursue the desire of our hearts, like the younger brother, or repress desire and do our moral duty, like the older brother.  But the sacrificial, costly love of Jesus on the cross changes that.  When we see the beauty of what he has done for us, it attracts our hearts to him.  We realize that the love, the greatness, the consolation, and the honor we have been seeking in other things is here.  

The beauty also eliminates our fear.  

If the Lord of the universe loves us enough to experience this for us, what are we afraid of?  To the degree we "see his beauty", we will be free from the fear and neediness that creates either younger brothers or older brothers. "

~The Prodigal God

17 comments:

  1. WOW! This story is one that I have always struggled with too,as I also have felt for the older son(maybe since I am the oldest in my family) And to be honest this story has always kind of ticked me off! So it does sound like a book that I do NEED to read-ugh... maybe afraid to face what it will reveal in me?? Thanks so much for sharing. I love your art work-but even more- your heart and faith! (I was just getting ready to shut down the computer for the night when your post on FB caught my eye...hmmm-think someone is trying to get my attention!-thanks again!)sherry107

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  2. I am going to check this book out. Thank you for the recommendation. And such lovely pictures of you as well.

    http://shannonhearts.blogspot.com/

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  3. love that.... " To the degree we "see his beauty", we will be free from the fear and neediness .." reminds me of John Piper's theme that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him"... or what has in other books been called the 'expulsive power of a greater affection' = the more we SEE/LOVE Jesus, the easier it is to let go of our own vanity/fear/pride etc.
    THanks for sharing, love your heart - that it's real, and that it wants to keep growing!
    xoxoxoxo
    Mel ;o)
    needle and nest

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  4. Thanks for a great post! Sounds like a good book to read :)

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  5. Love this, and felt the same exact way when I read the book! Thanks for the reminder!

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  6. Wow, Krista hun this book sounds awesome and very much what I might need at the moment too so I am going to have a little search for it here.
    Thankyou so much for this post hun
    huge hugs Lou xxxx

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  7. Sounds like a great read. I love it when God reveals something new to us, that was once old. And we can grow and learn from it. Thanks for sharing. That story was one that was once hard for me too. Our pastor talked about it a few months back and it was brought to new light to me then, too. It wasn't until then that I "GOT" it. Sometimes we need a good eye opener.

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  8. I love this so much!
    "If the Lord of the universe loves us enough to experience this for us, what are we afraid of?"

    Thank you!
    L&L
    Nicky
    >i<.

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  9. What can I say......... Thank you for being real. It's quite humbling to go check my blog posts & find God speaking,
    Much love from me
    Paula (PEP)

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  10. Such a meaningful post, opened my eyes I can tell you. Thanks for sharing. Zo xx

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  11. i am a new reader to your beautiful space!!

    i love the story of the prodigal son ... always seems to resonate with me.

    i now am going to check this book out to see what i have missed in the story i thought i knew so well too!!

    oxox
    k

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  12. Wow, this is awesome -- I never really thought about the older brother much before. Enlightening and thought-provoking, for sure... I'm not sure where I fit in...

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  13. you seriously are the cutest thing since sliced bread!

    and I love this post!

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  14. Love this perspective. This will definitely be the next book I read. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  15. The small group I was in last summer read The Prodigal God and I loved it. I'm the prodigal son, so to speak, and it just made me fall more deaply in love with a God who radically loves me in spite of my sin.

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  16. Comfortable isn't growing-- I love that.

    Aloha,
    Following ya from thewiegands, but more than that I'm loving your work. Thank you for sharing your journey in such a beautifully honest way. We're riding the wave of life at localsugarhawaii.com and I'd love it if you'd join us for the ride. It's beautiful, ya know, this little ride called life.

    xoxo,
    Nicole
    localsugarhawaii.com

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