Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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The Prodigals Brother
Luke 15:25-32. Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, `Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.' But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, `Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.' And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive, and was lost and is found.
Many of us are very familiar with the story of "The Prodigal Son", found in the preceding verses of Luke 15:11-25, a parable told by Jesus of a wandering, drifting son coming home and restoring his lost relationship with His Father. This parable describes the experience a drifting, aimless believer enjoys when he restores His relationship with Father God. It describes the joy felt throughout the entire kingdom of Heaven when a wandering carnal believer comes home.
However, today letís focus on the prodigalís brother. As we read in the above scriptures, the brother never left his fatherís home. He was obedient, faithful, doing the work of his Father, yet never experiencing the rewards his brother did when he returned home. The prodigal was worldly, a wastrel, extravagant, drunkard and immoral, yet the minute he repented there was a celebration! Why? Because He repented and came to Himself! Was His older brother overjoyed and celebrating?
NO! He became angry and jealous because he was never treated this way. Letís look at what the older brother says to his father.
Luke 15:28-30. "But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, `Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him."
In essence he is saying what so many Christians say today; "Lord, I have been faithful, I donít drink, gamble, swear, kill, commit adultery or fornicate. I am faithful at church, I come each service, I tithe, I help with church programs, Lord, I even teach Sunday School! I work hard, Lord! Why donít You bless me like you did that backslider, Lord?"
The answer is very simple!
Luke 15:31. "And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours." All that I have is yours ! This is one of the areas many born again believers find themselves. We are saved, born again, very faithful and active in church, yet we fail to experience the full blessings of our Fatherís household. Why?
Because, we donít realize that all God has is ours! We are ignorant of who and what we have received in Christ, and what our rights and privileges are in Christ. I would like to discuss some of our privileges we have as a believer living in Father Godís household.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
When you accept Christ as you personal savior, are born again, you become a new creature! Your sins were redeemed, not counted against you and you have been reconciled to God. You have become the righteousness of God, through your belief in Jesus! Everything you did in the past, as a sinner, unredeemed and unrighteous is forgiven and forgotten! All old things are passed away. You have started a new life in Christ! Praise God!!!
Romans 8:14-17. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father.''
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. "
You are a joint heir with Jesus. This means that all that belongs to God belongs to you. Everything! Godís peace, joy, love, well-being, health and prosperity belong to you. Father God loves you and wants only good for you! Get into Godís Word and find out what God wants for you!
1Chronicles 16:34. "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever."
Romans 5:17. "For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ."
We reign in life through Jesus. Reign in life! That means that we reign today as heirs of God, not in some distant future, but today! When Jesus ascended in heaven He gave us specific instructions to follow until He returns. They included:
Matthew 28:18-20. "Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'' Amen."
We are to make disciples of all who come to Christ, teaching them to follow Godís commandments. Jesus also made us a promise, He promised never to leave us, never! We always have the Lordís presence with us in the person of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. The Holy Spirit leads us, guides us, teaches us and strengthens us daily. Jesus wisdom and strength are with us always in the person of the indwelling Holy Spirit! All authority was given to Jesus and we have inherited this authority!
Mark 16:15-18. "And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.''
In these verses Jesus again tells us to preach the gospel to everyone. He also describes things believers will do. All these things describe the power of God against the works of the enemy, it is talking about the authority we have in Christ and how to use it, how to use it to emerge successfully from whatever quagmire the enemy has placed you.
Colossians 2:13-15. " And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. "
Satan is a defeated foe! Jesus death nailed Satanís power on the cross and Jesus triumphed over Satan and made a public spectacle of Him! Satan has no power over you, a born again believer.
You a victorious child of the King!
You have the victory of being:
1. A child of God John 1:12
2. Christís Friend John 15:15
3. Joint heirs with Christ
sharing his inheritance Romans 8:14-17
4. Blessed with every
spiritual blessing Ephesians 1:3
5. Delivered from the
dominion of darkness
and transferred into
kingdom of light. Ephesians 1:13
6. An enemy of Satan 1 Peter 5:8
Learn who and what you are in Christ and do what The Apostle James tells us to do.
James 4:7. "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
You submit and yield to God and resist the devil, because you know who you are in Christ and that the enemy has no power over you !
The following is the prayer from The book of Ephesians that Paul Prayed. It has been personalized.
I urge you to pray it for yourself and see the Change in your life!
I pray that the God of my Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
may give unto me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him;
The eyes of my understanding being enlightened; that I may know what is the
hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory in His inheritance in the saints,
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards me as a believer,
according to the working of His mighty power.
Which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him
at His own right hand in the heavenly places,
far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every
name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come;
And has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all
things to the church.
Which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all. (Eph.1:17-23)