**Please feel free to read my blogs. They reflect my thoughts, opinions, and ideas on topics of interest to me. Please note: The blogs posted here include those from my original account under the titles of 'Topics Of Interest'. I hope they, in some way, bless.**

mctreefrog11
mctreefrog11: Why did you unfriend me or did I unfriend you
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "Walking On Water" 3 days ago Report
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Morningdew101
Morningdew101: This was a beautiful commentary and reminder. I'm so glad I took the time to read this..thank you for serving sister
1 day ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel: "The Other Brother"

Luke 15:11-32*

Most have read or at least know about The Prodigal Son. Most messages focus on the love of the father who waits patiently *for his wayward son to come to his senses – after squandering his inheritance and compromising his integrity – and to return home into the loving arms of his father. And, we marvel at this illustration of the grace and love of God, our heavenly Father, who runs to meet us the moment we turn our hearts back to Him in repentance. This parable has served as a great source of encouragement to those who have found themselves far from God, wondering if He could ever accept them back again.

Let's do a review:
Jesus told the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son in response to the Pharisees and teachers of the law muttering about the “sinners” Jesus chose to associate with. He wanted them to understand the intense love God has for the “lost” and the rejoicing that takes place in heaven when a sinner repents. But, is that the only lesson from this story?(Fair question) Enter The Other Brother.

Luke 18:9 ties in with this parable. It's about a Pharisee and a tax collector (contrasting the pompous “righteousness” of the Pharisee with the humble repentance of the “sinner” tax collector). Notice why He shared this parable:
"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:..." Luke 18:9
(Stay with me here)
The Pharisees thought they were better than everyone else (and from a legalistic, religious standpoint, they were). They thought they were the righteous ones and everyone else was beneath them. No wonder they were offended in Luke15:
"Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them." Luke 15:1-2

When Jesus told the parable of the lost son (“The Prodigal Son”), He used the opportunity to teach them about more than just the excessive love of God; He took a swing at their self-righteousness by including the description of the reaction of the older brother.

Now, If we read the story out of context, we sometimes wonder why Jesus would talk about the older brother at all. It feels like an interruption in the parable, or, an unnecessary add-on. There’s a lost sheep, a lost coin, a lost son… and then, “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field.” It’s kind of anti-climactic. There could be little doubt though, that the muttering older son was an illustration of the muttering Pharisees and teachers of the law who found no pleasure in the repentance of sinners because of their own self-righteousness and indignation. While Jesus described the wayward son, they were probably disgusted by his actions. He didn’t care about his father at all! He just wanted his money. He took off and indulged in one party after another without any thought of his father… that is, until he found himself penniless and slopping pigs. Thank God they weren't like that! It’s the same attitude the Pharisee displayed in Luke 18:9-14:
"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."

In the above parable, the Pharisee thanks God he isn't like that humbled tax collector, and then he lists all his religious accomplishments. When the older son in the story of the prodigal son tells his father, “All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders,” they were probably thinking, “Now, there’s someone we can relate to! He’s the good one!”

But Jesus tags on the older brother description to drive the point home that the younger brother wasn’t the only one who showed disregard for the father. Both sons were “lost.” They were equally in need of being found. In the parable, the father actually went looking for the older brother, just as the shepherd actively searched for the lost sheep, and the woman searched for the lost coin until she found it. The one who was truly lost was the one who thought he wasn’t – the one who didn’t recognize his need.

But Jesus tags on the elder brother description to drive the point home that the younger brother wasn’t the only one who showed disregard for the father. Both sons were “lost.” They were equally in need of being found. In the parable, the father actually went looking for the older brother, just as the shepherd actively searched for the lost sheep and the woman searched for the lost coin until she found it. The one who was truly lost was the one who thought he wasn’t – the one who didn’t recognize his need.

The Older-Brother Syndrome:
Looking at a sinner and recognizing his need of Jesus immediately but fail to see the need of the prideful soul making that observation. if we're going to be honest, most people fall into one of these two categories.

The younger-brother types are the ones who are adventurous and risk-taking. They distrust institutions (like government and religion), shake off constraints, and desire to experience all that life has to offer. When they sin, they sin big and bold, and, everyone knows it. The elder-brother types are the rule-keepers and people-pleasers who work stable, predictable jobs, hold traditional values and are risk-averse. Many "holier than thous" are elder-brother types who tend to see their type as “good” and the other type as “bad.” If only everyone could be more like them, the world would be a better place. But Jesus’ parable reminds us that the ones who are truly “lost” are the ones who don’t realize their need. A few characteristics of the older brother in the parable and how we can make sure we don’t fall into the trap are pride, anger, resentment, and indignation.

Question: Have you ever found yourself asking God to heal someone because he/she deserved it, or because he/she has been faithful for so many years? Have you caught yourself thinking surely you'll make it to heaven simply because you go to church every week, and you don’t break any rules? We're very much prone to keeping a checklist and treating our salvation like a contract. If we just do enough of the right things, we’ll make it. That’s how the older brother felt. “All these years I’ve been slaving for you…yet you never gave me even a young goat…” He was mad because he didn’t think he was getting what he deserved for his faithful service. Have you ever felt short-changed by God? Have you felt that your service has been overlooked and that you deserve a pat on the back? Has your pride puffed you up to the point where you think it’s actually possible to earn God’s grace and blessing?
(Again, fair questions)

Perhaps the real reason the elder brother was so angry was because his younger brother had squandered half of their shared inheritance. Now that he has been welcomed back into the family, they would both receive a slice from a much smaller pie when their father died. He didn’t care about his father any more than his younger brother had when he demanded his inheritance while his father was still alive. So, for us, our relationship with our heavenly Father should center on pleasing Him, loving Him, and growing closer to Him, even if it means we don’t get everything we want. If you don’t wind up with a “mansion over the hilltop” when you get to heaven and find yourself in a one-room apartment in the new Jerusalem, will you be disappointed? Are you serving God only for the promise of getting a crown or walking on streets of gold? Or do you want to know Him more than you want another breath? Love for Jesus must be our starting point, without loving only to get something, even if that something has been promised and is beneficial to everyone. Our motives must be pure. If you’re only serving God so your spouse will return to you, or so you’ll get a better job, or so He’ll bless you financially, then your motives are tainted. Love Jesus for who He is, not what He can give you.

The older brother was indignant that “this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes” was the object of his father’s affection and celebration. His father might be willing to forgive, but by golly, he wouldn’t! His standards were higher than his father’s. This sin was unforgivable. While the younger brother might be his father’s son, he was no longer a brother to him. Now that's being pompous and arrogant! But Christians do this all the time. They judge and hold past sins against one another. They identify people as “former” this or “ex” that. Instead of offering the clean slate of forgiveness, they hang on to the dirt so they can bring it up again later. If the father, who has been wronged, can forgive, why can’t we? And, for the record, forgiveness means forgiving yourself, too. If God can bring Himself to forgive you, then you can forgive yourself, too. Your standard is not higher than God’s! (Contrary to popular belief!)

Think of the long, dark, heartbroken nights this father spent worrying about his lost son. Think about his disappointment as days turned into months and perhaps years of longing for him to return. And now he is so full of joy that everyone in the household and probably the town came to celebrate with him. And the older son won’t even come to the party. He didn’t share his father’s heart. He didn’t share his joy. As Christians, our hearts should be broken by the things that break the heart of God. And they should also be filled with joy by the things that bring joy to the Father. That means we need to know Him and what He truly wants. We need to get on the same page as God and see the world through His eyes. I admit this isn't always easy to do. But we’re not on this planet to look out for our own interests. We’re here as His ambassadors to represent Him to a world that is lost and in need of a relationship with Him. If we can’t catch His heart and reflect it, then we don’t know Him as well as we need to.

Even as I post this blog, I was searching my own heart. I’m afraid that on more than one occasion, I’ve found myself exhibiting pride and trusting more in my own works than in God’s grace. I wonder if I always see the world the way God sees it. God help me! God help all of us! May we never become the Pharisees who are blinded by our own “good works.” May we search our hearts daily and examine ourselves on the inside rather than just the outside.

Take care. God bless.
5 days ago Report Link
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Morningdew101
Morningdew101: Sweet friend! Are you back?
5 days ago Report
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ArtistOfWords
ArtistOfWords: It warms my heart to see this explained so well here. When our own will begins to align with our Father's will in heaven; it is at that point that we realize just how much He cares and how far His mercy and grace reaches.
5 days ago Report
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wheelgirl
wheelgirl: Wow I had never seen that the good son was also lost, and not only that but had the same attitude as a pharisee who looked down on his brother (who was a sinner), who had humbled himself when returning back to his father. Beautiful message Deb. Thank you!
4 days ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel: Bible Emergency Numbers

When in sorrow____________________________________________John 14
When man fails you________________________________________Psalm 27
When you have sinned______________________________________Psalm 51
When you have worry_________________________________Matthew 6:19-24
When you are in danger_____________________________________Psalm 91
When God seems far away_______________________________Hebrews 13:9
When your faith needs stirring______________________________Hebrews 11
When you are lonely and fearful_______________________________Psalm 23
When you grow bitter and critical_________________________1 Corinthians 13
When you feel down and out____________________________Romans 8:31-37
When you want peace and rest_________________________Matthew 11:25-30
When the world seems bigger than God_________________________Psalm 90
When you want Christian assurance_______________________Romans 8:1-30
When you leave home for labor or travel________________________Psalm 121
When your prayers grow narrow and selfish______________________Psalm 67
When you want courage for a task______________________________Joshua 1
To get along with your fellow man_____________________________Romans 12
For a great intervention or opportunity___________________________Isaiah 55
For Paul's secret to happiness_________________________Colossians 3:12-17
If you want to be fruitful________________________________________John 15
If your pocketbook is empty____________________________________Psalm 37
If you're losing confidence in people________________________1 Corinthians 13
If people seem unkind__________________________________________John 15
If discouraged about your work_________________________________Psalm 126
Find the world growing small and yourself great___________________ Psalm 19

Available 24/7/365 *No Phone Service Required*
5 months ago Report Link
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Morningdew101
Morningdew101: Wonderful and useful list! Thank you ArchAngel
5 months ago Report
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telicat77
telicat77: Awesome!
5 months ago Report
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(Post deleted by bobbyb0227 5 months ago)
bevbailey2020
bevbailey2020: HI SIS I AM BACK I FINALLY GOT BACK IN , GOD IS GOOD , HOW YOU BEEN SIS ?
5 months ago Report Link
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "...At The Name Of Jesus..." 5 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "Take Heed HOW You Hear..." 5 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "What Is Faith? What Does It Mean?" 6 months ago Report
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bevbailey2020
bevbailey2020: Hi ArchAngel , great job , you are very blessed ,It’s Time nice words. Bless you sister ,beautiful.
6 months ago Report Link
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "It's Time.." 6 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "Been There....Still There" 6 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "Why Do You Believe In God?" 7 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel: This is my answer. This is why I believe in God.
7 months ago Report
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wheelgirl
wheelgirl: Amen!!!
7 months ago Report
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(Post deleted by The_7rh_ArchAngel 6 months ago)
The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "A Moment Of Reflection" 6 months ago Report
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mctreefrog11
mctreefrog11: Amen I feel so encouraged by your blogs
6 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "Romans 12..." 6 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "Detours Ahead..." 6 months ago Report
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wheelgirl
wheelgirl: There have been so many detours in my life that's for sure.. God has been so faithful to get us to our destination, and in how He wants us to be when we get there.

This reminds me of the detour He took the israelites on in the wilderness to get them to the promise land. It was such a short trip but God took them the long way to prepare them for their destination.

Thank you for this message Deb!
6 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "Tis The Seasons..." 6 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "Lord, Where Is My Peace?" 7 months ago Report
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mctreefrog11
mctreefrog11: I'm praying for you
7 months ago Report Link
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The_7rh_ArchAngel got the Spiritual badge from Guns N Moses 7 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: Blind, Deaf, And Dumb" 7 months ago Report
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Morningdew101
Morningdew101: Hi Sweet Love...hope all is going well!
7 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "Faith Amidst Affliction" 1 year ago Report
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twokwiat
twokwiat: You cannot work this faith up. (I have tried after the fact.) In my early years, I learned to let it flow...and HE did. I say this for you have lost your grip on Jesus. I know what it is like. But when I prepare being held in His arms and any foreign ones (including those governed by my own mind), there is no contest in Who brings one their true peace...He does.Trying to live this life to the full without Him...try it with Him...acquiesce to His Word, His Way.
1 year ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel: For the record, I have not lost my grip on my Lord Jesus. Never have....never will. He is ALL I have and ALL I will ever need. Just so we're clear on the facts, know what the facts are before coming to your own conclusions.
1 year ago Report
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twokwiat
twokwiat: Deborah~~I apologize for the statement never intended for you.....I believe you never have. I didn't spell check what I intended~~ should read: "I say this for those of you who have lost your grip..." Since I can't edit it, kindly delete it if you wish.
8 months ago Report
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The_7rh_ArchAngel
The_7rh_ArchAngel has a new blog post: "Revelation 12:12" 8 months ago Report
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Morningdew101
Morningdew101: Wonderful blog and a great reminder to me that time is short. How will we use this remaining time here? How will we explain to Jesus how we used it? Are we truly delving into our spiritual gifts and using them when prompted by the Holy Spirit? God bless Arch Angel..hope this reply finds you happy and blessed!
8 months ago Report
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