The prodigal’s return reunited him not only with his father but also with his brother. In the same way as we turn our hearts to seek God’s grace as a nation there will be a restoration of relationships both with God and each other. This cross always unites God’s people from every race, because we all have the same father. It heals division because religion separates but true relationship with Jesus Christ restores. The cross heals but until we recognize how desperately sick with materialism and selfishness we have become we will never get past the waiting room of God’s spiritual health clinic. The doctor is in. He is waiting for us. The question is will we come to Him today.
Are you afraid to ask God for answers? Do you feel like church is the last place you would feel comfortable asking questions? But in the Bible people asked questions all the time. How many times should I forgive? Who is my neighbor? How can I inherit eternal life? These were questions that Jesus answered with stories like the prodigal son and the good Samaritan. In fact the best answers in the Bible are given to the people who ask the best questions..
When Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into jail in Philippi one afternoon things looked pretty bleak. After weeks of preaching they had gathered only a handful of followers. But God had a wonderful miracle in store for that small city. At midnight as Paul and Silas praised and worshipped God sent an earthquake whose aftershocks are still being felt today. The first church in the Western world was about the have revival and it all began with the spark of the astonished jailers question. “What must I do to be saved?”
Maybe we are seeing litte growth in our ministries because we make our answers so complicated. But Paul didn’t waste any time with lists of secondary things. He pulled back on the bowstring of his opportunity and shot one arrow dead into the bullseye of our greatest need today. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!” If we are not being asked this question in one form or another then maybe our problem is that we are giving out the wrong answers. The world is no darker, no more lost or violent today than in the Paul’s day. If we determine as Paul did to pray for freedom of the oppressed, be willing to joyfully deal with the consequences and be ready with the right answer then God will begin to shake things up! Salvation is still as freely available right now and right here. If we are ready with Paul’s answer then prepare ready for someone to come with their question. “What must I do to be saved?”
Everywhere that Jesus went lives were transformed and very religious people – a lot like us were offended. Maybe what all of us are missing is a little R &R Repentance and Revival! Repentance is simply beginning to see ourselves as God sees us. Revival is loving others as He loves us!
When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Mark 2:17 NK