Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

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July 31, 2021: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense

“For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:24, NIV).

Demanding and receiving his inheritance while his dad is still alive, Jack packs his convertible and leaves home for the West Coast. There, he quickly makes friends, rents a great apartment and parties hard until he runs out of money. Deserted by his friends, he is evicted from his apartment and is forced to sell his car to buy food and lodging. In desperation, he takes the only job he can—a pig slaughtering factory.

Reflecting on his situation, he realizes that even the housekeepers at home live better than he does, so he decides to return home, practicing his speech on the long walk back.

“Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you. I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a housekeeper.”

Back home, Dad has been waiting and looking for his boy to return, every day hoping to see a familiar figure. Then it happens. He sees his boy, thin and bedraggled, trudging up the long driveway. His boy has come home!

The boy begins to make his speech, but his dad hears none of it. He clothes the boy in his own best suit, invites the neighbors and throws a welcome home party. His older brother, jealous and angry, refuses to attend or rejoice.

“Dad, you never threw a party for me, and I’ve been faithful.” To him, the dad says, “You’ve always been here, and what’s mine is yours.”

I rejoice every day because this story explains that God never treats me how I deserve. In my Father’s world, it’s all about His amazing GRACE.

Lord, thank You for God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Amen.

Maurice T. Battle, Jr., is the pastor of the Lewisburg church in West Virginia.