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Dear Partner,

Most people can relate to the story of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15. Even when raised in a Christian home young people often go "off the path" for a while as they "taste the world." Fortunately for most, they normally return to the straight path of God as they mature in life. This is the result of a promise to parents in the word of God;

Proverbs 22:6   Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I can certainly add my witness to this truth. My dad was in the construction business so we moved from town to town pretty often as I was growing up. But no matter how many times we moved, my mom and dad were always faithful to make sure I was in church, in Sunday school, and even in Vacation Bible School during the summer break. Yet, when I became a teenager and had a car of my own sure enough, I rebelled against what I knew to be right and I backslid for many years as I tasted the world. Thank God at age 33 the heavenly Father received me back again into His loving arms as I "came to myself and returned to my Father's house." From that time to now I have never backslid again. Hallelujah!

Even though most of us can easily relate to the story of the prodigal son, I have found out over the years that most Christians also need to learn from the elder son in the parable. He was unhappy that the Father received the wayward son home again. He was even more upset that not only had the Father received him home again, but He was also throwing a big party to celebrate the return of his son. He complained that the Father had never thrown a party for him and his friends, even though he had never transgressed like the prodigal son had. The Father's response tells us volumes about our personal fellowship with our heavenly Father.

Luk 15:31   And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

"All that I have is thine." The elder son didn't know that. Even though he had been faithfully working in his Father's fields all of those years and had never transgressed like the prodigal son the fact remained the elder son did not know his Father very well at all. They had "relationship" but it is obvious they did not have much "fellowship."

Let me draw a picture in your mind for a moment. What if one day, while you are going about your daily activities, God the Father spoke directly to you in an audible voice and said, "All that I have is yours." How would that change your life? What does the Father have? EVERYTHING! He has love, joy, peace, health, provision . on and on the endless list would go. And all of it is mine? Our mind rebels against such thinking because we so often seem to be so "needy" based on circumstances. But remember, the elder son also was living far below his inheritance. Why? Because he didn't know his Father very well at all. Jesus knew His Father. He was not ashamed to say exactly what the Father said to the elder son:

John 16:15   All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

You might say, "Well sure, Gary, but Jesus is the Son of God. Of course all that the Father has belongs to Him." But did you know that when you were born again you also became God's child? That is what "born again" is referring to. You literally become God's offspring, reborn in your spirit with the nature of God instead of the fallen nature of Adam. For this purpose Jesus came so we could become the "sons of God."

Joh 1:12   But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Do you believe on the name of Jesus Christ? Of course you do. Then without question you are right now a child of God. Now look at the revelation in this next passage:

Rom 8:14-17a   For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.

Meditate on these verses today. Spend some time in fellowship with your heavenly Father by reading His Word and by spending time in worship and prayer. Don't just "serve" Him by laboring in the fields like the elder son. As you serve him, get to "know" Him. All that He has belongs to us and He is hoping we learn to receive from the vast inheritance He has stored up for us.

Sue and I love you and appreciate you.   We thank God for your generous and giving heart.   God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,


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