This week Pastor Jon concluded his series on “The Robe” with a message on the Father’s abundant generosity. Sometimes, the gospel is reduced to just our personal forgiveness. While forgiveness is part of the gospel, it is also just part of the gospel. There’s so much more! The gospel is also about an abundant life. The big idea of Pastor Jon’s message was this: “Everything the Father has, he has given to you.”
We see this big idea in the Father’s interaction with the older brother from the parable of the prodigal son (see Luke 15:25 – 32). In this story, the older brother refused to celebrate the younger brother’s return. He was jealous of the extravagant generosity the father was extending toward his rebellious brother and not to him. On top of that, the older brother felt like a slave (see Luke 15:29). But God doesn’t want slaves, he wants sons and daughters. So, the father in the parable tells the older brother the truth he has been blind to: “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have us yours” (Luke 15:31). The father extends to the older brother the abundant generosity he never knew he had.
We see this abundant generosity also in Romans 8:15 – 17. Here Paul tells us that God has made us co-heirs with Jesus. This means that, what Jesus inherits as God’s heir, so do we. It makes sense, then, that when we get to the end of the biblical story, we hear God saying, “he who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7).
Like the church in Ephesus (Revelations 2), in our lives it is possible for us to do everything for God but not know God. Pastor Ted Howard reminds us of the necessity for us as believers and as the church to cultivate the Spirit through “practicing the presence.” By spending time with God, we remember how we are to serve and who we are serving. Speaking from Psalms 91:1-16, Pastor Ted Howard makes three observations on practicing the presence: (1) If we are going to practice the presence of God, we must have faith (2) Faith is a cultivated lifestyle, and (3) practicing the presence of God commands allegiance.