Total dependence

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By Dave Henning / November 13, 2014

“The bad son was lost in his badness, but the good son was lost in his goodness.”- Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God

Kyle Idleman continues Chapter 13 of AHA with two descriptions of what an older brother is like, because older brothers have a difficult time seeing themselves as someone in need of AHA.

1.  Critical of others’ sins.  Pastor Idleman states that older brothers frequently focus on the flaws of others, unwilling to recognize repentance in “prodigals” or look past their mistakes.  Rather than opening their arms in welcome, older brothers cross their arms.  They fail to recognize that it’s the Father’s house, not theirs.  God is in control of the situation.  When older brothers cross their arms, that is an indication that they are missing God’s grace in their lives.

2.  Confidence in your goodness.  Older brothers evidence a confidence in their own goodness rather than the Father’s grace.  They make no mention of the Father’s provision in their lives.  Older brothers fail to recognize their total dependence on the Father.

Pastor Idleman concludes by comparing the two brothers in the parable.

Older brother

1.  Claims, “I’ve never disobeyed.”

2.  Appeals to his own merit.

3.  Sulks in frustration.

Younger brother

1.  Says, “I am not worthy.”

2.  Asks for mercy.

3.  Celebrates in joy.

Today’s question (from Kyle): What are the next steps the older brother needs to take in order to experience AHA?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog:  “Waiting for us”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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