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Enjoying God

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
June 22, 2024 12:00 pm

Enjoying God

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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June 22, 2024 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer, James Banks and Robby Dilmore, discuss enjoying God.

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Here's a monthly biblical insight to help you learn to love to pray. And now, here's James. Well, would you like to enjoy your life more? People are always trying to sell us stuff.

They say, you know, well, help us do that, but there's a way that won't cost a dime, and you could go there today. I mean, right here, right now. James? Of course we're talking about enjoying God. He's the source of everything. Scripture calls Jesus the author of life, and he knows how to make our lives work best, so when our lives are at rest in his love, we have everything, no matter how much or how little we may possess. So today we want to encourage each other in this, to learn how to pray in ways that will help us to just take in all our God is, because the truth is, he wants us to do this, and many believers miss out on this, it seems like, all of their lives.

So today we're going to start in an interesting place, right? The parable of the prodigal son. But it's not the younger brother we're going to look at, it's the older one, and we're going to dive into something he said to the father in the story, which actually represents, who, excuse me, actually represents God.

And you don't want to miss this, James? Well, after the prodigal comes home and they're celebrating, we'll start in Luke 15, 28, the older brother became angry and refused to go in. And by the way, this whole chapter in Luke 15 is about joy.

Every time something's lost, something that's lost is found, there's joy, right? So, Luke continues, so his father went out and pleaded with him, the older brother, but he answered his father, look, all these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders, yet you gave me, you never even gave me a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when the son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him. My son, the father said, you are always with me and everything I have is yours. Don't miss that part.

So, you get a picture of who this guy is, right? He's the one who misses the part, he misses the joy, because with him, it's all about do's and don'ts, but with the father, it's all about relationship. Just look at what the son says, you never gave me, but the father says everything I have is yours, but the son isn't close enough in his relationship to know this. Yeah, so, in other words, all we had to do was ask all along and the father would have loved to celebrate with him, but he never did.

Exactly, exactly. So, the whole point is that we need to celebrate our God and our relationship with him because his love for us is so good. Andrew Murray writes about this in his book, Divine Healing, and it's a long quote, but I want you to just dig into it with me. He says, we may talk a great deal about the father's love to the prodigal, but when we think of the way he treated the elder brother, it brings to our hearts a truer sense of the wonderful love of the father. The elder son being ever with his father had liked the privilege of two things, unceasing fellowship and unlimited partnership, but he was worse than the prodigal, for although always at home, yet he had never enjoyed or understood the privileges that were his. All this fullness of fellowship had been waiting for him and offered to him, but he had not received it. While the prodigal was away from home in the far country, his elder brother was far from the enjoyment of home while he was at home. Full salvation includes unceasing fellowship.

Ever with me are the words Luke uses, right? Earthly father loves his child and delights to make his child happy. God is love, and he delights to pour out his own nature on his people.

It is the very nature of the sun to shine, and it can't help shining on and on. God is love, and speaking with all reverence, he can't help loving. We see his goodness toward the ungodly and his compassion on the erring, but his fatherly love is manifested toward all his children, and we just don't want to miss that.

Yeah, wow, that's really good. So you could say it just darts in the little things, right? Staying close, thanking God, and loving him back for the way he loves us infinitely each day. And the sun that shines on us, and the breath in our lungs, the taste of cold water on a hot summer day?

Yeah, and that's just the beginning, isn't it? It grows from there, thinking about who Jesus is, and he's given us his spirit so that we can be at home with him. And you're so right, we don't go there enough, because ultimately, it's the difference between real joy and just getting by. Ultimately, also, it's about real joy and eternity. Oh, wow, that's true. It's so amazing how we get caught in this cycle of pursuing stuff and experiences and whatever else, when our father is really just holding out his hands to us, and then we only pray when something goes wrong.

Yeah, that's just it. There's a great song by Alison Krauss in Union Station called There Must Be a Reason, and it's basically a prayer for someone going through hard times, and it has these lyrics. Just listen to this. I give you a fortress in the storm when what I wrap my heart around is gone. I give my heart so easily to the ruler of this world. The one who loves me most will give me all.

Wow, I mean, that's really spot on. I give my heart so easily to the ruler of this world. You know, meaning the one who is not God and is not the one who would give us all. That's right.

Jesus calls the devil the ruler of this world, or John 12 31. So today, as we wrap up, I'd love for us to just pray together, you and I, with our listeners, that we would learn to celebrate our wonderful father more, that he would help us do this, that we would grow in this. So what do you say?

Are you game? Oh, I really am. Let's pray.

So go ahead. Father, we just thank you that you love us with this love that never ends, that keeps on going for all of eternity. Help us, Lord, to just turn to you, to love you back, to let you into the moment, to thank you for the littlest of things, and for the greatest thing of all, your son. Oh, Lord, thank you again that you want us to celebrate everything with you.

Help us in this. Oh, Lord, thank you for the concept, really, of praying without ceasing, to somehow or another push into that place where we could just be with you in fellowship constantly. Lord, I long for that, and I pray that we would all sense the enjoyment of what it would be like to just see the things that you would enjoy with us and be able to realize that, man, you know what's better for us than we could possibly dream if we would push into that. Lord, help us to experience it and to truly enjoy it as we are beginning to enjoy things, to remember, just remember, Lord, you're right there with us.

Help us to not miss that. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website, jamesbanks.org, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-26 09:43:33 / 2024-06-26 09:47:15 / 4

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