Luke 15:11: And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
I never noticed that word THEM before. Their father divided unto THEM his living. In those days in Israel, the oldest son got the biggest inheritance. I believe their father gave the oldest son much more than he gave the prodigal son. And he gave it to the oldest son because of the younger son*s foolish request but he did not appreciate that he got more.
Luke 15:21: And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. 25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
As many times as I have heard and read this story I have assumed that the older brother was made to wait until his father died to receive his inheritance but that was not the case. I believe that the younger brother always knew that his father loved him else he would not have dared to ask for his inheritance. He knew that his father loved him else he would not have returned home. I wonder if the older brother ever fully knew and believed that his father loved him. I am saddened because I doubt that he did. But then I wonder, do I fully know and believe how much my Heavenly Father loves me? And do you?
Ephesians 3:17: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Galatians 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
I believe that the more that we know, experience, possess, depend upon and enjoy the love of God, the more of the other fruit of the Spirit we will possess, especially the second fruit on the list, the joy and the strength that comes with that.
Nehemiah 8:10: Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Want to be joyful and strong? Seek the love of God and when you have found it, or rather when His love has found you, keep yourself in it.
Jude 1:21: Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.