In Sunday’s sermon Pastor Tim Liston gave the last sermon in the series, “Finding Your Way Back to God”. This sermon was entitled “Awakening to Life”. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) The thief is Satan, who is always scheming to have us give away the joyful abundance of living the Christian life. I say “give away” because the devil has no power over us. When Christ arose, he was victorious over the devil, but the thief would like us to believe that he does have power over us. The devil is a liar.

One of the points made on Sunday that I’ve been pondering the last couple of days came from (Luke 15:25-30). “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

The text highlighted in red makes a good point. The son who was faithful didn’t understand why his father hadn’t celebrated his faithfulness instead of the homecoming for the prodigal son. How many times in our lives are we frustrated that we perceive that our faithfulness isn’t celebrated? How many pity parties have we had from that frustration? This is just an example of how we allow the devil to steal our joy through pride. Instead of celebrating life abundantly (to the full), we may choose to focus on a negative aspect that steals our joy. We may even be right. But being right doesn’t make us righteous; only faith in Jesus Christ can make us righteous.

When we are having a pity party for ourselves, we aren’t keeping our focus on our Lord and Savior. We aren’t working to advance His kingdom. We are taken through certain circumstances and along the way we are given opportunities to promote the Kingdom of God. Are we focusing on our circumstances, or focusing on God?

“Don’t miss God’s party because we are having our own pity party.” – Pastor Tim Liston