The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10,10

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The secret of the prosperity

Ludvík Šojdr

There´s the only common reason here why we don´t prosper in our lives, why we don´t live our lives in abundance, why we all the time miss something, why we grumble about our situation, why there´s rancour in our hearts, why we´re poor although everything belongs to us. The secret of the prosperity
The prosperity. The successful life in whatever sphere of the human endeavour.Who wouldn´t like it? To be able to treat oneself everything that I like.Is it possible? Is it right for a human being to think in this way? And is it right for a Christian to think like this? Express our desires or prefer having them hidden in our heart and just wish and hope secretly…
So many people, so many various desires….

What would you like to be happy right now in this moment? If it was possible for you to go to the God´s throne and to express your wish that´d come true, what would you like right now?

In Bible there´s written a very detailed story of two brothers who´d had their open and secret desires.They must have had some idea in their heart and must have known that if their desires would be fullfilled, they ´d be happy.The former expressed his desire and it was fullfilled. The latter had it hidden in his heart very carefully and he didn´t even dare to express it.

Let´s have a try to reflect on the consequences of these two behaviours and at the same time to look for the right thing in our lives.

Let´s read carefully this well-known story of the sons and father from the Luke gospel again.And exactly from this viewpoint.We´ll search for the secret of the prosperity in it.The secret of the abundant life that Jesus´s already promised us here on earth.

Jesus continued:“There was a man who had two sons.The younger one said to his father, Father, give me my share of the estate. So he divided his property between them.

Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
When he came to his senses, he said „How many of my father´s hired men have food to spare, and here I´m starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him:Father, I´ve sinned against heaven and against you.I´m no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.“ So he got up and went to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
The son said to him:“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.I´m no longer worthy to be called your son.

But the father said to his servants, Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him.Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.Bring the fattened calf and kill it.Let´s have a feast and celebrate.For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.So they began to celebrate.

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 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.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!

My son, the father said, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.“(Luke, 15,11-32 )

Now let´s take no notice of the younger son´s story who thinks to be happy if he receives his legal portion and then he´s gonna use it economically.Let´s take also no notice of the father´s treatment who´s willing to give his immature son a third of all the property ( which belongs to him because he´s the second eldest ) and in the first place focus our attention on the older son´s story.

Some time ago ( I can´t even remember when it´s occured ) I was deeply touched by it.Then I fully understood which way led to the prosperity and to the successful, abundant life.Very often, the story of the older son´s identified with the Christian´s life that lives honestly his everyday life with his Heavenly Father, while the story of the younger son´s the one of a person who left God and comes back to him, and at the same time he experiences his selfless LOVE.

Surely, this is the right understanding of this story as well as it´s correct when someone perceives that both the younger brother and the older one live in it.Well,my understanding of the story is that both of them live in it.But let´s get down to thinking about that “prosperity“.It may be important for our life to realize that the older one´s already been living the life that Jesus promises us – the life in abundance.What are the reasons to think so?

Let´s have a look at the verse 31:“My son, the father said, you´re always with me, and everything I have is yours.

The older son, who keeps living with his father, has got completely everything.Well, what´s wrong with him? He has really everything but he doesn´t KNOW about it! He´s got everything but he doesn´t make good use of it at all.
He lives as if he didn´t have it.It could be a very important finding for our life but it´s much more crucial to determine the reason for that.Is it the father or the son´s fault? Let´s have a look at the verse 12:“He devided his property between them“.So the father´s devided his property between his sons according to the Jewish law.The first born son received a double share.So, the older one received two-third of the father´s property, the younger one a third of the father´s property.The younger son „grasped“ his property and sold it.And how did the older son grasp his double share? You can find the best answer to it in the verse 29:

 "Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends“

So the older son´s first problem:He´s never „grasped“ his property that´d been handed him over.Instead of occupying the owner´s position, he´s still working as a father´s servant ( this reproach: „All these years I´ve been slaving“).It looked like he didn´t trust his father.He didn´t believe at all that his father was serious about handing over his property.The older son´s got the lasting bad attitude in his heart to all the property he´s in charge of and this prevents him from making good use of the things which belong to him….However, the bad stand isn´t his only problem.If you read between the lines, you can feel the hatred for his brother that there´s in the older son´s heart.He doesn´t even regard him as his brother but as „his father´s son.“ ( the verse 30 ).There´s something very deep in this statement.

This scratch in his heart caused by the fact that the younger brother could do with his property what he liked, while he had to serve honestly his father all the time, is torn open and perhaps deepened by another cruel injustice:His father was giving a banquet, while he never got even a young goat….There´s again a just reproach:“What an injustice!!!“How come that father can hurt his own son by favoring the other one?.... But is it really an injustice?..

What´s the common denominator of this „internal injury“and the constant life dissatisfaction of the older brother ( in spite of the fact he´d received twice as much as his younger brother?!)
It´s the third bad stand -  and this is the attitude to his father.This attitude is the cause of the fact that he doesn´t know at all his father as well as his returning younger brother                    ( for father shocks both the older and the younger brother ).BOTH OF THEM DON´T KNOW  HIS LOVING HEART.THEY DON´T KNOW HIS LOVE.
This is exactly the reason of their external and internal poverty.The reason of all the misunderstandings, reason of the younger son´s departure, reason for not returning in the son but in the day labourer´s position, reason for older son´s hating his brother, reason for not having received his inheritance and instead of taking the young goat at any time and celebrate with his friends, he´s afraid of asking his father for it.

There´s the only common reason here why we don´t prosper in our lives, why we don´t live our lives in abundance, why we all the time miss something, why we grumble about our situation, why there´s a rancour in our hearts, why we´re poor although everything belongs to us.We don´t know FATHER.We don´t know the LOVE of our Heavenly Father.               

God created the people with various characters, various abilities, various naturalness.The Jesus´s pledge is intended for everybody:he´s come that they may have life and have it to the full. ( John 10,10) Spiritual, psychological, physical.

What´s the importance of a young goat for you you´ve never received to celebrate with your friends? What´s missing you to experience the fullness of the life?.

Perhaps a job, perhaps some money, perhaps higher salary, perhaps a house or a family, perhaps a big car, perhaps the health, perhaps the friendship, perhaps someone that understands you.

The way to Your prosperity, to the abundance of the life in all spheres leads through knowing FATHER, HIS LOVE.When you enter into the loving relationship with your Father, you´ll get to know that the hatred for the other people dissappeared from your heart, that your grumbling and complaining disappeared.

Complaining about your neighbour, parish, parish priest, mayor and communists as well.
When you enter into the relation with your Heavenly Father, you´ll be free to take your finest young goat from your herd and you´ll celebrate with your friends…….
The way to the abundant life doesn´t lead through betting offices, credit department of the banks, a just social system, socialism or capitalism, a lucrative job, a high rank in the  society or „How to become a millionaire“ competition.
The way to the prosperity leads through knowing the Heavenly Father – knowing His loving heart, HIS PERSONAL LOVE to my person.

                                                                                       Ludvík Šojdr


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