Elder Brother Syndrome


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.

~Luke 15:29, KJV


The prerequisite of receiving the GRACE of God is know that you need it.

~Source Unknown {found it written in the margin of a book with one misspelled word so it could have been me}

I’ve been spot reading Keller’s book THE PRODIGAL GOD, for sometime now and I took it with me so I could read during June’s procedure the other day. There is more gospel in Luke 15 than I can preach in a life time. I am simply amazed at the infinite depth of this very short story about a good man with two sorry sons. The two boys are indicative of the two types of sinners; the overtly rebellious and the covertly rebellious. Both sons are self-serving sinners; the difference is that one is honest about his selfishness, “I want my share of your estate now,” and the other was a pretender…“Lo, these many years have I served thee”...Yeah, right, he was serving himself. Both boys wanted what the father had and neither wanted their father. The difference is that the prodigal was honest about his intentions and the elder brother had a hidden agenda as all elder brothers do. They are snakes in high grass. At least the prodigal repents and at the end of the story, he is enjoying intimate fellowship with his father.

Many of you have heard my ELDER BROTHER sermon and testimony: it has five characteristics of the elder brother but in reading Keller’s book, I discovered some more. The following is a list of elder brother traits…

  1. He has repressed anger/bitterness over perceived injustice.
  2. He has a sense of superiority/he is grossly self-righteous.
  3. He has an unforgiving and judgmental attitude.
  4. He has a deep seated envy “You never gave me a party.”
  5. He is blind to his own sins, “Neither have I transgressed,” and he was transgressing at that very moment.
  6. He had a joyless, fear bases sense of loyalty to his father.
  7. He had a gross lack of assurance of his father’s love and provision.
  8. He had no intimacy with the father.
  9. He had no love for his brother and does not share the heart of his father.
  10. He was completely out of touch with his own heart and motives.

I guess the only one that I had not thought of or used in my sermon is the INSECURITY. The last thing you would expect of any elder brother {moralist} is insecurity but it makes sense. Elder brothers get there assurance from their deeds or works, the repentant prodigal got his directly from the Father. I have never been a prodigal so I have no testimony there but I have been an elder brother, the pretender, the snake in the grass and I can tell you it is not the way to live. Repent ASAP and joint the party. The joy is inside the house with the Father, the band and the BBQ. Don’t stay outside pouting over being unappreciated for your vainly motivated good works. Repent of your putrid good works and join the party.


I plan to post from my I-Pad this morning so the blog was prepared yesterday. Good day yesterday and thankful to be able to assemble with the brethren. We did drive-in Communion at the POINT and there is no recording of the message. We don’t record communion services. DBC had dinner on the ground and it was good. I am thrilled to see the bold steps this church is taking: makes me proud to be a part of their history. I also enjoyed the dinner. We also had a good service last night.

I was also thrilled to see Texas A&M open up their stadium. It was the best thing I saw all weekend.

There is an old hymn that states my hearts desire…

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole,
I want Thee forever to live in my soul;
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

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