There was a buzz generated as family members and servants gathered in the dining room. A lavish banquet had been prepared for the restored prodigal son. Everyone took their seats, but one seat was vacant. It belonged to the oldest son. Sensing something was wrong, the father suddenly left the room.

When he stepped outside, he found his son pacing back and forth with his arms crossed and his teeth clenched. The father entreated him to join the celebration, but he refused and released a verbal tirade:

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:  but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

The older brother had some serious problems. First of all, his service was not driven by love for his father. He had been diligently clocking his hours at his father’s homestead and charting his behavior all for the sake of the return he was expecting. Second, he was blinded by things. He had everything but still felt he needed more. Finally, he did not value his relationship with his father. His lack of gratitude cost him the joy of restoration and fellowship with his family.

Don’t let the same ungrateful spirit blind you from your blessings. You have a Father Who loves you and wants the absolute best for you. Don’t just serve Him because you expect compensation. Serve Him with delight and with a desire to learn His ways. Then you will understand His nature and partake in His joy.

He who can give thanks for little will always find he has enough. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.