I loved this so much and wanted to share it here, and she has kindly allowed me to share her words with all...
The story as found in Luke clearly defines grace [as being the opposite of a servant mentality] through the picture of eldest brother who is angry when his brother comes home and is met by his father's grace and a feast of celebration.
The eldest brother's attitude seems to be based on what he feels he deserves because of his efforts. "All of these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. You never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends?"
Notice the brother's attitude and then ask yourself-Am I a servant or a son?
Might we be striving in all are efforts to literally live up to the name, servant of God?
Might we be thinking and feeling and living not like a family member should, but like a servant does?
The servant is accepted and appreciated on the basis of what he does, the child on the basis of who he is.
The servant starts the day anxious and worried, wondering if his work will really please the master. The child rests in the secure love of his family.
The servant is accepted because of his productivity and accomplishment. The child belongs because of his position as a member of the family.
At the end of the day, the servant has peace of mind only if he is sure he has proven his worth by the work that he has done. The next morning his stress and anxiety will begin again. The child can be secure all day, and know that tomorrow won't change his standing as a beloved family member.
When a servant fails, his whole position is at stake, he might lose his job. When a child fails, he will be grieved because he has hurt his parents and will be corrected and disciplined but he is not afraid of being rejected by them. His confidence is in the belonging and being loved and his performance does not change the stability of his position in the family.
Grace then is unearned belonging. To grasp this view of belonging (because of complete acceptance and total unconditional love), will correct a faulty way of thinking, feeling, acting, reacting and relating in life.
So let us thank the Lord above for the miracle of GRACE. May he help us each to stop living as servants, while keeping us ever willing to serve him and others. May we know the difference and begin to esteem ourselves the rightful position as children of the most high God. May we be reminded daily that we are sons and daughters and may he help us live and feel that we are loved and accepted, that we are forgiven for our sins, no matter what, because of Christ's provision for us to become members of God's family as a direct heir of God through Christ! And lastly may God give us each increased confidence in this newly understood position of grace. (by my friend Patty)