The ‘House of the Nazarene’ is an international non-denominational movement and is an evangelical part of the Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
We honor fathers today and by faith trust that we will be all that we can be with the strength of Christ. We not only look at the Prodigal sons’ return but also the faith of the waiting father.
Have you ever had broken or shattered dreams?
Have you ever wanted the best for someone and they seem to be on a destructive path and not even desire your help?
Have you ever been so entangled in a situation that you see no way out of that situation?
That is how this father from our text must have felt, and I believe that our Heavenly Father must feel as He looks at us at times.
This mourning we want to honor our Fathers. Men that want to be men.
I know that there is not one Father here that would not lie down his life for his children. That is the way that it is supposed to be.
I also know that there is not one Father here that has not blown it, especially if your children are older. (realize you have been far from perfect)
Those times that we wish we could change how we handled a situation.
Most of the time for Father’s day we look at leadership qualities, look at being a role model, but I want to look at the Father of this Prodigal son and how he handled himself when things did not go according to his plan and his faith that he had for his son to return.
Luke 15:11-31 read from the Bible. Please find at the end of the article to enjoy reading yourself!
Red letter edition- words from Jesus Himself.
A parable is a simple story told by Jesus in the gospels to illustrate a spiritual truth.
A Prodigal is someone that is wasteful, extravagant.
This is an example of a person that was wasteful, made bad life choices, and had to come to his /her senses. Anyone relate to that so far?
Our culture in an attempt at finding themselves has slipped off a slippery slope.
We have gone farther away from God, and most do not care.
We have alienated ourselves from others by not letting anyone get too close.
We have made ourselves so busy that we have no time to just breathe and refresh.
Don’t believe we have gotten away from caring of others? We use to take pictures of others, now everyone takes selfies!
It is all about us! (show yourself taking your own picture)
This young boy thinking that his life at home was so bad that he must leave all is not anything new under the sun, it is still happening today.
This Father had two sons, One was older and one younger.
The younger son decided that he had had enough and wanted to go find himself. (rebellion)
He wanted what he felt his father owed him and he was going to take it and do what he wanted.
His older son by choice had stayed and was working the family farm and only became enraged after his father had given such a warm reception of his brothers return.
One stayed and one strayed.
Today’s society looks at nothing as sin. It is a right for you to do as you please, wither it goes against God or family values, or moral values, (Just Do It).
The church has to be careful that we don’t fall into the same trap. We grade sin.
We look at certain sins as acceptable, tolerable, and then some that we just cannot get past.
I want you to know with the shooting that happened in Orlando that this was not the wrath of God coming down on sinners.
God did not cause that shooter to go into a place and gun down innocent lives. It was an evil demented act of hatred.
The church has to embrace the fact that lives were lost and that God grieves at the loss of life. Those people’s lives mattered to God.
You cannot evangelize and antagonize at the same time.
We better sit ourselves down and realize that our sin is no better or worse than someone else’s. WE ALL NEED JESUS!
As much as most see this parable about the change in the boy’s life and his return to his father, There is another side of this story of a father that never gave up hope that his son would return and had already decided what and how he would act when that day came.
Let’s go back to this parable.
The boy decides that he will leave and demands his portion of the family estate. (Younger son gets 1/3, older son 2/3) what is bad is by asking for it, he is saying that he wishes his father dead.
He wastes his money on a wild lifestyle to the point there is nothing left and there is famine in the land and this man has gone from plenty to need.
He has gone from many friends because of having money to no friends because he is broke to the broke-broke.
It is at his point of need that he remembers that what he had at home was not so bad and that even the servants of his father lived better than what he was at that time.
It is at our lowest point that God does his best work. Wither we are the son or daughter that needs to return or we are the parents of children that have gone astray. God does his best when we are at the lowest.
He does more at those times because we open ourselves up to believing that God can do the impossible and that while we see nothing we know God can and will be working.
This boy was a Jew feeding pigs! You cannot get much lower than that! And to desire to eat what the pigs were eating was another slap in the face.
Couple things happen at that point in our lives.
We come to our senses! (Verse 17) in the midst of our rebellion, we lose track of the truth. He came to his senses.
This unnamed son had to come to the point of his life that he was not satisfied where he was at.
Acts chapter 2:12 “Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another what does this mean?” The believers were amazed at what God was doing but also not sure how or what he was going to do but knew that he would do something.
This kid was broken!
He had lost everything. Home, relationship, his money all gone.
His family and his father were now looking better than they ever did.
Lack of resources and the need for food, he first tries to fix this himself.
He gets a job that is subpar of what he had at home and the distant owner could not have cared less for his immediate needs only that he feeds his pigs.
He had this ah-ha moment that brought him back to his senses and he reacted, he changes his course and returned home.
I don’t know where you are at this morning, but I know that at some point you need to have an Aha moment, that moment that you know what needs to be done and you are willing to do it.
This son/daughter knew that it would be better to go back to the father and take second best because the chart he had coursed was not working.
To this boy surprise, the return and embrace from the Father was a welcomed surprise. He did not even have time to recite his speech about just letting him live as the servants live.
What an example of God’s love! Arms open and embracing us to be a part of the family again.
That is why we cannot grade sin. Sin is sin. God wishes for all his children to come home. He desires to restore what rebellion has stolen.
Be careful what you say in God’s name! Be careful when you speak for God because He is a loving God and desires to see us return to Him. He doesn’t condone sin, and we have to stand on God’s word but He opens doors and He keeps the porch light on so we have an opportunity to come back home and be embraced by a loving God. All you have to do is turn around and Gods’ right there!
Think about this-
Our Heavenly Father is not on the throne with a hammer ready to beat His children over the head (Except for me!) He is drawing us to Himself and we need to be willing to respond.
That wayward child has to have an open door to be able to be welcomed back into the family, the same way that our heavenly Father is waiting for his children to come back to Him.
There is a consequence for disobedience, but that is not God’s desire, He will give every opportunity for us to “come to our senses.”
I do not know where you are at this morning, but I know that our heavenly Father who has not made the mistakes we have is wanting us to come to Him this morning, wither we have made mistakes as a parent, or as a wayward child that just needs to come back to Him, He is waiting with open arms for you.
This parable celebrates a father hopefully and patiently watching for his child’s return, and embraced him when he returned.
It reflects the boundless mercy and love of God and His refusal to limit His love on time or circumstance.
As long as we have breath, He offers life! He is waiting for you to come back! This society, what would it look like if all the wayward children would return. What celebrations would happen this weekend? This world needs Jesus! This world needs to turn around and return back to the Father that desires His best for their lives. It begins with you- He already has made his desire known, what are you going to do with it?
Luke 15:11-31 King James Version:
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29 And he answering said to his father, 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:
30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
An Ordained Anointed Minister of Jesus Christ to Minister His Gospel, to this online Church; House of the Nazarene, To spread the Good News of Salvation to the four corners of the Earth.
All Christians have, in profession at least, received Jesus Christ the Lord, consented to him, and taken him for theirs. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in him, unless we are first rooted in him, or founded upon him. Being established in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve in it more and more. God justly withdraws this benefit from those who do not receive it with thanksgiving; and gratitude for his mercies is justly required by God.
There is a philosophy which rightly exercises our reasonable faculties; a study of the works of God, which leads us to the knowledge of God, and confirms our faith in him. But there is a philosophy which is vain and deceitful; and while it pleases men's fancies, hinders their faith: such are curious speculations about things above us, or no concern to us. Those who walk in the way of the world, are turned from following Christ. We have in Him the substance of all the shadows of the ceremonial law. All the defects of it are made up in the gospel of Christ, by his complete sacrifice for sin, and by the revelation of the will of God.
To be complete, is to be furnished with all things necessary for salvation. By this one word “complete,” is shown that we have in Christ whatever is required. “In him,” not when we look to Christ, as though he were distant from us, but we are in him, when, by the power of the Spirit, we have faith wrought in our hearts by the Spirit, and we are united to our Head. The circumcision of the heart, the crucifixion of the flesh, the death and burial to sin and to the world, and the resurrection to newness of life, set forth in baptism, and by faith wrought in our hearts, prove that our sins are forgiven, and that we are fully delivered from the curse of the law.
Through Christ, we, who were dead in sins, are quickened. Christ's death was the death of our sins; Christ's resurrection is the quickening of our souls. The law of ordinances, which was a yoke to the Jews, and a partition-wall to the Gentiles, the Lord Jesus took out of the way. When the substance was come, the shadows fled. Since every mortal man is, through the hand-writing of the law, guilty of death, how very dreadful is the condition of the ungodly and unholy, who trample under foot that blood of the Son of God, whereby alone this deadly hand-writing can be blotted out! Let not any be troubled about bigoted judgments which related to meats, or the Jewish solemnities.
The setting apart a portion of our time for the worship and service of God, is a moral and unchangeable duty, but had no necessary dependence upon the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath of the Jews. The first day of the week, or the Lord's day, is the time kept holy by Christians, in remembrance of Christ's resurrection. All the Jewish rites were shadows of gospel blessings.
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