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03 The Lost Son

David Wright

Presenter

David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church

Recorded

  • January 20, 2021
    8:00 AM

Series

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Well the story is told of a Dr Draper a solve ation Army doctor in India who got word of an individual in the hospital that was dying. He was on his deathbed so was the rumor going around and his case was in fact pretty bad and as people tried to visit with him to connect with him he longed to to have some better understanding of issues as it related to salvation but he was really struggling to get that full picture and I can just imagine people going in and giving all of these phrases that we use so often in church that mean something to us but don't necessarily mean something to other people do you know what I'm talking them out you know they might come in and say well you need to be born again. I don't know how to do that what does that even mean well you need to put on his robe of righteousness Ok does that mean I need to take this off and where do I get that what does that look like what is that and everybody that when in came up with another you need to follow the lamb wherever it goes Ok where's the lamb is there a lamb allowed in the hospital and I follow it where do I follow it and one thing after the next and as they tried to simplify it and break it down he just became so frustrated that finally Dr Draper when I need to side to simply open up his Bible and he turned to Luke Chapter 15 the parable of the lost son. And he read that parable and you won't find in this parable words like justification and sanctification and glorification and all of these other things but they're all here they're all inserted in this parable that Jesus Himself taught to help us better understand with our finite minds this idea of salvation and some of the pitfalls that we can find ourselves in and when he read this parable to this dying young man at 25 he got it and he was converted. Before he passed away and so I want to look at that parable powerful parable that we want to look at this morning as we continue that last part in this series last sheep the last coin and today the lost son we might even be able to say the lost sons. If we wanted to do that and I think it's important to continue to emphasize each time the audience with which Jesus is sharing this parable to it's in those 1st 2 verses of Luke Chapter 15 if you have your Bibles open but it says that all the tax collectors and sinners drew near to him to Jesus to hear him they like to be in his presence which is an interesting dynamic when sinners. Desired to be in the presence of a holy God yet that was the situation but in verse 2 in the fair season scribes complained saying this man receives sinners and eats with them and so again that is the context of these 3 parables that we've been looking at and the 1st one Jesus talks about this last sheep and it talks about how he leaves the $99.00 and goes in search of the one until all he finds it. God is so gracious he doesn't scold he doesn't drive that lost sheep home but scoops up the little lamb in his arms or places and on his shoulders and takes him home and not only that but we read how there's a huge party in heaven much rejoin the scene in heaven over one lost sheep that's found we looked a couple weeks ago at the lot last coin that is lost and the House doesn't know that it's lost on the woman because she has lost something very precious to her in her own home she lights the lamp which is God's word seeking that the Holy Spirit will cast light on her situation that she may see clearly and might reclaim that child of hers which is lost yes it can be a church member and someone lost within the church but it can also be within our very home and after much searching the last coin is found praise the Lord we look at this quotation but those have been guilty of neglect are not to despair the woman whose coin was lost searched until she found it so in love and faith and prayer let parents work for their household until with joy they can come to God saying Behold I in the children whom the Lord hath given to me Help us Lord as parents in our efforts to be good Christians to be good leaders or whatever it might be to lose those closest to us and again when the coin was found there was great rejoicing as a symbol of the rejoicing that takes place and in Heaven the party that was thrown for you and for me just us it's pretty incredible. And so I want to look at this 3rd parable in the series. We're beginning now and Luke Chapter 15 I hope you're already there were beginning in verse 11 and notice in all 3 in this 3rd category especially I should say the prodigal son knows his way back home this is unique of the product of son in the 1st 2 parables there is an all out search for the lost everything is dropped every resource is channeled to bring the lost back home this dog is on my wife screensaver we can't come phone without it smart man. You better pray. But in this 3rd category the son willingly this time leaves the whole he knows where home is he's grown up there he knows the area well but he has made a decided decision in his mind I'm leaving and we see a father that respects the son's decision and prayerfully waits at home because the reality exists there are situations the parent can run and they can find the child and they can say what are you doing here who invited you you're not welcome did you not get the hint and the door can be slammed you know there's times that you stay at home. And you pray so let's pick up the story now versa Levon then he said a certain man had 2 sons and the younger of them said to his father Father give me the portion of goods that falls to me so here we have the younger brother he become weary of the restraint of his father's house. And the son acknowledges no obligation to the father you know you think back to those hardy days you had to have some good you know sons and daughters do to keep the household running he hails no obligation nor the express any gratitude to his father yet he still wants to claim the privileges of a son and virtually says Dad I wish you were dead so I could get my share perhaps because he's the youngest and there's just too there might be more along the way if I get my share now it might be more I don't know but Dad I wish you were dead I want my share now can you divide up the estate I'm in my prime years a world to see and you are standing in my way so that I have an idea let's pretend you're dead you give me what's rightfully mine and you do it right now give me all the benefits. And he's asking for this while he's virtually severing the relationship he wants separation from his father he wants separation from the rules from his dad's way of doing things he wants independence he wants freedom no more restrictions no more getting up early no more hard work I'm going to do what I want to do no more schedules and routine Well you gotta eat this and you've got to eat that forget it I'm outta here but he still wants to claim all the good in his eyes and still reading the last part of verse 12 so he divided to them his livelihood that's a pretty gracious father right there don't you think son that's the dumbest idea I think I've ever heard I got a better idea why don't you get off this land before I kick you off this land. Is that what you read the last part of verse 12 is there some emotion wrapped up in those few words that we just read a magine he's really spending some time thinking about this wondering my goodness has it really come to this what is this going to mean how am I going to logistically divide the farm do I have enough in my resources and and my investments or whatever he has or do I literally have to sell pieces of the farm and land and maybe some farm equipment maybe I have to let some people go I have to somehow liquidate this is not an easy thing his son is asking but we just have a few words the concession of the father dividing his things talk about gracious verse 13 and not many days after the younger son gathered all together and journey into a far country and there wasted his possessions with Prada goal living Notice it says he takes his share and where does he go with it and a far country he wants to get away from this Jewish influence all these laws and regulations in fact I think we're safe to assume he wants to go someplace pagan some place gentile a far country and why there because their people won't ask any questions aren't you the son. No Are you sure you want to go into that establishment No they're going to be no accountability nobody's going to know who I am I not be able to do whatever I want to do. You know it used to be that if you wanted to fall headlong into sin. You had to go to a far country a far city technologies change that today you don't have to go to a far country you can just go to your dorm room. You can just go to your backyard you don't have to travel miles and miles to find sin sin will find you in your pocket it can penetrate each of our households through why 5 and cable television through the Dish Network. And so the Far Country is no longer geographically far but the far country is as close as your smartphone or your computer so today we can be the product will and never have to leave home on the last part of that verse it says he wasted his possessions with product goal living product a living is basically just a restatement of that word wasteful or extravagant you could say living so he's driving the fancy car he's wearing the fancy clothes he's throwing fancy parties guess what the drinks the drugs whatever you want is on the House just come and they do and they enjoy and we get this idea that he's buying his friends because we find out that when the money is gone so are the friends but he's not just squandered the inheritance from his father these evil companions have helped him plunge even deeper into sin in fact later in the story the older brother speaks of him wasting his inheritance on harlot's of all things in fact spirit of prophecy refers to this younger son as becoming morally dwarfed think about that nothing is too low Nothing is too degrading to try to participate in if it feels good I'm going to try it and so this son is the product will he's wasted everything he's been given and not just the means that he took from his father but he's wasting his upbringing he is squandering his moral compass he has cast aside the example and laws of his father. And this boy when asked the simple question How many products are within the sound of my voice this morning. Guilty of wasteful living waste in the heritage given to us by our Heavenly Father in His word wasting the fathers and resources the talents the time given to us are there any product holes here this morning Christ object lessons page 200 says every life centered in self is what squandered. And so he squandering even the years of his youth he squandering the powers of heart and mind and soul and 2000 years have passed since the 1st telling of this story but not much has changed there are still plenty you know them and I know them who are squandering and maybe it's closer to home than that do you know alcohol is one of the number one abusers even the m. to search in fact within our church there are plenty of wine connoisseurs if you will well a little of wine is good for you and they read the articles in the medical journals but they missed the point that the benefit is in the great not in the alcohol did you know that alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug United States among our youth 12 to 20 year olds not even supposed to be able to buy a 12 to 20 year old more than 90 percent of alcohol is consumed sorry 12 to 20 year olds drink 11 percent of all the alcohol consumed United States 11 percent and for the young people the same category 12 to 20 years old more than 90 percent of alcohol is consumed in binge drinking we can say in party type drinking. According to our own Dr Bailey alcohols sociate with hypertension cardiac this river Mia a 5th of congestive cardiomyopathy bleeding stroke in young people cirrhosis of the litter bleeding ulcer loss of brain tissue dementia osteoporosis psychosis sudden death and for pregnant women it can cause miscarriage fetal alcohol syndrome major organ system malformations pre and post natal growth impairment central nervous system dysfunction retardation need I go on yet there is still among too many this idea that. Was the big deal rules and regulations that were dead told you. I can handle it you know one in 4 can't handle it whatever handle it means but they come alcoholics meaning it totally wrecks their life what if I had a loaded gun and I just went through and I severely injured one in 4 is a pretty good odds are they do not be deceived there's a long list but it says neither drunkards will inherit the kingdom of God Why is that you suppose because it short circuits our ability to reason to think clearly. I mean if I'm going to overcome challenges and obstacles and if I'm turning to the bottle for answers folks Jesus is the answer marijuana is increasing percent over the last decade have mercy estimated that one 4th of the population has used it the age for 1st use has gradually decrease and is now at the junior high years I have a daughter in junior high that's 6 7th and 8th grade and more high school senior smoke marijuana than smoking cigarettes why well if you ask typical teens and if they're going to give you an honest answer they'll say well cigarettes are bad for you marijuana Well that's good for you. Emphasize is legal in 23 states in North Carolina they've decriminalized the offense Oh good what a relief but is it good for you not really in fact the deeper or with marijuana versus cigarette smoking you inhale deeper you take a longer breath and hold it in and that smoke has an impact on your lungs and gives you even a greater carcinogen and impact because your whole unit and longer and often times it's hard to get a good study because people that smoke marijuana often will smoke cigarettes as well they go together they find that when one smokes marijuana they have what they call motivational syndrome this idea that they stop doing their work they lose their motivation their drive or they can only focus on one thing. And it can prevent their ability to reach a goal it can delay your ability to morally recall things now if you were the devil would you want the whole country on this according to this study by Lancet psychiatry teens under age 17 who use marijuana every day or 60 percent less likely to graduate from high school compared with their peers who have never used a drug to marijuana users 18 times more likely to become dependent on the drug 7 times more likely to attempt suicide 8 times more likely to use other illicit drugs later in life why as I understand it marijuana causes you to release less dopamine which is the plant pleasure center of the brain so you eat an apple you watch a sunset some dopamine is released but when I smoke marijuana there's less and less dopamine being released which means my body tries to compensate with more receptive ears and what does that mean well they don't like to admit that it's a gateway drug but when I try something else now I have so many more receptors that whoa. Never mind the fact that as I'm on it I start to morally think things like what's the big deal. Results of this study from the American Journal of Psychiatry that the risk of psychosis onset also known as schizophrenia which are things like delusions hallucinations loose nation's disorganized speech trouble with thinking and lack of motivation of eg sense of 2 personalities that's the risk of psychosis onset the risk of psychosis onset as in any given year following exposure to cannabis or marijuana doubled compared to the risk among same age non-users another article published on October 28th same source indicated that the average frequency of cannabis used over 4 years produced lower performance on working memory perceptual reasoning and inhibition with the devil have an agenda on any of those 3 chord in American Journal of Public Health cities experience of 13 percent increase in fatal crashes involving 152024 year old male drivers following decriminalization of marijuana in their state 13 percent higher of fatal car accidents because they can't respond the same their moral capacity is not the same I mean we want to send Jesus out in the desert to face the devil in temptation and say before you go take a shot of this taken inhale of that it'll help you to be calm cool collected not so high strung Now go get what we do then yet we think it's at our advantage to do those things hardly do I even need to bring up pornography 35 percent of downloads from the Internet are pornographic as a 3rd folks. $40000000.00 Americans say they regularly visit porn sites 70 percent of men aged $18.00 to $24.00 visit a porn site at least once per month and that 22 percent of under-age porn usage are under 10 years of a huge This is not good news largest consumer group miming 2 in the age of 35 to 49 but it's not just men's problem anymore and what's the goal the goal of the devil is to neutralize your religious experience that's what it is to distort a future marriage or neutralize your present marriage to destroy your family to confuse your kids and we think our Father's Rules are restrictive and on necessary and make for a stable and boring and mundane life but doesn't it only makes sense that every other commercial would be a beer commercial doesn't only make sense the devil is trying to push this drug on society to the point that next week the House of Representatives I'm told is scheduled to vote on making marijuana legal across this land sane wants to intoxicate the entire planet he once that added edge to stop your ability to think and reason really it's a war of the great controversy with you and your frontal lobe that's what it is to get you feeling so guilty you can no longer pray you can't read your Bible he once you become so addicted that when ever a problem arises rather turning to God and His Word you turn to the bottle you turn to the pipe or you turn to the Internet. And the devil is waging war he is hijacking our ability to think and to reason yet Jesus invites us Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus even on the cross I tried to comfort him with a little something and he said no spit it out I have to have my frontal lobe intact. Are there any products this morning with the sound of my voice that are guilty of wasteful living well you know wait you didn't list off mine pastor will give you long enough time I'm sure we could get there and all the while I believe the father was praying and I personally was praying not just for the quotes lost son but for both of his sons because of before we get to the end I feel that both of them are lost for basically the same reason one's working one's partying but they both have a warped picture of the father and that's crucial your picture of God My picture of God in this world can be so easily warped you don't know my dad Pastor No I don't and I'm sorry if he warped your picture of God when I do my chores when I made my bed when I did everything the way I was supposed to my parents love me but when I didn't do my chores and I didn't make my bed I didn't bring home the grade I was supposed to my parents didn't love me I learned very quick pastor how this works do the right things you get the right response to the wrong things well you get that other response continue with our story so in verse 14 but when he had spent all their rose a severe famine in that land praise the Lord for famine sometimes and he began to be in want and then he went and joined himself a citizen of that country and he sent him into his fields to feed swine and all kinds of parallels here if you haven't gotten it God is the father the house of the church the young man are those who feel they are happier apart from the laws of the household away from the church they're after one have to worry about the restrictions of the Christian life. And so he goes away but it gets so bad that in verse 15 is says he has joined him self to a citizen of that country the Greek or in the Greek it means gluing something to someone else and so this young man has glued himself to a citizen of that country and friend that citizen is no friend of this young man but in desperation he in slaves himself to this man because he is so at the end of his rope and given the task of feeding unclean animals folks in the Bible say man his demons are called on clean spirits and Mark 5 the demons Baghdatis to be sent into the swine remember that story in the sanctuary they only sacrifice clean animals that would represent Jesus who would be pure and clean in pagan rites often it was quite the opposite and they would offer swine so here this young man is in slayed He's join and I would submit to you he is enslaved and joined with Satan involved in one of the most degrading employment for a Jew and the youth who has boasted of his liberty is now a slave and the worst kind of bondage feeding pigs starving Jeremiah 175 and 6 reminds us Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength whose heart departs from the Lord for he shall be a like a shrub in the desert ever planted a shrub in the desert and how long will it last proverbs 522 his own iniquities entrapped the wicked man and he has caught in the cords of his sin. And so now he's been joined with none other than the devil but what does the devil do in that in slave but to whisper in our ears all kinds of lies you know what they are you deserve this you brought this on yourself who's going to go to noun dad you burn that bridge real well we saw the hand signal you gave Dad when you left town no no no that's not enough I mean look at yourself you're pathetic and he tells lie after lie after lie after lie. And so we get caught we start drowning in our cords of sin and we start to think well what's the point anymore why I try more why even put forth effort this is who I am like it or not you better just love me this way or else but the in the day we're suffering miserable plough poor blind wretched cold naked that's where this man finds himself Thankfully his misery has conquered his pride sometimes that's what has to happen you go so low that you can't go any lower I wonder sometimes of that's why a lot of Hollywood movie stars are artists or anybody that's super wealthy doesn't come to that point because they always have just a few more resources always just a little bit more that they can try to cover this up and cover that up intil as some point in time shocked beyond all shocks the news tells us another one has passed away drug overdose or whatever it might be sometimes there's a blessing in rock bottom friends sometimes there's a blessing in the pig pen because it's in the pig pen that our eyes are open by the power of the Holy Spirit and we say is this what I wanted Is this what I asked for it is all that life has left for me and so continuing on verse 16. He would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate and no one gave him anything but when he came to himself he said how many of my father's hired servants have bread enough to spare and I perish with hunger he comes to himself is the power of the pig pen is the power of rock bottom when there is nowhere to look but up and he saw clearly for the 1st time in months maybe years that is suffering was a result of his own folly that he did make the biggest mistake when he left his father and he says to himself. How many hired hands of my father I mean dad treats his people well that's kind he's compassionate even when they're not the best workers he still feeds them well and provides when with a roof over their head or whatever it might be I mean maybe I could be like one of them that would be a whole lot better than this notice was drawing him back you know maybe there's this loophole I don't think he gave me everything I'm entitled to I think there's still a $100000.00 that he was hiding tucked away I'm going to go back and demand that no it's the love of the father that's drawing him back miserable as he was the prodigal found hope in his father's love it was the Father's love that was drawing him home continuing on comes up with his plan in verse 18 arise and go to my father what he will say what he going to say what do you say and I imagine after much thought he said this is what I'll say I'll say father who's going to own it I don't know how else to say it I've sinned against heaven and before you and I'm no longer worthy to be called your son part one. Make me like one of your hired servants part 2 why do we need to divide it out well because part one all through Part 2 gives us an insight onto that misunderstanding of the character and nature of God because in part 2 is this idea if I can just be a hired servant if I can somehow work my way back into your favor just hire me as that you know well we'll give you a shot but we'll see how it works if you don't show up to work tomorrow you're outta here start me out of there and over time just see if I can prove that I'm different that I'm change them a good person and maybe over time maybe we can talk about if I could be part of the family again but we're not going to bring that up just let me be a hired servant and try and earn your favor back that's part 2 Romans 2 verse for the goodness of God leads to repentance again was his father's love join him home the love of God still yearns over the one who has chosen to separate from him and he sets an operation influences to bring him back to the Father's house we're going to see that's a completely different than the mindset of both sons that I'm going to earn his favor back No you are my son you are my daughter and that has not changed and I'm going to continue to draw you with my Holy Spirit in hopes that you will come back not so you can prove anything but I can wrap my loving arms around you and receive you as you are maybe it's our pride that doesn't want to be received as we are because we know how we are we want to get cleaned up 1st what a pastor about today say we go into the shower to get cleaned up but so many of us want to take what a shower before we get in the shower Jesus is the one that cleans us up now I have 4 kids and they know how to get really dirty. In my mind I was thinking Jesus in the shower he scooped water fall and there's so much water just pouring down I don't clear if you have closet dirt this big and rocks will go down the drain is gone. But you don't get cleaned up 1st he receives you as you are doesn't leave you that way but he receives. He says an operation influences to bring him back to the father's house and so he has this speech these 2 parts let me earn your favor my genuineness over time let me prove it to you and the reality is the mentality of this younger son is not of a family relationship he is not his son but it's a servant master relationship that is the best part of the story verse 20 and he arose and came to his father how many thoughts to be have on this way there how many times of the devil try and convince him this is a bad idea how many times you think he said you know but he went to his father but he is still a great way off and his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And this is the picture I like the most of all the ones I could find because the son is got his hand on the tree and he's trying to peek out from behind the tree who's going to see me 1st where's Big Brother Where's all the other hired hands is there any of these guys that might still recognize me maybe he's having 2nd thoughts but it's too late now dad has spotted his boy he knows that gate he knows that walk as though there's an old man before anybody else can get to him before anybody can can heckle him and say get out of here you're not welcome you know no he has to beat anyone else as though he runs old men in scripture don't run. But this old man is hiking up his robe and he's high tail it to his boy. And I imagine as they embrace and as he holds his son he tries to to get this speech out if you will Father I have sinned against heaven and in your sight I'm no longer be worthy to be called your son part one but then what happens worse 22 but the father said to his servants Bring out the best robe not just any robe the best robe and guess which one is the best robe is Jesus robe it's the father's road bring out my best robe put it on him where's the rest of it and put on him and put a ring on his hand this is that signet ring they gave him power and authority as a stun he reinstates him this is beyond imagination I mean who would do that in their business they snicker you out of have the business and then they come back and you say all right you're back in free and clear who does this the father does this bring out the best rope given the ring put you sandals on those cut and torn up feet and let's kill the fatted calf and eat and be merry for this is my son who was dead and is alive again he was lost and is found the son was interrupted he didn't get to finish in fact he never gets to finish that's kind of the point you don't earn your way back into God's favor your son yours daughter you're always welcome you have a pastor you don't know what I've done folks it doesn't matter what you've done not as it relates to how the father will receive you the arms are always open and not just open standing there but running to embrace you and so all the servants that have gathered start filling some of these orders and grabbing some of these things. And then there's this fatted calf symbolic I believe of the Old Testament sacrifices that would symbolize the death of Jesus the shedding of blood for the remission of sins and so in this story Jesus is willing to die so that the one joined to the harlot to the joint to gambling to cheating to stealing can be justified this is incredible and this is the gospel and so often I wish the story ended there don't you this is my son is dead is alive again he is lost he's found and then began to be merry and the older brother comes along side and they're celebrating and everybody is excited and it's happy ever after and that curse of the end comes in like they used to do in the old days in the choir sings and you feel all warm inside that done but that's not what happens says in verse 250 I see I missed the part here will get back to that I'm skipping all over the place that's what happens when the Holy Spirit decides to do something like this. This idea that I'm not good enough what does this 1st tell us 1st John one verse 9 if we confess our sins I have to be faithful and I have to be just that it says God is faithful and he is just to forgive me of my sans we learned again our own mind again last weekend that a sin is a conscious choice to lead the father to put myself on the throne of my heart but if I confess my sins that God is faithful and just to forgive me in my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness the scripture reading that Phailin read to us wonderful Let the wicked for sake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy on him that's a promise we for sake. That we're unrighteous and our thoughts are bad and and all the rest and we return to the Lord we set our path back home and he will have mercy on us and to our God for He will abundantly pardon the it says I'm glad the words abundantly is there because I'm not needing just a little pardon I mean an abundant pardon steps a crisis before even this parable tender and touching as it is comes short of expressing the infinite compassion of the Heavenly Father let that sink in I love this story this is a great story and she just said now it's a sin it doesn't transfer the infinite compassion of our heavenly Father is inadequate words can't describe Ok so here's where I was the happy ever after the in that's where I wish the story ended but we still have verse 25 now his older brother or older son I should say was in the field where is he in the field he's a hard worker he was out there at sun up he is every day except for Sabbath he takes that off according to the commandment he pays Taz He's an elder in the church he does everything by the book as he's supposed to after all he's the good son he has from the time he was this high he's been the yes man for his day always aiming to please and to serve and where do we find him not hard we don't need to look very long he's in the field at this time every day he's in the field and he says he came and drew near to the house why because he heard music and dancing. Really if we translate that better music in Greek is simple Anea sound familiar symphony dancing in Greek is cone in Spanish choro means choir and so we have the symphony we have the choir there's a lot of to do and the older brother's out there in the field Me thinks this is not typical of an average Tuesday. What's going on and so he inquires and he called one of the sermons an ass verse 26 what these things meant verse 27 he said to him Your brother has come and because he what and sorry. Your brother has come and because he has received him safe and sound your father has killed the fatted calf there it is again but the brother doesn't rejoice worst 28 but he was angry and would not go in there for his father came out and pleaded with him again here we have a brother who sadly does not have the relationship with his father as a son but has the mentality of a slave and too many in the church fit the same description their sons and their daughters but they have the mentality of the slave they feel that they need to work to earn their father's favor self-righteousness not only leads men to misrepresent God but makes them cold hearted and critical toward their brother and friends of him God And already the reality is we don't earn God's favor he loves us fully as a child he receives us as we are and it is the reality of that fact that I am viewed as a child as an heir as a recipient recipient of his grace. Friends that's what changes me nothing wrong with working in the field nothing wrong with being on time or paying your tie their work to be not you know keeping the Sabbath nothing wrong with those things but why are you doing those things to earn the favor or because you're a child of the King an undeserving child of the king that is so lavish his grace upon you you can't do anything but help to respond by saying what can I do to serve you the rest of my life but if we're not careful those 2 get inverted and before I know what I'm earning and whenever I'm earning I'm looking down on everyone else I compare myself with you when truly the only person I should ever compare myself is with Jesus Christ keeps me humble and teachable and reliant upon him and so sometimes when people come home to the church there's a party in heaven and some want to throw a party in church but others of us want to just cross our arms and say I wonder how long they'll stay this time I mean I still can't believe what they did they don't deserve to be here and while we cross our arms and content heaven is rejoined thing what does that say about us what does that say about me and so here we have a gracious Father again not going to straighten out his son but he goes out to meet his son to receive him where he is in the end of verse $28.00 therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father lo these many years I have been serving you I have been working for you I've been slaving for you I never transgress your commandment at any time and yet you never gave me a young goat that I might make merry with my friends but as soon as a son of yours doesn't say my brother this son of yours came who has devoured your livelihood with harlots you go and you kill the fatted calf I imagine other worlds viewing salvation similarly that planet down there you know what they're capable of I don't even like to look at it but I I saw some little youtube clips the other day of planet Earth and I was so disturbed and think that even one of them was worthy of the fatted calf of Jesus coming and dying in their play they're not worthy and they would be right which is the power of the Gospel and shows the love of the Father and so he continues to labor with his son verse $31.00 he said to him Son you're always with me and all that I have it's yours it was right that we should make merry and be glad for your brother was dead and is alive again and was lost and is found 2 brothers both had a backwards understanding of the Father one ended up in the pig pen came to in himself and a clear representation a realization of who the father was as he was received as he was the other were left to wonder were not given any assurances though last we hear of Him His arms are still crossed and the question then falls to you and me who are we in this story what are we to do with this story. Freezes to 89 Paul reminds us For by grace you have been saved through faith and not of yourselves it is the gift of God Not of works less anyone should boast I think very simply is to ask the very basic question What is your relationship to your heavenly Father is it a master slave master servant mentality I have to earn his favor I have today have another good stuff to outweigh all the bad stuff I mean they call that karma I haven't seen that in the 28 fundamentals have you yes we want to serve God with all of our heart our mind our strength everything that we have put our love for the Father and our relationship to him as a son or as a daughter has to come 1st is this your picture of God or is this because the reality is it will impact your entire religious experience one will transform your life and give you joy unspeakable the other will lead you bitter angry judge mental and unhappy so again what are going to do with this story line by this old take inventory of our relationship with the father the story makes plain because both brothers have that service place therefore I believe it's our default to fall back into that you've done really good you're going to get a raise wonderful you studied really hard you're going to get straight A's that's great but the economy of heaven the only reality that matters is that we are sons and daughters of God so on 637 the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out this is the verse I had behind me on my homeroom class and Punit pay short verse but a pretty powerful one he says and cast the soffit he received this. Let the wicked for sake of the way and then right this man Assad said in return of the Lord and He will have mercy on him and to our God for He will abundantly pardon do you believe them so I don't need to do good works I can do whatever I want I can go back well if we go back to this story do you think the prodigal son ever return to the far country I don't think so why not because I believe the Father's love impacted him in such a profound way that he never left his father again and that's the key abide in me and I in you as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine neither can you unless you abide in me quit running away to a far country I am the vine you are the branches he will abide to me and I and him bears much fruit for without me you can do how much nothing and passed about here minus last week these are the fruits of the spirit they're not the fruits of David right they're not the fruits of you they're the fruits of the Spirit you don't generate them you don't bring them about but you surrender yourself to God you abide in Him You ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life and look at the fruits of the spirit it's love. It's Joy it's peace it's long suffering we could say it's it's patient It takes a deep breath kindness goodness faithful in this gentleness self-control to finish the verses of these there's no law against these things friends as we go along to do we'll simply by in Him allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives Luke $910.00 For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost friend and doing everything in his power to restore lost humanity. Whether it's the sheep that are lost in they don't know their way home whether it's a coin lost in the home or the church and is unaware like the older brother. Whether you push got away and dishonored him in every way imaginable heaven is waiting to rejoice over every lost sinner that repents and with tender sympathy love and compassion he longs to restore our relationship to him we're all here in church this morning but again what's your relationship to the father is he is coming as an exacting judge or a loving father Are we slaves are we sons and daughters of the king will we be fearful or will we read Joyce is my prayer that will embrace the latter and that it will transform us through and through that we name may not be able to hold it back any longer but proclaim from the mountains and the hilltops reading how I love to proclaim and read Dean by the blood of the Lamb read Diem through his infinite mercy his child for ever I am Dear Heavenly Father in this story we can relate to both brothers we have been the product will we have engaged in wasteful living of not just resources but time and energy efforts we have brought the stain upon your name. We can also relate to the older brother with arms crossed critical of everyone else wondering why they can't get their act together how is this justice how is this fair we've ourselves had times of bitterness and legalism the one we can't seem to relate to is this love of the Father. That in spite of wherever we are in the spectrum comes out and finds us in the field runs to receive us with open arms and draw us back home that part is perhaps the hardest part to understand but Lord if this parable is true and we should think that it is because you told it what do we have to be afraid of what Whatever keep us from returning to you in asking and repenting of our sins and abiding in your presence not just today but for ever and always and allow you to change just into the man woman or child that you long for us to be Lord help us to that end may we receive you. Not as our master. But as our Father. Jesus name. 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