The Prodigal Son – Part 4 | Luke 20:20-24

The Prodigal Son – Part 4 | Luke 20:20-24

Introduction:

Luke 15:20-24 ESV  And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.  (21)  And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  (22)  But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.  (23)  And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.  (24)  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

  • Today it is my absolute joy to preach one of the most miraculous, powerful, beautiful, blessing packed truths of Christianity.
    • A truth so beautiful that the very essence of the Gospel hangs upon it.
    • A truth, when realized and lived out, radically changes a believers life.
    • A truth that means provision, and protection, and healing, and joy.
    • Peace, love, grace, mercy, provision… all overflowing.
    • This is probably the most encouraging message that can be preached to the believer and to the unbeliever, especially when paired with the Gospel.
  • But be warned… this truth, that we are going to talk about today, is only true if the truths of last weeks message are followed.
    • The blessings and the beauty of this truth only come through when you are living a life of repentance.
      • And unfortunately some preachers have fixated on this truth, today, and ignored the truth of repentance.
      • That have taken this truth out of context, and lead many people astray.
      • So please, understand everything we are going to talk about today is all on the heals of repentance.
  • So, what is this beautiful, life changing, all sustaining truth?
    • The Father Comes to Us.

SHOW TITLE SLIDE

  • THE FATHER COMES TO US!
    • GOD COMES TO US! HE COMES TO US.
    • In our filth, in our weakness, in our pitiful state… GOD COMES TO US.
  • See last week we talked about the prodigal son, covered in the filth of his decisions and life choices…
    • Smelling of swine, which represents our sin.
    • Starving to death.
  • We saw this pitiful son decide to repent and turn back to His Father.
  • And today we see what happens when the son actually comes to the Father. AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL AND POWERFUL INDEED.

Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray

Point One: The Father Runs to Us

Luke 15:20-21 ESV  And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.  (21)  And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

  • Point one: the Father RUNS to us….
    • The Father RUNS to us!
    • Do you see that, do you get that… the character of God is that He RUNS to us!

Luke 15:20 ESV  And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

(Leave this verse up, I will reference it a bunch in this point)

  • So much of God’s character can be seen in this verse… so much of who God the Father is can be seen in this beautiful verse.

First we see that the eyes of the Father are eyes of mercy.

  • The scripture here says that the father SAW him while he was still a long way off.
    • As if the Father is on top of some high tower looking out for His long-lost son.
    • And as He looks and longs for His son we can almost feel the joy of the Father as He spots still a long way off, His son returning home.
    • Do you understand how much God desires sinners to repent and come back to Him…
      • He is literally up in heaven, patiently waiting… will one more come, will these long lost sons and daughters of mine come home?
    • I believe God is looking into the depth of every soul… looking and waiting for that soul to turn back to Him.
      • And the second that soul has the slightest inclination to return to God, God sees it.
      • And when God sees the sinner turning to Him… when God sees the sinner drawing near to Him… what does He do?
      • The first thing He does is have compassion!

So in this verse we see the heart of God, and God’s heart is a heart of Mercy.

  • The father saw His son returning to Him and the fathers first response? Compassion.
    • Not judgment, not wrath, not vengeance… compassion. This is how God responds to repentance.
      • In fact did you know that scripture says that God is grieved when we are miserable… even when it is our own fault.
      • Hosea 11:8 and Judges 10:16 both talk about God being grieved for the misery of Israel… even though Israel brought it on themselves.
        • In the same way that I am grieved when my daughter cries after I spank her.
        • Because I don’t like when my child is in pain.
      • And God doesn’t like it when we are in pain.
        • He allows it sometimes… He even causes it sometimes because we need it…
        • But he takes no joy in our misery, he did not create us to be miserable…
    • And thus, He takes joy when we turn away from our filth and turn to Him, because He knows we are leaving the pig-pen of our misery behind.

We also see in this verse the character of God’s feet. They are Feet of Mercy.

  • And not slow mercy, either, they are quick-paced feet of mercy…
    • Because God runs to us. He runs to bring us mercy.
  • You see the prodigal son, the sinner, came slowly under the weight and guilt of his filthy sin… but God, upon seeing His son return, RUNS TO HIM. HE DOESN’T WAIT. HE DOESN’T MISS A BEAT. HE RUNS TO THE SON.

And when He get’s to His son, in some far off field, we see the character of God’s arms… His arms are arms of mercy.

  • And those merciful arms stretched out to embrace the repentant son.
    • Though Guilty and deserving of a beating, the son found His fathers arms not bringing blows down upon him… but he found His fathers arms embracing him… hugging him… loving him.
    • When a sinner comes to God, God runs out to meet Him with arms wide open to embrace Him.

And Finally we see the character of God’s lips… that they are lips of mercy.

  • Lips dripping with the honey of Grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness, the Father kisses the repentant son.
    • This kiss not only assured and welcomed the repentant son, but it was a seal of God’s pardon… a seal that the sons sins have been forgiven.

Luke 15:20 ESV  And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

  • Eyes of mercy, heart of mercy, feet of mercy, arms of mercy, and lips of mercy. This is who God is. Note how verse 20 transitions into verse 21.

Luke 15:20-21 ESV  And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.  (21)  And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

  • Notice this… before the prodigal son could use his lips to repent to the Father, the Father used His lips to kiss the Son.
    • This is the God we serve, hallelujah!
  • But none the less, we know that all of this rests on the fact that the son was indeed repentant… and so the son repents… and before the son is even finished repenting, because we know that verse 17 shows the son had more to say…
    • Before he was even finished repenting the Father begins providing for Him.

Point Two: When the Father Comes to Us, He Provides for Us

Luke 15:22-23 ESV  But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.  (23)  And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.

  • Point two: When the Father Comes to Us, He provides for us.
    • The Father runs to the repentant son and when He gets there He doesn’t put demands on this son, He doesn’t scold the son for his sinful leaving… no, the Father immediately begins providing for him.
      • The Father gives His child his best rob, and a new ring, and a pair of shoes, and fills his belly with the best meat… The father immediately begins providing abundantly for his long lost son.
      • Jesus says this in John 10:10

John 10:10 ESV  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

  • Life more abundantly! Not just life… but life ABUNDENT!
    • Now listen, this isn’t prosperity gospel. Please remember this is all precedence on repentance…
    • Without repentance, and continual repentance, this doesn’t apply.
    • BUT THE TRUTH IS, LIFE ABUNDENT MEANS EXACTLY WHAT IT SAYS… ABUNDENT LIFE!
      • (Sounds like a good name for a church, Abundant life. But you would have to through repent in there… what church do you go to “Repentant and abundant life”… yeah, it just doesn’t have the same ring)
  • Look back at the story of the prodigal… look at what the father provides when he comes to the repentant son…

Luke 15:22-23 ESV  But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.  (23)  And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.

  • Now of all the things the Father gave the son, look at this, of all the things the father gave the son the son only needed one… food.
    • And the Father gave the prodigal food, not just any food, but the best meat He had.
    • But not only did He give His child what he needed, He gave Him so much more.
      • A ring, representing wealth and physical provision.
      • His best robe, representing comfort.
      • And shoes, representing protection for his feet and the ability to work, and the freedom to move.
  • You see the son returned to the Father in rags… and the Father clothed the son not just with sufficiency, but with abundance…
    • The Father adorned the repentant son!
  • The truth is, when you are in the Father’s house you are taken care of. And you are taken care of with abundance.
    • Whether you have just been in the presence of the Father for a moment, or you have been there your whole life, you are taken care of.
  • I have been a senior pastor for six years…
    • I was an associate pastor for 3 years before that.
    • And I have been serving in some form of ministry since I was 17.
    • In all these years I have NEVER seen a God fearing believer go without.
      • I have never seen a repentant Christian not live in a life of Abundance.
      • Now, I have seen people who lie to themselves and tell themselves their sins aren’t THAT bad, and because of that they remove themselves from God’s blessings.
        • And such people get so angry, or so sad, when they hear messages like this because they have lied to themselves for so long that they truly don’t think they are in sin… and then they blame God “WHY AREN’T YOU BLESSING ME LIKE OTHERS! IT’S NOT FAIR!”
  • I remember clearly, God had told me to take a break from pastoring for a year to learn how to be a husband for Amanda.
    • So I had a temp Job at a company as an IT support guy.
    • I didn’t meet the qualifications, I didn’t finish college, and I had little experience.
    • But somehow I got the job.
      • I was young and did some silly things that got on my bosses nerves… I mean I did my job, but I always felt that my boss hated me.
      • After my six month temp period my boss calls me into his office… here we go I think, time to start looking for a new job.
      • Nope, he offered me a full time position with a pay raise.
        • I remember God telling me “Thus it is with those who my favor rests”
      • Two upper management members heard I got the job and were furious, I was the youngest person in this corporate office and they didn’t like me or my constant joy.
        • They set out to make my life h-e-double-hockey-sticks…
        • Even trying to get me terminated.
        • Within a week of one another, they both got fired.
        • God told me “I protect my children”.
    • I ended up leaving that job as a Systems analysts… I was raised up above even my original boss, I was literally 3 steps away from CEO.
      • My job normally would require a masters degree… I only had an associates degree…
        • My point?
        • Did I have a private jet? No
        • Was I making 6 figures? Nope
        • Did I have more than enough? Absolutely.
  • Amanda and I went to Singapore and lived on just a few dollars a day after that…
    • And we still had more than enough.
  • We moved here with a tight budget…
    • And still had more than enough.
  • I know live in my dream house, driving cars that are paid for and work great.
    • God has provided.
  • I saw a meme online that said “What would 16 year old you think of who you became”?
    • My honest answer, my 16 year old me would be overwhelmingly blown away. I have everything I have ever wanted and then some.
      • A beautiful home
      • An amazing wife.
      • Two amazing kids.
      • An amazing church.
  • God drew near to me 16 years ago, when I repented. He continues to draw near to me as I live for Him. And He has never stopped providing for me.

Conclusion

Luke 15:24 ESV  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

  • Gospel Message
  • This whole sermon can be summed up with this one verse:

James 4:8 ESV  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

  • If you are not living in the provision and full abundance of God.
    • May I suggest that either your idea of provision and abundance is wrong, thus you would be qualified as double minded…
    • Or maybe you have sin in your life that you need to get rid of… the prodigal son didn’t get to bring any pigs back to his Fathers house!

PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY

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