God Gives Hope 3
Luke 15:11 through Luke 15:32 (NIV)
11Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Honestly the story of the Prodigal Son is the story of everybody that decided to turn away from God!
A young Jewish boy decided that the life that was planned for him, the rules he was to live by, and the home he lived in was too confining and dull. He goes to a far country, gets in with the wrong crowd, suffers money problems, and winds up in a pigpen.
In this story are 3 principles, which can take ANY prodigal on a journey from hopelessness to home!
I. Principle One: It is not your situation which determined your future but your decision
A. The Awesome Power of the Human Will “I will arise. (Luke 15:18).
B. The Starting Point of a New Life
II. Principle Two: It is not the condition you are in, but the direction you are going- ‘. . And go to my father (Luke 15:18).
Image has always been important to prodigals/rebels.
a. They want to look ‘cool,”
b. They think if they look good and please the crowd, they are a success.
2. Life is truly a choice of direction.
a. We need to ask constantly. “If I keep going the way I am going, what will be the end of it?
b. Illustration: An old man asked a young man, what are your plans for life? The young man said, I’m going to finish graduate school. And then I’m going to have a great career and make a lot of money,” And then I’ll retire early and do what I want.” “And then?’ After a long pause, suppose I’ll die like everybody else.’ The old man said, “And then?
B. The Prodigal’s condition was terrible when he left the pigpen, but he was heading in the right direction.
3. Do not allow yourself to fall into hopelessness because of your present condition. Instead, like Paul, say, Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Ill. Principle Three: It is not your perfection, but His word that speaks hope. ‘This is my son.
A. Our hope is in a loving Father God. Not In our record as a miserable sinner.
I. If you want God, He wants you.
a. The father was watching with 20/20 vision.
b. The father ran to meet his repentant child.
c. “But he took your blessings and squandered them,’ I know,’ says God, ‘but he’s my son who was lost and now has come home.”
d. “Look how terrible he looks.’ I don’t care. He’s my son.
e. ‘He’s a disgrace.” ‘I know, but he’s come home.”