Sunday Morning Podcast June 16, 2019. Bro. Dave Goble.

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TEXT: LUKE 15:11-19 

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.

This is what Jesus is teaching, of repentance, mercy and redemption.  Let’s consider, to take this personally, ….as it pertains to us.

The younger son, was not given anything good or worthwhile, when he left the sinful country, for doing the most basest of jobs. He had chosen to go to the far away “country of sin.”  This ultimately is what goes on spiritually, for all not serving God.  The sin sick son ultimately came back, to now being willing to be only a servant.   Back to his father,  the one that represents the male’s species role, to raise, and in godliness guide the children.  In our present times, this has become a more complicated role.  But still, and always, a father is essential!  Societies build on families.  And families are meant to be cultivated by loving fathers.  We need to lift up this design of God!  God has always helped even the not perfect father, to become in His eyes….perfect.  Godly fathers are essential to the Kingdom of God!  The prodigal’s father reveals here, what example should be for all of us.  We can also take much help and enlightenment from this. Luke 15:1   “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.”   Jesus had no problem speaking to the world. The base condition of being a publican and sinner, (rather than being of a self righteous attitude) can often lend itself to being a better listener.  Any righteousness we possess, does not come from ourselves. None can take credit for any holiness that comes from their life.  None should ever elevate themselves!  We are all on the same level. The publicans were often tax collectors, who stole, to better themselves, and did, as other publicans often did.  But often, this also helped make them more aware, of the moral need in their character.  Many are trying to find the way to heaven, but none can do it with their own abilities.  God wants to change the hearts of men, to become His children.  Children of obedience.  The younger son, spent himself in sin. The older son, stayed faithful to the father.  The younger son represents the publican and sinners; he no longer wanted to be lost in sin, but he knows he has no more claim, having expunged his right to be a son. No longer worthy.  He then asks to be made worthy to be a servant of his father.  The older son wanted to be favored ….for his consistent loyalty.  The older son here, represents the religious, and too often the self righteous.  The father did not take lightly the humbled condition of his younger son.  He did not make of himself high and above in his attitude toward his prodigal.  This father was extraordinary, not angry at the betrayer.  He never allowed bitterness to exist toward his son’s defecting.   He did not need an “attitude adjustment.”  He never allowed disappointment to turn him against his son.  Instead everyday….the father had an unconditional love, and mercy for his son’s need.  Thank God for a loving Father!

Eli (in 1 Samuel 1:22-25)  was the unfortunate example of a negligent father.  The fruits of his lack, were his wicked sons, that had no regard for God.  Eli had given no true guidance and real reproof for the willful sins being committed by his sons, in the view of all the tabernacle.  In 1 Samuel 1:27-35,  it is prophesied how Eli through negligence has reaped, two sons that became exceedingly wicked for lack of being restrained by him.  A good father will restrain his children from being allowed to pervert the laws and commandments of God.  But Eli did not.  Eli’s inheritance in the priesthood for God, was consequently cut off.  No honor followed, but only wickedness and shame.  It’s important to honor God’s word, to be a guardian of the children that God has blessed us with!   It is only with repentance and obedience that we can reap the mercy of God our Father!  In the natural order, fathers are appointed from God, to be leaders in the home.  (Sometimes in the absence of a father, it might be the mother, or another appointed guardian that is the leader).  In any case, we need to support an upright father’s (or some other guardian’s) endeavors to train a child to live humbly, and obediently.   Above all, we need to always have unconditional love and mercy, to be like our Heavenly Father in all He entrusts us with, for our children.

The Prodigal’s Father, and Mercy.   Happy Father’s Day!