Sunday Morning Podcast March 21, 2021. Bro. Dave Goble.
Last week in this Prodigal series, we spoke on repentance, which is the door to the blessings and grace of God, and the lesson where this story brings us, to the beginning of the Prodigal’s turning point of his life.
TEXT: LUKE 15:11
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 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.
So many lessons here. The citizen he joined himself to, was not of his own heavenly country, but the one he now found himself in. The only place he could go was to a citizen of the country he now found himself. The only thing that citizen had to offer him, was the hog pit, and the husks he fed his own swine. That already is a lesson right there. In a world without God, the only thing a citizen had to offer of that country to one in desperate need is, a “hog pit, with husks that swine feed from.” That’s not to place any thought of criticism on anyone, “for there but for the grace of God, go I.” The lesson is for anyone who seeks deliverance from a wasteful life. You won’t find it, in a world without God!
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.
Three audiences Jesus is speaking to in this parable. First audience He was speaking to, were His disciples, who needed to know this whole Salvation story, and how to help people that find themselves in the hog pit of life. The second audience was the Pharisees. The Pharisees were religious leaders that had a profession of faith, and placed their trust in the law God had given Moses, but God was “standing there before them,” but they’re having a great difficulty seeing God. Additionally they were afraid. Fear does many things, it distorts health. So they opposed Jesus, calling Him a blasphemer, presuming to be God. The third audience Jesus was speaking to, was sinners and publicans, who Jesus hoped would understand “where they were,” in this narrative. That somehow, somewhere, someone would find themselves without God, in a kind of spiritual “hog pit.” He hopes the sinners and publicans would recognize themselves in “this place”. Because the only way a sinner can get out of that place is to know they are in it. Everyone today is in one of those three. We’re either a Pharisee, a profession of religion we’re hanging on to, that really is lacking, or we’re a sinner or publican, and we are in this spiritual hog pit whether we know it or not. Or we’re a disciple of Christ! We need to know how to tell this story, so someone else that is in this hog pit can get out. “Prodigal” literally means to waste away, or drive away from. So a prodigal has substance, or some kind of wealth/assets, and are spending it wastefully. The title of today’s thoughts, are “Turning a Profit.” Last week we dealt with “what does it mean to come to a place of repentance, so we don’t just do “penance” or just respond to “guilt,” but that we actually change! To not just see our life as a penitent life, feeling guilty for something, responding to that, but it keeps coming back again and again, which leaves us into a pit. As opposed to repentance, that brings a change that moves us totally in a different direction!
This week we want to deal with; after repentance, then what? Because God wants us to turn a profit. So there’s 4 things we are going to speak on. Jesus’s proposition is that a life that spends it’s inheritance without profit, is a wasteful life. The miracle of life is that through God’s intervention, He can take what we have wasted (of what we have inherited), and turn that around to help us to become a profitable servant, instead of a prodigal! Everyone is, or has been a prodigal! All of us has been given “an heritance of life” in some form. 1rst proposition: A life that has spent “it’s inheritance without a profit” is a wasteful life!. 2nd proposition: A wasteful life is lost to it’s true purpose! Our true inheritance is that when all is used for profit, and that nothing be wasted! 3rd proposition is that a wasteful life is designed to be found and made profitable again! 4th proposition, is that the Kingdom of God is designed for the inhabitants of wasted lives. We’re all intended to make our way into the Kingdom of God! God has 2 judgements. One are for those in the Kingdom of God, but the other are for those who are outside, because He wants them to also be inside! That is the design of life; that all would make their way to inside His Kingdom! And His judgements are to either keep us in the Kingdom of God, or to bring those outside, inside! This story/parable is designed to bring us all into the Kingdom of God! Last week we spoke on repentance, and today it is about Salvation!
Luke 16:14-16 14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among me is abomination in the sight of God. 16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of god is preached, and every man presseth into it. Jesus was telling the Pharisees that they were “hanging on” to the law, but since that time the Kingdom of God was being preached and that men were pressing into it. Jesus is talking about our need to “press into something.” Have you never had any opposition so that you needed to press into God’s Kingdom? Jesus was telling all that we need to set all our religious ideas aside so that we can press into His Kingdom! Because there is opposition to it! Salvation is meant to be a repentance followed by acceptance and healing! Recognizing that we are repenting while in a hog pit, coming to ourselves, recognizing our awful condition, separated from God, with no excuse! God then in that moment will “come to meet us!” To give us a lifetime that follows of concern, that will give us a benefit, over and over again! Then when we confront the difficulties in life, we don’t blame, but continue to turn away from those things that would hold us back from the pattern of continually turning to God!
Turning a Profit!