Message From Matt | July 12, 2018

The Love of our Heavenly Father!

This past Sunday I read from Luke Chapter 15, Jesus’ parable about the prodigal son and his older brother.   I spoke about the brokenness in the lost son after he spent everything and realized that he needed to come back to the father.  We also read that the older son had a need for brokenness but couldn’t see it.  He was prideful and critical and not focusing on the bigger picture…his brother came home!   Instead of being happy he was angry with the father!  He always worked hard and did everything the father told him to do but never had a party thrown for him!  He never got the attention that he thought he deserved!   

This story is a great picture of two types of people that need to be broken.  The first type is the one that commits obvious sins!   The younger son couldn’t pretend that he was living right as his sin was blatant, rebellious, and disgusting.  However, I suggest that the older son’s sin was just as rebellious and blatant and disgusting!  The older son represents the second type of person that needs to be broken, the person that is blinded by their pride regarding how sinful they really are.  This type of person lives their life feeling like they have no problems and often times look down on others with arrogance.

Both of these boys had sin in their lives and both needed to be broken!  

Although the stories of the boy’s lives are often the ones that are focused on the most, I can’t help but think that it is the love of the Father that is the best part! 

Look at what the Father did for His boys:

  • He was patient! The younger son wanted his inheritance early.  The father didn’t have to give it to him, but he did.  The younger son ran off and the father could have tracked him down, but he didn’t.  Instead, the parable says that the father waited (verse 20) for the son to return!  He could have done several things to reach the son, but he was patient!  I think that this is how we as parents need to be as well, especially with our teenage and adult children…patient!  The reality is that I can discipline to change behavior but I can’t change hearts.  It is God alone doing His work that can bring about lasting change.  
  • He was proactive! I love how the father in this parable handled his two sons differently!  With the younger son he was patient but with the older son he was proactive.  When the older son would not come to the party, the father came to him (verse 28). The father treated the son’s sin differently and was perfect in his handling of them.  He could have waited for the older son to come in, but I believe that he knew this son’s pride would get in the way of that.  
  • He was forgiving!  The father had the right to make the younger son a slave or disown him completely.  He didn’t do either!  He could have been angry with the older son for being a “party pooper” but he wasn’t!  His love was marked by his forgiveness as he focused on what was most important in their lives.  He wanted to restore the younger son and teach the older son what forgiveness was.  Many times we can let our hurt feelings and unmet expectations ruin our relationships, but this father determined to forgive instead!
  • He was loving!  When you read this parable there is no doubt that the father loved his boys!  No matter what their actions were, or what they did, they did not lose the love of the father!  They were his boys and nothing was going to change that.  He loved them from birth and nothing was going to break that love!
This father’s actions are a picture of our Heavenly Father and we know that as His children we can never be separated from His love.  Paul wrote in Romans 8:37-39“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Because of the Father and sacrifice of the Son, we are more than conquerors and nothing (or nobody) can separate us from His love!  Once you are a child of God, you are always a child of God!  Do we deserve this love?  NO!  Should we be thankful every day for His love? YES!  To go along with thankfulness to God, we should also demonstrate His love to others!  If you have a child not living right…be patient!  If you have someone at work that you need to go to and show love to…be proactive!  If you have been offended…forgive!  If you get down, remember how God loves you and show that love towards others!  

God loves us greatly…show that love to others!

See you Sunday!