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Through every Battle, your every heartbreak through every Research?
I believe that you are my fortress. Oh, you are my portion and you are my my hiding Place? Oh, I believe you are the way the truth in the life I believe you are the way the truth in the light I believe through every blessing ever we promise every breath I take I believe that you are for rider oh, you are protector you are the one that alone mercies that I knew. All my fears and doubts they can all come to because they can't stay long. When I'm here with you, it's the new ride and I'll sit on you and you meet me here.
My fears. And doubts they can all come to because they can't stay long when I believe you are away?
The truth? The lies?
Amazing grace? How sweet the sound? That saved a wrench like me?
I was lost but now I'm found was belong but now I see twas grace that taught my heart to feel and grace my fears release how precious death grace appears yeah, I first believe my chains are gone I've been set free. Like God my favor has ransom with me and like a flood his mercy rains on end is love grace the Lord has promised me good to me his word and my hope secured he were my share and ocean me? As long as my shades are gone I've been safe, free? I got? My savior has restomed to me?
And like a love his mercy of race? unending love in my shades are gone I've been sent free I got my savior has written on me it's like a blood his mercy race amazing rain the earth shines dissolved like snow the sun for bear to shine but God who caught me here below will be forever mine will be forever mine you are forever mine.
The battle rages on a storm in tempest roar.
We cannot win this fight.
Inside our rebel hearts we're laying down our here on this holy ground you made a way for peace laying your body down you took a rightful place we raise our white light and the one we left the cross the cross.
amen. Lots of beautiful worship today to remind us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Right. He is it. He is everything.
Also the amazing grace of God the Father and of Jesus Christ, of their love for us, what they have done, how much they have given. We're going to see that a little bit today, right? It is sometimes over should always be overwhelming, I think I should say. You're going to notice a theme here in the next few weeks as we progress into a miniseries. In fact, we've struggled getting back into Job really since we dovetailed a little bit, but we're going to go into a little mini series here today.
You're going to notice well, let me correct myself. We will already have by the time you hear this, gone into a miniseries. And you'll notice the theme is Repentance. The theme is repentance. Okay?
And this Sunday, today the day I'm recording this in church, we will actually be going through a message about repentance, which will spring us into this miniseries by whatever point we are into this video. And if you're in Luke chapter 15, we will be here in a minute, starting in verse eleven. And we're going to really begin to dive deep into what repentance looks like, what it really means, why we do it or need for it. We're also going to look at the father's response to Repentance. And we're going to begin today kind of out of order with the parable of the prodigal son.
Now, last time we went through the prodigal son, at least here in a sermon, I approached it from the perspective of a father of the father's love on Father's Day. It became a Father's Day message. And we can look at the prodigal son from the perspective of the father who is forgiving, who loves us, who would give anything for his children. But we're going to look at it today from a different perspective, from the perspective of the youngest son and his journey of repentance. And we will then continue through the next couple of weeks to look at a few other stories.
Now, many of you here in this today will have actually been walking through this story with me as we have begun our new formats. And some of my newer groups are the commands. And so you're going to know where I'm going, but where you've walked through it with me, know where I'm going. I still want you to let the message pierce your heart, allow it to reflect deeply within you and allow it to do a work that it may or may not have already done. So with that said, let's begin.
We're going to read the entire passage, the entire parable, and then we'll break it down starting in Luke 15, beginning with verse eleven. And he said, a certain man had two sons, and the younger of them said to his father, father, give me the share of the property that is coming to me. So he divided his assets between them. And after not many days, the younger son gathered everything and went on a journey to a distant country. And there he squandered his wealth by living wastefully.
And after he had spent everything, there was a severe famine throughout that country and he began to be in need. And he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his fields to ten pigs. And he was longing to fill his stomach with the keropods that the pigs were eating and no one was giving anything to him. But when he came to himself, he said, how many of my father's hired workers have an abundance of food and I am dying here from hunger.
I will set out and go to my father and will say to him, father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired workers. And he set out and came to his own father. But while he was still a long way away, his father saw him and had compassion and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
And his son said to him, father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But his father said to his slaves, quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him. Put on put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet and bring the fat and calf, kill it. Let us eat and celebrate, because the son of mine was dead and is alive again.
He was lost and is found. And they began to celebrate. Now, his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing, and he summoned one of the slaves and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, your brother has come, and your father has killed the fat and calf because he has gotten him back healthy. But he became angry and did not want to go in.
So his father came out and began to implore him. But he answered and said to his father, behold, so many years I have served you and have never disobeyed your command. And you never gave me a young goat so that I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours returned who has consumed your assets with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him. But he said to him, child, you were always with me and everything I had belongs to you.
But it was necessary to celebrate and to rejoice because this brother of yours was dead and is alive and was lost and is found.
Okay? So let's set the stage for the story. We have a father, a very wealthy father with two sons. We're going to leave it right there for now with the sons. We'll get into their different personalities later.
But a very wealthy father with two sons, one of whom says, I want my inheritance now. And he squanders it off and famine strikes and he's in need. And eventually it's brought to a point of repentance, where he comes back to the father. But the older child is angry at this as well. We see he has a different mindset and he is looking inward into himself.
And we're going to look with this stage set, we're going to look at the heart of repentance, what repentance looks like, what it actually looks like. So we have several important areas here. The story begins with some rebellion we need to see that rebellion and the young son against the father riotous. Living also repentance, restoration and rejection. Those are the five things we're going to look at here as we go through the story.
So let's look again at Luke 15, just the first couple of verses.
And he said jesus said a certain man had two sons, and the younger of them said to his father, father, give me the share of the property that is coming to me. And so he divided his assets between them. And after not many days, the youngest son gathered everything and went on a journey to a distant country. And there he squandered his wealth by living wastefully. Let's stop and let's begin to look at the story and what's actually taking place.
And let me clarify. As I have clarified, every time Jesus speaks and opens with a certain man, any time Jesus begins with a certain man, a certain king, a certain anyone, we are automatically relating the story of the people in the story to us and God.
So this father, the certain man, has a younger son who says to him, father, give me my inheritance.
Stop and think about it for a moment. Everyone with kids right now, think about what this child is actually saying. He's going to his father still alive, by all accounts, still healthy, very healthy, got a lot of life left in him. He's nowhere near the deathbed. And his child is coming and saying to him, father, give me what shall be mine when you die.
And this is a sad and harsh reality because this child is not waiting. It's not just that he's not waiting for the death, but as the story progresses and we read, the child wants nothing to do with his father. The child only wants what the father has to offer him. He doesn't want the relationship. He doesn't want the instruction and the raising it.
He doesn't want his father's wisdom. He doesn't want his father's love. He wants his father's belonging, belongings, his assets, his property, his money.
I think there are many parents who are listening, who could be listening to this son, who actually could feel that right now, who could who could relate to having a child who only wants their material things and nothing else from them?
And it's no accident that Jesus chose the story to teach. No accident, no coincidence. For it is the natural state of humanity of all people who are born to want the goodness of God without God himself. I have never met a person who has prayed or wished or sought after bad things in their life. Nobody says, May my car blow up.
Some people say that. I've been one to say that recently because I want a new car, right? But when you say that, there's that motive. I want a new car. Can something happen?
But nobody in sincerity of heart has said, I just want my car to blow up. I think it would be great to no longer have transportation. It would be great to no longer be able to drive to work or drive to my friend's house, or drive to the park or the movies. No one has ever said, oh, I sure hope I get cancer. But all of us, we have said, can I just get this job?
Can I get this nice house? Can I get this nice car? Or that beautiful boat? Or this property over here? Or could it rain?
Could I have a good crop? Could I have a pay raise? Can I have good health? We have all whether you know that you're praying to God or you just think you're putting it out into the universe, we have all desired the goodness of God. We have all wanted all of the blessings he could give us happiness, wealth, peace, protection, prosperity.
We've all wanted it. But before our conversion, we have all wanted an absent of God himself.
Can I have good health? But I don't need a relationship with you. Could you send rain our way? We're in a drought, my crops are dying, my livelihood is going away, but I don't need a good relationship with you.
The attitude of the younger son here represents the attitude of every person who has walked on the earth. Every one of us have had this attitude of father, give me your material wealth, give me your blessings, give me everything that is good. But we have turned away from him. Look what he does. This loving father divides his assets between them.
That's beautiful when we relate it back to God, right? The Bible says that he gives reign to the righteous and the wicked alike, right? God gives blessings and good things to those who reject him just as much as to those who love him. God sends the reign to everyone. God the Bible says all good things come from God, so anything that is good in your life has come from God, whether you have a relationship with Him or not.
The father divided them, but immediately after, in verse 13, the younger son gathered everything and he went on a journey to a distant country. And there he squandered his wealth by living riot wastefully. He squandered his wealth.
Here's the thing. Distance from God is the default state of humanity. We are all distant from God. We have gone down our various paths, we've gone down our various scenic byways and highways, and some of us have gone down to Vegas, some to New York. We've all gone our way.
The point is, we have gone far from the Father so far, and we have gone almost seemingly out of reach from Him. And then we live the way we want to live. He lived wastefully. We find out from his older brother on prostitutes. He's partying, he's living it up.
He's doing what brings him seemingly what brings him joy, what makes him happy.
But wasteful living never brings happiness. In fact, he had eventually spent everything and there came to be a famine. But let's back up. He spent everything, right? That material happiness, it only lasts so long.
It only lasts as long as you have a means to gain it. But a famine, a severe famine struck throughout the country and he began to be in need. As we're paralleling the story of the prodigal of the lost son to us, we are seeing humanity.
We want the goodness of God. We want to live our own way, we want to please our own self will. We want to have a sense of happiness and joy. But our ways do not produce happiness. If they produce true happiness, if they produce true goodness, they wouldn't be unacceptable to God.
But God has designed us to live a certain way and in that design it produces true happiness. And so we see, if we look at our own lives, some of us, all of us have lived like this child. Some of us are actively living like this person. And you know, it's not producing happiness. You might be happy for a moment here and a moment there, but what characterizes your overall life, right?
misery, grief, sorrows, worries.
This person began to be in need. There is consequence for what we do. In this case, his consequences. He is in need and he hires himself out to one of the citizens of that country and he is sent into the fields to ten pigs he was long in. It says to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs are eating.
But no one was giving anything to him. So he is in dire need. He is hungry, he is starving. He is looking at the left over from the pig food and he is seeing hamburgers and hot dogs. You ever been that hungry?
You just look at something totally unappealing or not edible, but all you see is food. But he can't get anything. No one is willing to help him. I want you to notice that before returning to the Father that the son attempts to rectify the problem on his own. You ever notice that when we get in trouble, how quickly do we drop to our knees and pray to God?
But we always we try and take it into our own hands. I can fix this. I'll get another job or a third job in this because I'll hire myself out, I will do my own way. But as we try to deal with sin in our own way, we will rebound. It works until it does.
And we always end up back in darkness. We always end up back in the fractured world. We always end up in the same place that we were. So we have identified the major problem with humanity. And that problem is that we are sinners.
We are distant from God. We're sinners. And we want to appeal to our own appetite, to our own will. What makes me happy, at some point, we've got to go one direction or another. We at some point have to continue in our own self interest and will, or we need to repent.
I want you to think about the word repentance. Many of you have heard me through the years tell you that to repent means to have a change of mind, a change of heart. Right? I think this is okay, and now I don't. Right?
That's repentance. And in a sense, that is repentance. The word does mean to have a change of mind, to turn around. But if we were to examine that Greek word, if we were to open up a lexicon and we were to dive into what that word actually means, not just its direct translation, in essence to change your mind or turn around, but in the way it was fully used, it sends down to the root word. It means to be persuaded.
Right. Repentance is not just merely believing one thing is right and then believing it's wrong, but it is to be persuaded. I can tell you something is wrong and you can agree with me. And that does not mean you have repented. But to be persuaded of your behavior, of your actions, of your deeds, that they are indeed contrary to the ways of God, to the point that you act upon it is repentance.
You are persuaded into action, and that action is contrary to what you are doing. So, verse 17. Let's read when he came to himself, he said, how many of my father's hired workers have an abundance of food and I am dying here from hunger? I will set out and go to my father and I will say to him, father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired workers.
And he set out and came to his own father.
Did this young son repent of his deeds? Yes. We see that he is persuaded, not simply that what he was doing was wrong. Yeah, what I'm doing is wrong, but it makes me so happy, it appeases to me. No, he is persuaded.
He came to himself. He's kicked back against a rock or under a shade tree or maybe even in the mud. I don't assume he has anywhere to live right now, and he is really thinking about life. Man moving out here and partying has not done well for me. It didn't go the way I thought it would go.
Hiring myself out to go feed pigs, that's not working either. I really done screwed up. I don't know what to do anymore. I'm here and I'm hungry. And in the midst of his thinking, he remembers home, my father's servants.
I had it so well there. And now I even remember his servants, the slaves, they're eating, and they have somewhere to live, and they have water, they have a bed to sleep. And he's remembering not just how well he had it, but how well the lowest members of his household, the slaves, have it. And he was higher than them, higher than the slaves. He was a son.
He was part of the family. He had everything and wealth. His slaves are living it up. They're eating and they're sleeping and they're merry. He is dying of hunger.
And in this, he didn't just remember it. He became persuaded.
He became deterrent. This was such a strong persuasion that he says, I will set out now. I'll do this tomorrow or next month or let me give it two more weeks and see if circumstances change. No, I will set out. I will go back to my father.
I am persuaded that I have sinned in his sight. I am not worthy to be a son, but perhaps he will even make me as a hired worker. Perhaps he will allow me that privilege.
And look at his language. Father, I have sinned against heaven and your side. Notice he doesn't go to his father and say, father, my choices didn't pan out. What I thought would be great is not that great. Will you let me come home?
I think that is what most of us think of repentance right there. Most of us, our choices, they're not panning out for us. Our wants and desires, they can't be met right now. So we'll pick up the smartphone and we'll call mom or dad and Mom, I'm down on my luck right now. Can I come back?
Right sending with the Father, with God. Oh, God, I'm down on my luck. Things aren't working right now. Can you pick me up and things get better and we go back? That is not repentance.
He then not call his father up and say, father, my lifestyle choices are not working out right now. Can you put me up in a room? No. Father, I have sinned against heaven. And then he said, Father, what I did was wrong.
It was abominable in the sight of heaven. It was wrong. It was so wrong. Father, I don't feel worthy to be called your son. If you haven't disowned me already, you should disown me.
But would you hire me? Would you allow me to work for you? This is true repentance understanding that we have sinned. We can't repent if we are not we can't turn around from our wrongdoing if we are not first persuaded that it's wrong. So this understanding, this realization that we are sinners right and not in the sight of heaven, in the sight of God understanding, we are not worthy to be called children of God.
I am not worthy to be God's son. I am not worthy to receive his blessings. I am not worthy for anything that he has for me. This is true repentance. And then upon his confession of sin, upon his realization of who he is, he's unworthy.
He does not even ask for restoration. But Father, please hire me. And so we have seen this point of restoration, or sorry, of repentance restorations coming next for those of you who are familiar with the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector. And if you're not, you will be pretty soon.
This young son is that tax collector who knows that he is a sinner. He knows he is in need, and his only hope is to beg for mercy. And I have got great news for you. The word gospel means good news. If you didn't know that, it means good news.
But I don't think the word gospel is enough to convey the message that the Bible has, the message that Christ has for us. It's not good news, guys. It's not. It's great news. It's the best news for when we go and plead for mercy, we don't just get to be called hired servants.
Look at the Father, what he says. Verse 20. He said, out he came to his own Father, and while he was still a long way away, his Father saw him and had compassion and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And his Son said to him, father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I'm no longer worthy to be called your Son.
But his Father said to the slaves, quickly, with haste, guys, bring out the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger, put sandals on his feet, bring the fat and calf, kill it, let us eat and celebrate, because the Son of mine was dead and is alive again. He was lost and he is found, and they celebrated. But the Father, upon hearing the cry for mercy, o Father, let me be as one of your slaves, he says, oh, Son, I'm so glad that you're here. I have worried about you, I have missed you, I have longed for you, and I've been watching for your return.
And you see that for when he was a long ways away, the Father saw him and ran to him.
And he hears the repentance and the confessions of his Son. And he's just filled with overwhelming compassion. And he says, have the best robe in my house. Here is a ring, here are sandals. You are not a slave, but you are my son.
You are a member of this household. And let us celebrate, guys, church, the Father, God and Jesus, they are waiting for us to repent. They are looking out. They are watching that long distance so that they can come running toward us if we would but turn around and look. Not so that we can be indentured to God, but so that we could be his children.
So that he could feel, he could wrap his arms around us with compassion, so that he could tell us how much he has longed for us, how much he's wanted us so that he could restore us. And you can bet there's going to be a celebration when you are saved. There will be a celebration when you meet our Maker, if you return. Now, we see here true repentance. Let's look at the unrepentant person, because there's a second son.
We've not yet talked about a second person or a third person here who everyone kind of just assumes is saved, right? He's there. He's in the father's house. He's with the father. He's working at the Father.
But is this son really a child of God? Let's look. Verse 25. His order son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing, and he summoned one of the slaves and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, your brother has come, and your father has killed the fat and calf because he has gotten him back.
kelsey but he became angry and did not want to go in. And his father came and began to implore him. And he answered and said to his Father, behold, so many years I have served you and I have never disobeyed your command. And you never gave me a young goat so that I could celebrate. But when this son of yours returned who had consumed your assets with prostitutes, you killed the fat and cow for him.
Think about that. What is his mentality? Right? What is his heart right now? Is his heart.
Father, I'm glad he's here. Let's celebrate. Is his heart even? Even, father, what do I you know, this is hard to talk about what his heart is like here.
He is a religious person. We see the religious in him. His heart is not father, I have sinned in your sight. Right? That's a younger person.
Father, I have sinned. His heart is not father, I am so glad that he has returned, but his heart is this I have served you, I have worked for you. I have followed your commands. Right? This is legalistic.
And in his mind, I've never disobeyed you. In the mind of every legalistic person, I have followed your law. I have kept it. Look, I'm so holy, I forgive seven times. Look at how much money I'm given.
Look, on the sabbath day, I don't work. I don't even take more than 50 steps. You see that in the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector, where the tax collector is beaten on his chest and he is saying to God, have mercy on me, a sinner. The pharisee is saying, thank God I am not like the adulterer or the thief or the liar or like the tax collector, right? He is so caught up in what he is doing for God that he is lost to his need.
He is unaware of it. And you will find those people. Are the ones who become angry and bitter at the graces of God, right? This eldest son could be the person born up in church, raised in church, who has gone to church not just in their childhood, but now. They're 70, 80 years old, and they've never missed a week.
But they have always been so close. And because, well, I grew up in church and I've been teaching Sunday school, I've been here my whole life, they never actually realized their need. This could be the religious of the many of various quotes in the world. Well, I give 10% of my income, I baptize the dead, or I say 20 Hill Mary's or whatever it is that they do that they're unaware of their need. This older son is so caught up in what I have done that he is missed.
He has missed what Paul taught so fervently that by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified, right? For true repentance. That true persuasion and realization is that I am inadequate. I can't do. I am not worthy.
I am a sinner. And to plead for mercy and only trust in the good graces, the abundant graces of God.
As we come to an end of this message here, I want to ask who you are. Are you the younger son right? Now, either you are him current you're Him and his sin, or you're Him and his repentance. Are you the younger son? Are you living in your sin and realizing your need, realizing that the way that you're living, it doesn't work.
It doesn't produce true and lasting happiness? I have got great news for you, the best news that Jesus Christ has given his life for you. And not only given his life, but he resurrected from the dead. He came back to life. He defeated both sin and death.
So that if you would turn and you would just say, oh, Father, I have sinned in your sight, that he would come and embrace you with compassion, and he would clothe you, he would celebrate with you, he would restore you. And if that's not currently where you are, are you the younger son then, or the older? Are you the One who has come back to the Father with realization of your need, realization of how great your sin was and how unworthy you are? Or are you the older son who believes, I have done so much for you? God, I follow your lie.
Do all of us? Because I am telling you right now that's where you are, if you're examining yourself right now and your basis for salvation isn't how much you tithe or your temple works or your confessionals or hail marys or anything that it is that you are doing, you are in danger. So whether you're the older son or you are the younger son in his sin, both of those can be reconciled if you are willing. This younger son, he set the example. When he was living afar off and living wastefully and doing his own things, he had a crown on his head.
And when he turned to God, to the Father, he removed that crown, right? No longer did he say, I'm doing it my way, how I want, what makes me happy. Instead, he removed that crown, and he said, if only I could be one of your servants.
So if you're ready right now, if you can be persuaded of your wrongdoing, because I'm going to tell you now, we're all sinners. We're all short the glory of God. But if you could take that crown off right now and turn around and look for God and just say, father, Lord Jesus, I am willing to submit to your crown right now. You could have these things. And I'm going to give you the option here in our closing prayer, if you're ready to do that, if you are ready to repent and believe in Jesus Christ, let us do it.
Let's pray right now together and ask Jesus into your heart. Let's confess him as Lord. Let's celebrate with Him and repent of our sins. And then as normal, we will still have Zoom meetings. This is not going to be just broadcasted without me.
I'll be sitting with all of you in Zoom while this is playing and broadcasting. So right after the conclusion of this message, if you are in Zoom, please remain in Zoom with us so that we can do communion. And if you happen to be watching this as it does broadcast live, because it will broadcast live at the same time as we play it in Zoom on Facebook, YouTube and the app, please. Right now, as we're getting ready to go into the close and prayer, start logging into Zoom to partake of the lord's communion with us. With that said, I look forward to seeing you guys on Wednesday.
Everyone who is coming, those in cedar, you are welcome to join us on Wednesday. I don't think that because Friday is canceled. While I'm out here in Alabama, you can't be in the Wednesday studies with us. We would love to have you if you can make it at 630. For everyone else, I look forward to seeing you next week as well.
Let's go ahead and pray. Father, I admit that I am a sinner and God, I have sinned against heaven and in Your sight, and I am not worthy to be called Your son. Father, I am not worthy to be one of Your children or be a citizen of Your kingdom.
Oh, but God, I am willing, and I am ready now to remove this crown from my head and to submit to Your rule and Your authority and confess you, Lord Jesus, King Jesus, as my God, my King, my Lord. And I ask you right now to rush into my heart and fill me up, Lord. Fill me with Your compassion and Your mercy and give me a new life. And, oh, now I have I have cause to celebrate, for I was dead and now I'm alive. I was lost and now I am found by you, Lord Jesus.
And I thank you. And I praise you. And Father, we lift up all of those right now, whether they are the younger son in sin or the older son also in symba, unaware of it. Lord, would you begin to penetrate their hearts with Your truth right now, Lord, for Your glory that they would be saved, that they would be members in Your kingdom, Lord, and that you would be glorified by more people, people turning unto you. We love you and we thank you.
In Jesus name we pray. amen.