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By Matt Stidham for the Whitewright Church of Christ
Iíd like to begin by telling you a story this morning.
This story is a pretty common family story...while youíre listening to this story, some of you might be able to think of a family you know that could very easily fit into this story.
Itís a story about a father and his two sons. Iíd like to talk about the father first. He was a hard worker, and he also had many employees that were hard workers as well. The father in this story had secured a great fortune. His home was full of all the riches anyone could ever imagine. This man was very wealthy, and loved his children very much.
Now letís look at this manís two sons.
The older of the two sons was a hard worker himself. He was dedicated to the family, and worked hard for the family. He shared in his fatherís wealth, and enjoyed all the benefits of his fatherís household. This young man was the son that every parent wishes they had...followed the rules, was very dedicated, and did a lot to please his father. In fact, he had worked had and served his father well in the family business for many years. This was the ideal son.
The other, younger son, well, he was kind of the black sheep of the family. He was a free spirit if you will. This son was interested in himself...what would make him happy, what he might want to do. This young man strikes me as the type that probably tried to get away with all he could. Maybe he was a bit lazy. He seems to be the type that lived by his own rules, with little regard for the consequences...he was only concerned about what would benefit him, and make him happy.
Well the brothers grew up together. And much like any family the had their moments of disagreement over exactly what should be done, and how to do it.
But one day, the younger son decided heíd had all he could take of his family. Even though his father had given him so much and provided for him...he had all he could want, he just couldnít stand it any longer and decided he wanted out.
He went to see his father. Now I donít know the exact words that were spoken, but I can imagine the conversation went something like this...
ďDad, Iím sick of living by your rules all the time. You think youíre so smart, and know whatís best for me but you donít know me...I know what will make me happy, and all you try to do is keep me from enjoying life. I want out! Iíve seen your will, and I know that you plan on giving everything to my brother and I...Iíll tell you what, give me my half now, and Iím out of here...you wonít see or hear from me again because I can make it on my own!Ē
Well...as you can imagine, the father was probably hurt, but not really surprised. You see, this father was a very wise man and he had seen children rebel before, but he loved his children very much...and the fact that his younger son wanted to turn his back on the family really hurt the father. But the father loved his son, and decided that he wouldnít force his will upon his son...after all, he was a grown boy and could make decisions for himself. The father gave the younger son his money and the younger son headed out on his own.
Fast forward a couple of days. The younger son has now loaded up everything he owns and has head out as far as he could go from his home. He began by hitting
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