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You're Welcome At This Table

(66)

Sermon shared by Kevin Higgins

March 2005
Summary: Godís conditions of acceptance are different from manís.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 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. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his field to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my fatherís have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 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. 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. 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: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.Ē

Jesus told this story about a young man who had made all the wrong choices. He represents all that we are in this life. He represents the young girl who gets pregnant and runs from her parents, or the son who gets messed up on dope and does the same. More than that though, he represents us in the way we respond to God.

God brings us into this life with but one purpose, and that is to glorify Him. I donít care who you are, where you were born, what color you are, how much money you have or what part of town you live in, you were created with one and only one purpose Ė to glorify God. As we grow, we develop talents and abilities that complement the giftedness that God gives us, and all combined can and should be used in such a way as to reflect our adoration of God.

However, like the prodigal, we take what our Father has given us and all too often do our own thing, and before we know it, we begin to wonder whether God can ever really accept us. You know all the ways people mess up their lives: they jump in and out of relationships, destroy families, ruin their reputations, fall into gross acts of sin or habits that absolutely destroy their lives.

One of the problems I usually run into here is that someone or several just donít identify with that sort of life. You are like the other son who said to his father,

ďAll these years I have served you, neither transgressed I your commandments.Ē

Youíve lived a good life. Youíve been faithful to your wife and kids. Youíve put in your time at work and have been a good
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