The Prodigal Father- Amazing Grace
We begin a series on Grace. I recommend the book what’s so amazing about grace by Philip Yancey.
The first lesson is on the prodigal Father. I use the word prodigal in describing the father because prodigal means reckless. A prodigal does what he wants. The prodigal son went off and lived how he wanted. The prodigal father does not do what is expected. Instead he does what he wants.
Eph.1:2-8 See the reckless love God has for us. It was his pleasure to poor out grace upon grace towards us.
An artist painted a picture of Niagara Falls- he didn’t name it. The gallery named it more to come. That is God’s grace- There’s more to come.
Every New Testament letter Paul wrote does not get more than seven verses into the first chapter before he says something about God’s grace.
Some have been reluctant to preach about grace. One book I read said that once a church discovers grace they discover little else meaning that they quit doing anything for God. To them I say they have not discovered grace but a cheap lie from the depths of hell. Grace is the most and purest motivating force in the world. If you cannot be moved by the grace of God then someone needs to close the casket.
Let us embark on the journey of discover God’s reckless love for weak and pathetic humans. The Bible is the story of God’s relentless pursuit of man. In Genesis God asked where are you and he continues to do so today.
I. The Father of Compassion
A God chose to be known as Father
1 Rom. 8:12-17
a Sinful nature. Spirit of God- Cry Abba Father
b Russian orphan-“Leada needs a mommy” longing for love
c I had a great Dad. He taught me how to live- He taught me how to Die.
1 Fell off a cliff and out of nowhere Dad was there.
2 Lost in the mountains- Dad sat by the fire all night.
3 Held his hand hen He died.
4 I want to be like that!
2 1John 3:1
a children of God- That’s what we are.
b Maybe you didn’t have a great father figure in your life. You do now!
c Adopted children have the fear that they will never be truly loved.
B God of Compassion
1 Luke 15
a V.12- Give me- I wish you were dead
b V.20- long way off- filled with compassion- God ran
2 Luke 15:7
a Rejoicing in heaven over one- me.
b Grace- God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense
c When Jesus cried out form the cross- My God, My God the heavens were silent. God didn’t answer. God chose me.
3 Parents which would you choose.
a Hurricane Katrina I met a grandmother who was clinging in the flood waters to her husband and a grandchild. She didn’t have the strength to hold both. She let her husband go. She felt her grandchild deserve a chance to live.
4 Of all the titles that could be given to God such as the Almighty Jehovah, The great and powerful creator of the universe- He chose Daddy. The God of compassion.
III The God of all Comfort 2Cor.1:3
A Isaiahs view of God’s comfort
1 Isa. 53:5
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed
4 On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. 5 No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised. 6 " ’Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, "Live!" [a
B God loves the wounded
1 Gone with the wind- Sea of wounded soldiers.
2 Humanity is a sea of wounded people
a We need comfort- When comforting someone it’s not in what you say but that you were there.
b God is there. He whispers in your ear- It’s going to be ok we are going to go through this together. You are not alone.
c Broken Doll- I couldn’t fix it so I helped her cry.
d Our daughter- When you cannot fight for yourself come sit in my lap and let me hold you.
C Luke 15:21 21"The son said to him, ’Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. 22"But the father said to his servants, ’Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
1 We are the waking wounded
2 Walking the way of the heart ( Steve Kinnard p.39-40)
Conclusion: We carry the baggage of our own failures, bad decisions and self deception. Our wounds have come from enemies, family, friends and some of the worst are self inflicted.
I’m here to tell you that there is a god in heaven that is the Father of Compassion and the God of all comfort.
That is amazing Grace.
In his early 20’s John Newton made his way to Africa where he became involved in a lucrative enterprise called salve trade.
As a young man he ridiculed mocked and poked fun at the religious. In fact he was joking and mocking Christ just hours before his ship sailed into an angry storm.
That night the waves, wind, & rain battered the ship. For hour he and the other sailors struggled to keep the ship from sinking. He knew it was a lost cause. Finally w/ all hope gone he threw himself on the soaked deck and pleaded “Lord have mercy on us all”.
John Newton did not deserve mercy, but he received it that night. He and the crew survived the storm. John Newton never forgot the mercy God granted him that day on the Atlantic. He returns to England and became a prolific composer of hymns and preacher of God’s word. The slave trader turned preacher who could not help but tell the story of how God will meet you in your storm.
Several years before his death people urged him to give up preaching due to his health and failing memory. His response “my memory is almost gone, but two things I still remember I am a great sinner, and Jesus is a great savior. What more do I need to remember?