Summary: When the U.S. left Godly paths and principles and wrote and legislated God out of existence, we merely gained prodigal freedom. If we are ever to regain Godly freedom, we must return to our beginning foundation: God!
Purpose: When the U.S. left Godly paths and principles and wrote and legislated God out of existence, we merely gained prodigal freedom. If we are ever to regain Godly freedom, we must return to our beginning foundation: God!
Once upon a time…
(Tell the narrative of the prodigal story with special emphasis on the highlighted sections of the passage.)
NLT Luke 15:11-32
11To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: "A man had two sons. 12The younger son told his father, `I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. 13"A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money on wild living. 14About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. 16The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. 17"When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, `At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! 18I will go home to my father and say, "Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man."’ 20"So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21His son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.* ’ 22"But his father said to the servants, `Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. 23And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, 24for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. 25"Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27`Your brother is back,’ he was told, `and your father has killed the calf we were fattening and has prepared a great feast. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ 28"The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29but he replied, `All these years I’ve worked hard for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the finest calf we have.’ 31"His father said to him, `Look, dear son, you and I are very close, and everything I have is yours. 32We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’"
This story reveals to us the heart of the dilemma that we find many individuals and much of our nation in today.
We have abandoned real freedom for a phony imitation.
Look at this new $20 bill (US currency). We pay for things with money. The color of money used to be green, but this has some red and blue in it now. The moneymakers put some things in this bill so you would know it was genuine. [Show each security feature.] One is this magnetic strip, another is the watermark of the person’s face, and another is this two-tone ink on the number twenty. It is green at this angle, and gold at another angle. If you present this as payment, anyone who receives it can tell it is real. Some people try to cheat and make fake money. The money they make on their own is called a counterfeit. It’s fake! It’s phony!
Why settle for something phony when you can have the real thing.
“Phony” has very little value.
“Phony” has very little substance.
“Phony” has very little worth.
The story that Jesus tells us regarding the father and his two sons teaches us a great deal about FREEDOM and how to know if we are living lives that have only found phony, fake and counterfeit freedom or are we living lives that have found REAL freedom. This story’s application can be made not only to your life and mine, personally, but also to the life of our nation.