Summary: The father paints the most beautiful picture of forgiveness for all of us to behold!
• VIDEO CLIP (After clip, then go to PowerPoint’s)
• SLIDE #1
• God gives us some DIFFICULT stuff to do at times.
• Of all the things we are called to do as a follower of Jesus and quite frankly as a decent human being the thought of having to extend forgiveness to someone who has betrayed and or hurt us has to rank up there as one of the most difficult.
• As we listened to Katie Hamilton talk about what her husband had done and that her minister had the nerve to suggest to her that she forgive her husband says a lot about how much that man cared for her and Josh.
• It says a lot for Katie to be able to actually forgive her husband.
• I stated when we started this series that it would be for fun to just skip to the father and to the issue of forgiveness, however; I hope that after we looked at what the two sons did to their father we will gain a deeper appreciation for act of forgiveness the father extended to BOTH of his sons.
• Of the three different pictures we will have looked at, selfishness, jealousy, and forgiveness, by far the most beautiful is forgiveness.
• I think most of us would love to be able to paint some beautiful pictures in our lives. Each time we have the an opportunity to give real forgiveness to another person, we have the opportunity to paint a beautiful picture that other s will marvel at!
• Let us begin by looking at verses 20-21.
• SLIDE #2
• Luke 15:20-21(ESV) 20And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
• Let’s see what the father did to paint this beautiful picture.
• The first thing that needs to happen so we can paint the same beautiful picture is…
• SLIDE #3
I. Be looking to forgive.
• Remember a couple of weeks ago, the prodigal had finally come to his senses and realized that he sinned against God and his father, he was ready to come home, not as a son, but rather a servant in his father’s house.
• Now the father had every reason to be mad, to be vindictive, to be unforgiving, but look what happened.
• As the son approached the property, the father saw him while the son was still a long way off in the distance.
• Why did the father see the son before the son saw the father?
• It was because the father was LOOKING for the son, he was looking to be able to extend forgiveness to the prodigal! (Katie was not initially looking to forgive)
• Why was the father able to do this? Why was he looking to forgive the son?
• The son wronged him, insulted him, and humiliated him. The younger son might as well have slapped the father in the face.
• Now, how many of us would be so forgiving in the face of so much?
• The father was able to paint this picture of forgiveness because he had a correct attitude concerning himself.
• He knew the world did not revolve around him. He knew there is a God in heaven and it was not him.
• Many of us when we are hurt are looking for revenge, or we are for reasons to stay angry and hurt.
• This father knew that even though he was hurt, wronged, insulted that he HAD to look to forgive this young man.
• The father was so eager to forgive that he Ran and EMBRACED the prodigal BEFORE the young man uttered one word of repentance.
• What does that tell you about what the father desired to do; he was looking for the son to come home so he could humiliate him, or tell him he knew he would fail.
• The father was looking for the son because he simply was looking to forgive him.
• IF we are going to be able to paint the beautiful picture of forgiveness, we need to be looking to forgive and not be looking for revenge, or anything else.
• Next we see from the father that we need to…
• SLIDE #4
II. Have a heart for people.
• Until we have a heart for people we will never allow ourselves to forgive them.
• Whereas looking to forgive others involves us having a proper attitude concerning ourselves, having a heart for people requires us to have a proper attitude about others.