Sermons

Summary: Part I of a 3 part series, "How to spend an inheritance"

Title: A Prodigious Inheritance, Pt.1

Text: Luke 15:11-24

FCF: God has given us a remarkable inheritance; we must choose wisely how to invest it.

SO: Next week, I’ll be challenging the congregation not to rest on its laurels, but before I do that, I want to remind them of the riches they have in Christ.

Intro:

This parable is most popularly known as “the prodigal son.” Nowadays, the more scholarly literature likes to call it, “The parable of the Loving Father.” In a chapter of ‘Lost & Found’, it’s a better interpretation, (here’s why…)

But let’s face it, God is a lot harder to identify with than man. I want to focus on the prodigal son, The word “prodigal” comes from “prodigious” – abundance. This parable is about two guys who had a lot, and how they used it. Specifically, however, I want to focus on that abundance – what it is he had, and how he used. Next week, we’ll look at his elder brother…

What was the Prodigal’s inheritance?

I. Luxury

a. The obvious thing that money did for the prodigal was let him do things he otherwise couldn’t have done.

b. Problem: Money runs out, and our father wants something more for us.

c. Another problem – Money never satisfies (Prov 27:20 – Just as hell and destruction are never full, so to the eyes of a man are never satisfied.) Look at the proliferation of ‘makeover’ shows on TV – it’s just another form of advertising!

d. You want proof?

i. Define ‘Rich’. 12% of the world’s population controls over 80% of its wealth. Guess where we are! Rich = More money than I have!

ii. Let’s face it – more people need time than money

iii. And people want community more than time

e. Ultimately, you get to a point, where there is too much month at the end of the money.

II. Liberty

a. The hardest thing this father could do was let his son mess up – but it’s a part of growing up. Make no mistake, letting kids mess up costs you!

b. The comic of God in the Garden: I’m giving you free will, I want you to express your love for me by abstaining from… Oh, never mind.

c. Real character is hat you exhibit when you have the choice – You need to have liberty before you can love.

d. So, how do you want to use your liberty? (Story of Jack Welch)

III. Love

a. Money doesn’t forgive

b. Liberty doesn’t provide comfort

c. Only God’s love brings us what we really need – forgiveness and the chance to be accepted for who we are!

d. How are you going to use your money? Your liberty? I’d suggest, “If you love me, you’ll keep my commandments.”

Long Branch Baptist Church

Halfway, Virginia; est. 1786

Sunday, April 17th, 2005

Enter to Worship

Prelude …………………………………………………………..……… David Witt

Invocation …………………………………………………………..……… Michael Hollinger

Opening Hymn* …………………………………………………………..……… # 48

“Fairest Lord Jesus”

Welcome and Announcements

Morning Prayer ………………..……… Mr. Hollinger

Responsive Reading [See Right Side]

Offertory Hymn* …………………………………………………………..……… #266

“Search Me, O God”

Offertory …………………………………………………………..……… Mr. Witt

Doxology

Scripture Luke 15:11-24

Sermon Mr. Hollinger

“A Prodigious Inheritance, Pt. 1:

The Prodigal, the Parishioner, and the CEO”

Concluding Hymn #212

“Be Thou My Vision”

Benediction*

Congregational Response

Postlude* …………………………………………………………..……… Mr. Witt

* Congregation, please stand.

Depart To Serve

RESPONSIVE READING

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,

I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love,

I am nothing.

And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love,

it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect has come,

then that which is in part will be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;

but the greatest of these is love.

- 1 Corinthians 13

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