Summary: The Prodigal Son returns home; God’s grace is evident.
1. Leaving home begins with wrong desires.
Basic principle of life that actions come after desires.
Sermon on the mount; foundational statement of Christ’s ministry. He said, “27 “You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. 28 But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Actions come after desires. Son is going to leave home, but the leaving began with improper desires.
§ A desire for stuff v. 11-12
Ever been around a child with the “gimmees”? Some never grow out of it. Within the father’s rights to decide when to distribute the wealth – through will; before death. Gives the son what he wants. 1/3 of the estate. God is like this. Not going to prevent you from entertaining strong desires.
Younger son had a desire for stuff. How much stuff is enough? Big shock as a missionary returning: House they were going to build; car they bought or were going to buy; boat they had their eyes on…
§ A desire for self v. 13.
Nobody’s gonna tell ME what to do. Wanted to get out of a one horse town and find out what living is all about.
2. Wrong desires lead to wrong actions.
Foolish living – not the best translation. In fact, current language is a phrase that describes it: living large. Living large he spent it all. Bottom line: self was indulged. Jeremiah cries: The heart is deceitful … Let your heart guide you and it will guide you into self love, self absorption and finally self destruction.
Alcohol, drugs, new scourge: gambling.
3. Wrong actions bring about difficult circumstances.
God engineers circumstances to bring us back to Him – most are built into the actions. Sin has consequencences.
Alcohol, drugs: addiction
Sexual sins: at best, ill-timed and unhappy marriages; unwanted children or children who grow up in broken homes. At worst, addiction to immorality; gross immorality; sexual perversion; sickness and death.
This guy lost it all. Works for less than enough and the pigs eat better than he does.
4. Coming Home begins in waking up.
Lit: when he came to himself. God’s grace enters a life and allows you to wake up; to come to your senses; to realize the mess you’ve made of things. Wallow in it or…
Waking up must be followed by repentance.
Resolution v. 17-19
Action v–. 20
5. Coming home ends in the arms of the Father.
You don’t have to come too far to meet the Father. Didn’t get home. While he was a long way off, his father saw him. Implies what? Father was watching!
Every time you wander away, the Father is watching patiently for your return ready to extend grace:
4 illustrations: run, robe, ring, roast.
- God loves you and is in hurry to bring about your restoration.
- You are not a feeder of pigs who has to crawl into servitude. Robe of restoration: never lost status.
- No possessions – Ring of redemption. Remind you whose you are.
- No pig food. Fatted calf – special day.