Summary: FORGIVENESS: Why Satan wants to boil you in your own juices and what to do about it.
In his book Capital of the World, Ernest Hemingway, tells about a father in Spain that becomes angry with his son and is soon estranged. The son's name is a common spanish name: Paco. Years of brokenness and bitterness take its toll and the man is beset with the greatest of grief from the alienation. He looks for his son Paco with no result. Finally, in desperation, the father takes an ad in the Madrid newspaper. It reads "Paco, all is forgiven. Please meet me at the newspaper steps tomorrow. Love Father." Hemingway tells of the father arriving at the newspaper and 800 Paco's are there to receive the fathers forgiveness. Oh, how we need that kind of forgiveness today!
Today we'll look at a common narrative in scripture that many have heard but is rarely applied: Luke 15:11-32. Most people know it as the "Parable of the Prodigal Son". I want us to reflect on a different title this morning "Forgivness lavished by the loving Father". As you turn in your Bibles I want you to think of a person that your struggling with in the area of forgiveness. With that person and hurt in mind, lets get a glimpse at how the "Original Forgiving Father" handles his wayward son. You may be surprised! Most of us desperately desire forgiveness but we grudgingly give and extend it. Let's see how to do it with those difficult circumstances. God's Word has the final word on the issue. Shall we take a look.
Most sermons you hear deal with the rebellious son. I submit the story is really about the "Forgiving Father". One of Satan's most hideous tools in his toolbox of misery is unforgiveness. It's hideous because its one of the most ugliest problems a person can have. Unforgiveness boils a person in their own juices. The unmet expectations, the frustrations, the bitterness, the anger, and the desired lust for vengeance will cook a person to the point of death. Vengeance will take people places they never imagined. If Satan can get you to be unforgiving he prevents you from re-presenting an attribute of God. That's right, when you model forgiveness you model a direct attribute of God! Let's learn from the forgiving father.
12 and the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me
the share of the estate that falls to me.' And he divided his
wealth between them. 13 "And not many days later, the
younger son gathered everything together and went on a
journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his
estate with loose living. 14 "Now when he had spent everything,
a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be
in need. 15 "And he went and attached himself to one of the
citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed
swine. 16 "And he was longing to fill his stomach with the pods
that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to
him. 17 "But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many
of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I
am dying here with hunger! 18 'I will get up and go to my
father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against
heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be
called your son; make me as one of your hired men. "' 20 "And
he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long
way off, his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and
ran and embraced him, and kissed him. 21 "And the son said
to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight;
I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22 "But the father
said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on
him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23
and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and be merry;
24 for this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found. 'And they began to be merry.
25 "Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and
approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 "And
he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what
these things might be. 27 "And he said to him, 'Your brother
has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because
he has received him back safe and sound.' 28 "But he became