Summary: This sermon talks about buildning stronger relationships with your Father (Heavenly) and your Family.
How to Build Stronger Relationships
TEXT: Luke 15:11-32
“Then He said: ‘A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.’’ And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring a fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots; you killed the fatted calf for him.’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”
The story has three main characters in it. You know who they are.
The Prodigal Son.
The Pouting Son.
The Persistent Father.
You know the story. The son who asks for his share of the money and then takes off. The money is spent. He ends up feeding pigs. He returns home only to find his father waiting for him. But do you know what the story is really about?
1. God is concerned about your relationship with yourself.
I like in the story of the prodical son that he comes to the point in his life where he comes to himself. He figures it out. He is living in a pigpen when he could be living in his father’s house.
All of us need to come to ourselves. We need to figure out where we are.
In the story of the fall of man Adam has sinned. It’s interesting that when God comes looking for Adam He asks the question: "Adam, where are you?" Do you think that God did not know? Do you think that Adam had hidden himself so well that God could not find him?
Or was God asking Adam to do some self assesment? Where are you - really?
Let me ask you - where are you really? Is there guilt? Is there bitterness? Is there shame? Is there unconfessed sin? Do you really think you can hide it from God? Come to yourself - do a self evaluation - where are you?
2. God is concerned about your relationship with Him.
He doesn’t care about how far you’ve gone. He doesn’t care about what a mess you made with you life. He doesn’t even care how bad you smell. He cares about the relationship that you have with him.