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Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to affirm to others that ONE OF GOD’S greatest acts of love is shown in how He forgives and welcomes the return home of his shameful and disgraceful children with open arms and loving gestures.

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18 March 2007

U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris

Fort Ord Chapel

Seaside, California

BIG IDEA: One of God’s greatest act of love is His FORGIVENESS OF SINNERS. .

References: Luke 15:1-32 (NIV); Psalm 32:1-11 (Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered …); Joshua 9:5-12; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; 2 Corinthians 5:17 (So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!); 1 Samuel 15:23 (KJV) For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king;

I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: Luke 15:11-24 (NIV)

II. READ THE PERICOPE: Luke 15:11-24 (NIV)

III. READ THE TEXT: Luke 15:19-20 (NIV) “I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men. So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

IV. PURPOSE: Motivate the hearers to affirm to others that ONE OF GOD’S greatest acts of love is shown in how He forgives and welcomes the return home of his shameful and disgraceful children with open arms and loving gestures.

V. INTRODUCTION:

Wow! We have just witnessed an awesome display of musical talent combined with ministry. Ministry that didn’t just occur to the young in our congregation this morning. But, musical ministry which addressed everyone regardless of their age. Please join me in giving these young men called, “Driven By Christ” another round of applause for having done such an awesome work of ministry. I’m sure their fathers are proud of them. Because it takes lot of work to get young men at the point of doing what we have just witnessed. Their fathers must be proud! Being a father is tough duty.

*****************Take 5 Beats******************

MOVE 1: Being a father of a teenager is even tougher duty.

a. Because, it’s a tremendous responsibility that is often time met with challenges of rebellion.

b. REBELLION that IS brought on by both A DESIRE TO BE INDEPENDENT AND GROWN. (Talk about your personal experience of Rebellion as a teen with your father).

c. In our scripture this morning, we find an example of SIN described as a REBELLIOUS SON taking a flippant stand AGAINST HIS LOVING FATHER.

d. For don’t you remember, Jesus had just finish instructing his disciples and the great multitude when the religious scholars and theological pundits (Pharisees and scribes) notice that tax collectors, prostitutes, thieves and crooks were seemly drawn to Jesus’ ministry.

e. They growled and complained that Jesus even fellowshipped with sinners.

f. Apparently they were not aware that God’s greatest act of love is best demonstrated through His gracious acts of “forgiveness”.

g. Therefore, Jesus shared three parables with them. First, he discussed the idea of a shepherd having 100 sheep and losing one sheep.

h. Yet, his love for the one caused him to leave 99 sheep in a safe haven to search and fine the ONE LOST SHEEP.

i. Second, you may recall Jesus talked about the housewife who lost one of her most precious coins.

j. And she turned the house upside down until she found the coin in which she lost.

k. Then to best illustrate forgiveness and the love of the Father, he shared the story about a REBELLIOUS SON.

l. The rebellious son in this story is the youngest of two sons.

m. But, you and I know that it’s not always the youngest who is the most rebellious.

******************Take 5 Beats **********************

MOVE 2: Sometimes it’s the “middle son,” and at other times it’s the oldest son. It can even be the only “son”.

a. The point of the matter is REBELLION is a sin.

b. For the Bible says, … rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. (1 Sam 15:23a KJV).

c. In our scripture this morning, rebellion is committed by the YOUNGEST son.

d. Jesus paints the image of REBELLION on the CANVAS of our minds from a Middle Eastern Cultural perspective. For don’t you remember, …

******************Take 5 Beats*****************

MOVE 3: He tells us of a son’s REBELLIOUS desire to become independent and to show that he has become a man early on in life, when he declares that he has had enough of staying home in obedience to his father and wants to be on his own.

a. Not only does he want to be on HIS OWN and leave home, but he also wants everything that belongs to him, and he WANTS IT NOW.

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