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Summary: If the Prodigal Son could sit down and talk with you today, I'm sure it would start with the declaration "If I Knew Then What I Know Now"...

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NTRO: 1. Sometimes I look at my kids and say “You just don’t know how good you’ve got it.

a. ILL. Wouldn’t it be great to step back to a time where…

Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo."

Being old, referred to anyone over 20.

Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a slingshot.

Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.

Hidden talents were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare."

Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute ads for action figures.

The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.

Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.

b. Only now do I truly appreciate the times I had as a kid.

c. We can’t go back and live life again, but our experiences can teach us how to go forward more wisely.

2. Experience can be a very expensive form of education

a. One writer: “Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.”

b. Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives you the test first, and the lesson afterward

3. We can avoid future regrets in our lives by simply learning from those who have already learned the hard way.

a. If we learn from the mistakes and the failures of others, we don’t have to suffer the experiences they have.

b. If we could interview the Prodigal Son this morning about what he learned in his experience we would run out of time.

c. He’d probably start by saying, “If I Knew Then, What I Know Now… things would have been different.”

4. The harsh reality is that for many of us, we can only learn from our failures, because we refuse to see things any other way.

a. A man by the name of Jerry Cook wrote a book whose title I love called, “A Few Things I’ve learned since I knew it all.” This could have been the title to the life of the Prodigal Son.

b. ILL. 1954 movie called “The Wild One.” A young, tough Marlon Brando was asked, “What are you rebelling against?” He replied, “Whaddaya got?”

c. Such was the attitude and spirit of the prodigal Son.

d. A ‘prodigal’ is a person who is Wasteful, Reckless, Extravagant, unrestrained, uncontrolled, rebellious and sinful.

e. This young man wished a thousand times he would have learned by listening, instead of by living.

5. Luke let us know that these parables where told to publicans, sinners, scribes and Pharisees.

a. This message is both for the sinners and the religious.

b. Even as believers it’s important to be reminded of the truths that this prodigal had discovered, lest we become like the elder brother.

c. You and I know that we are rebels. There is not one of us who can point the finger at another. We all have prodigal hearts. We all can relate the life of the this young man.

Is. 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

I. SIN IS OUT FOR YOUR INHERITANCE

a. Notice that it cost him his inheritance, that which the father had worked so hard to give him.


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