Summary: Lost People, God's Heart, Rebellion, Legalism
GROWN UP CHRISTIANS – Learning to Love Like Dad (Father’s Day)
Luke 15:1-3; 11-32 (pg. 729) June 21, 2015
I’ve shared this story with you before, but on Father’s Day I’d like to share it again, and include something I haven’t shared with you. When I was 10 years old I came home from a basketball banquet at Southland Christian Church and while playing with a chemistry set I spilled rubbing alcohol over myself and it ignited from a fire from a little lamp. I ended up being burned over 50% of my body with 3rd degree burns. My father heard my screams and extinguished the flames with his own hands and arms. He bore the scars until the day he died.
I spend 2 ½ months in the burn unit at St. Joe hospital. I turned 11 there, that’s a long time for an 11 year old...especially before video games, Netflix and ipods. My mom read to me every day...Bible Stories...and the Hardy Boys Mysteries.
SHOW HARDY BOYS PICS
I loved Frank and Joe Hardy. I left that hospital room in my mind to join them on each mystery. The Tower Treasure, The Crisscross Shadows....They lived on a lake and many times they would take their boat, named The Slueth on the adventure. I love the water...I love fishing...I love adventure..It was one of the distractions that helped save my life.
On the day I had my skin graft surgery my mother helped me to the hospital window. And from the 5th floor I could see my Father driving around a boat towed behind his car. On the back of the little boat was its name (misspelled lol) “The Sluth.” My father wanted me to have hope for future adventures before the surgery. And I believe because of God, stubbornness, and that hope I survived.
It’s no wonder when my father died at 79 he still bore the scars of those burns on his hand from 35 years before...and Billy Kerr did what any funeral director would do...He hid that badly scarred left hand under his right...The moment I saw it I asked Billy if he would put the scarred hand on top...The reason...I wanted everyone to see how much my father loved me.
Like many of you I miss my father to this day...I feel a burden for those who never had a dad who towed boats, couldn’t spell, and had scars made from love. He helped me be a better man and gave me an example to follow...which most importantly included a very real relationship with Jesus...It’s one I still think about every day in this amazing adventure we call life.
As we grow up in Christ as children of God and joint heirs with Him for eternity we also have an example to follow...ironically He has scars on his hands too...And when Jesus encounters the criticisms and grumbling from the “religious Pharisees” he tells them a parable...a story about “Learning to Love Like Dad.”
And it’s a lesson that teaches us some important priorities...first:
I. PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN POSSESSIONS
Jesus is the most amazing teacher that ever lived...and to deal with his frustration about “religious” people criticizing His intimacy with “sinners” he tells three stories...one about a lost sheep...one about lost money...and finally one about a lost child.
And without a doubt Jesus intentionally creates an increase in importance with each story...sheep are important possessions...money pays for essentials and much more...but even grumbling religious people should understand that people are much more important...especially if it’s our son or daughter.
“There was a man who had two sons” and instantly each listener personalized it...I’m sure if you have children like me you do...
“I have 2 sons (Ricky and Tyler)
and 2 daughters (Cyndi and Karissa).”
The listeners of this parable did exactly what you and I would do...think of these faces...The younger one and the older one! People are always more important than possessions.
If you lose your keys...it will frustrate you...If you lose money on the stockmarket you will get mad and change stockbrokers...but if you lose a son...it will break your heart.
This is exactly the lesson Jesus was trying to teach, but even more than telling this story...it’s the reason Jesus came.
In Luke 19 verse 7 people were muttering again about Jesus going to the house of a tax collector name Zacchaeus...but Zacchaeus is changed in the presence of God’s son...He commits his money where his mouth is and resolves to go above and beyond making restitutions for his greediness. Jesus says “Salvation has come to this house...for the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” (v. 10)
Zacchaeus was a lost son...and it took a seeking Savior to return him to God’s family.