Summary: This is part of a sermon series based on the Parables of Jesus. What's in it for me. This sermon is on the parable in Luke 15 - the prodigal son.

What's In It for Me? - Salvation

Some believe that if humankind is left to its own that the results will be positive and good. This was true once when God first made man but because of sin and it's destructive character there is no one who is righteous. When left to his own devices each of us becomes self absorbed and selfish. The consequence of this self orientation is always destructive.

Coming Home to God brings us to the salvation of our souls. It is the only path that does! In this parable we see a son who comes home - to salvation.

Luke 15:11-32

15:11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: "A man had two sons.

15:12 The younger son told his father, 'I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die.' So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

15:13 "A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money on wild living.

15:14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.

15:15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs.

15:16 The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

15:17 "When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, 'At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger!

15:18 I will go home to my father and say, "Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,

15:19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man."'

15:20 "So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.

15:21 His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.'

15:22 "But his father said to the servants, 'Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet.

15:23 And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, 15:24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.' So the party began.

15:25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house,

15:26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on.

15:27 'Your brother is back,' he was told, 'and your father has killed the calf we were fattening and has prepared a great feast. We are celebrating because of his safe return.'

Jesus was a great story teller Many of His stories (Parables) teach us about following Him. Most of the time we look at these stories we concentrate on the cost of discipleship In this series we are focussed on the benefits of following Jesus

Last week we covered the story of the "Dishonest Manager" Sagacity - a kind of shrewd wisdom. Take what belongs to the master and use it for others to insure your future. This week we will look at the story most commonly called the "parable of the Prodigal Son" A Prodigal is a person who is Wasteful; Reckless; Extravagant; Unrestrained; Uncontrolled -REBELLIOUS!!! - SINFUL!!!

There is a movie made in 1954 called "The Wild One" A young, tough, charismatice Marlon Brando was asked, "What are you rebelling against?" He replied, "Whaddaya got?"

This is the prodigal son. He was ungrateful, unappreciative, insensitive, self-absorbed, and completely egocentric. He is like a child of 2 years of age that believes the world circulates around his playpen.

The problem is not wealth… The money was his own inheritance. It is rebellious, selfish sin. It begins with the words, "I want…" and it ends with the word, "now".

This Story teaches us a simple and powerful truth. No matter how far we have gone - you can come back home.

What is lost can be "found". What is "trashed" can be "saved".

This wild young man made three critical errors in his thinking.

He thought he was missing something. Funny thing, in our culture "youth" is precious and old age is useless

The truth: youth is wasted on the young! There is a lack of knowledge matched only by arrogance and assurance.

It is hard to be young There is so much you haven't seen or experienced. Surely, you are missing something of value out there! Surely, all those who have gone ahead are trying to keep you from all the good things in life!

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