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Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to affirm to others that God looks for opportunities to lovingly forgive and rejoice at the return of his happy-go-lucky and wasteful child.

U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris, Jr.

West Fort Hood Chapel

First Worship Service since Iraq

”Men Program”

Killeen, TX

14 March 2010

Big Idea: The Heart of the Father Watches, Loves, and Rejoices at the return of his carefree and wasteful child.

Scriptural References: EAI (Expository; Application; Illustration); Forgiveness is the act of FORGIVING or the STATE of BEING FORGIVEN; Transgressions means acts of rebellion - defying God by crossing over the line God has drawn; Iniquity means inward crookedness, perversity; Sin means missing the mark, failing to meet God’s standard. Prodigal means addicted to wasteful expenditure; Pharisee means “separate one”. Psalm 32:1-6 (MSG) Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be— you get a fresh start, your slate's wiped clean. Count yourself lucky— GOD holds nothing against you and you're holding nothing back from him. When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. The pressure never let up;

all the juices of my life dried up. Then I let it all out; I said, "I'll make a clean breast of my failures to GOD." Suddenly the pressure was gone—my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared. These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray; when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts we'll be on high ground, untouched; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 (ESV); 2 Samuel 11-12 (ESV) –The Story of David and Bathsheba ; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (NIV) So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them….

I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: Luke 15:15-22 (ESV)

II. READ THE PERICOPE: Luke 15:15-22 (ESV)

III. READ THE TEXT: Luke 15:20 ESV (And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him).

IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to affirm to others that God LOOKS for opportunities to lovingly forgive and rejoice at the return of his happy-go-lucky and wasteful child.

V. SERMONIC THEME: “The Father’s Heart”

VI. INTRODUCTION:

Welcome to West Fort Hood Contemporary Worship Service! I am indeed grateful that you have decided to join us this morning in worship. We hope that you enjoy our Contemporary Style of worshipping.

God bless you! It’s my prayer that you will hear God’s compassionate voice of forgiveness; and see with your own – spiritual - eyes how God rejoices at the return of His happy-go-lucky (nonchalant, easygoing) and wasteful children today. Our message today is titled “The Father’s Heart”. The Father’s Heart is about FORGIVENESS.

It has been said that the definition of “TRANSGRESSION” means acts of rebellion. In other words - defying God by crossing over the line God has drawn. I can’t even count how many times that I have crossed-over lines that God has drawn. Yet, His grace and mercy allowed me to return to his loving embrace.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 1: Dictionary.com says “Forgiveness” is the act of FORGIVING or the STATE of BEING FORGIVEN.

a. Now, who can ever forget the Story of David and Bathsheba (in 2 Samuel 11-12)?

b. For don’t you remember, David – the Commander of God’s Army …

c. … - lusted after his Soldier’s wife, committed adultery, made the Soldier drunk,

d. … Had the Soldier killed, and then covered the entire affair for about a year?

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 2: As you may recall, David WAS NOT A YOUTH when he fell …

a. … into these sins; but, on the contrary, he was a mature man, …

b. … Ruling over a great kingdom which belonged to God.

c. For it has been said that Psalm 51 was David’s prayer of confession;

d. … But Psalm 32 is his Song of Forgiveness.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 3: Therefore, allow me to call your attention (once again) to our Old Testament Reading –

a. Psalm 32, as I re-read six of the verses. Listen to the Words of God …

b. … From the Message Bible as God’s Commander addresses FORGIVENESS:

c. … “Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be— you get a fresh start, your slate's wiped clean. Count yourself lucky— GOD holds nothing against you and you're holding nothing back from him. When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. The pressure never let up;

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