Summary: This is a story of a son’s repentance and a father’s great love and forgiveness. I hope that in hearing this familiar scripture that your hearts will, once again, be filled with the type of joy and happiness that only God can provide.

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This morning God has laid it on my heart to deliver a message from the gospel according to Luke. This is a parable that you have likely heard many times before, and surely will again.

It is a story of a son’s repentance and a father’s great love and forgiveness. I hope that in hearing this familiar scripture that your hearts will, once again, be filled with the type of joy and happiness that only God can provide.

It is familiar scripture and an often preached message, yet I wonder – Do we ever get tired of singing Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, or The Old Rugged Cross?

11. And He said, a certain man had two sons:

12. And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

Now the Bible does not tell us why this young man chose to ask for his share, or portion, of the inheritance he would receive when his father died.

We do know that according to the customs of the time, the oldest child became the owner and the master of the father’s house and property upon the death of the father.

This was the younger son and, perhaps, he was jealous or envious of his older brother. Perhaps he thought it just wasn’t fair! And, perhaps, he wanted to journey to another land and earn his own fortune, have his own servants, and be master of his own home.

But for whatever reason he may have had, this young man requested his portion NOW, of whatever his inheritance would be upon his father’s death. He didn’t want to wait for it! He didn’t want to continue to live in the family home. He didn’t want to work in the family’s fields any longer. He had made up his mind that being surrounded by his family was no longer important to him. He had things to do, places to go, people to see.

In this day that you and I live in now, we are much the same in many respects. We often do not want to wait until the timing is right to obtain good things. It’s been given a name, Instant Gratification!

Sometimes, we see a friend driving around in a fancy new car, and we say to ourselves, my car sure is looking older these days, think I’ll pop on over to Honest John’s and see about buying me one of those fancy new cars they have there.

We go over there having decided that we can afford $300 a month for car payments. We tell ourselves that’s our high mark, the most we can afford to pay.

Honest John comes over chats with us awhile, and asks us what kind of payments that we’re looking for and we tell him. Then we find out that the $300 per month car doesn’t have Air Condition, power windows and doors, that neat Stereo we wanted so much, and what? No sunroof?

Honest John keeps on talking and the next thing we know we’re driving off the lot in that new car that has all the luxuries we wanted, but the car payment is $400 per month, not $300. Wooeeeee!! But I can’t wait to see the look on my neighbor’s face when I come driving up in my new car. He’ll have a heart attack right there in his driveway! So what if I really can’t afford this now!

In the days of old, certainly many years before I was born, ahem…people used to save their dollars up until they had enough to go and buy a new television, stove and refrigerator. Now it seems all we really worry about is how much available credit we have left on our Visa Card, because we want what we want NOW!! Such was the case with this younger son.

As a parent myself, I am very sure that this son’s request grieved his father very much. So many times as we watch our children grow, we see them making the same mistakes that we made as children ourselves. We KNOW that their decision is wrong! Our experiences in life have taught us that all that glitters is not gold. The grass is not always greener in the other fellow’s yard.

We hope and we pray with all our heart that our children will learn from our mistakes, that they will listen to our words of wisdom, gained thru our own personal experiences, and will accept our loving advice. But the reality is that most of the time; they have to learn for themselves.

If there’s anyone here this morning that has never been burnt by playing with matches or touching a hot pan or stove; or been burnt their tongue by drinking a beverage that is too hot, raise your hand now, I want to meet you! Anyone? Okay, so we’ve all been burnt, so answer me this. Is there anyone here this morning whose parents never told him or her “be careful? That ‘s hot! You’ll get burnt!” It seems that it’s the nature of man to have to learn the hard lessons of life by trial and error.

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