Summary: Looking at the message of the two sons who were prodigals. What should our reaction be?
Note: I listened to a message by Gregg Lauire on Hope for Lost Loved Ones
Title: Bring them Back
Text: Luke 15
Have you ever lost anything? The other day I thought I had lost my keys. For a few minutes we searched and searched, in the kitchen, living room, bedroom. Finally on the dining room table there they were under a bag of chips. Yes we have one of those places where you put your key rings. They are great if you use them.
It has been a few times at Wal-Mart where I went in one door and came out the other. I start looking for my car. Searching and searching. All these thoughts go through my mind, “What if someone stole it?” Then I remember, “Oh, I drove the van or other car”.
But probably the most horrific feeling is years ago when Hannah was around 3 years old. We took a trip to Six Flags. We were with some church people. As we left the picnic area, with the stroller. Carol and I were walking together. We both looked at each other and said, “Do you have Hannah?” In a panic Carol took off. Running back toward the shelter. By the time we had arrived there was a team of security and in the middle was this little girl crying. That was a very scary feeling.
If you were to ask us right before this we would have told you that we do everything we can to keep our children safe. We know where they are. We communicate as parents to make sure we keep track of them.
This must have been how the father felt in this story. He would have probably told you he was a good father.
Providing for his family. Following the instructions of the scriptures.
Bible Instructions on Raising Children.
The Bible give us some good instruction on how to raise children
Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Provoke – rouse to wrath, exasperate, anger. It is almost a forcing. I believe it is a reference to the old adage “Do as I say but not as I do”.
Paul gives us two challenges:
Training – instruction, preparation
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
So we are preparing our children for life. It is not our goal to create a dependency on us. I believe this is part of the provoking. It is our goal to teach them to live life.
Train a child is used as mother preparing their baby for milk.
Child – from infancy until adult hood.
Admonition – exhortation.
Create a thirst in your child for spiritual things.
I think this is where we raise them up to take joy in the Lord. To learn to listen to the Lord.
You can’t take them where you have not been.
When you have done everything you can
Luke 15 tells us the story of such a father.
And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood. (Luk 15:12)
This had to be hard wrenching for the father. He had done all he could do to raise his children up. Yet for some reason this son decided he was ready to go. The way he approached it was even worse. “I want my inheritance now.” “I wish you were dead so I could live my way”.
He leaves and lives an ungodly life. We could spend a whole message describing what could have went wrong. It brought him to a point of discouragement and despair.
But my favorite verse is:
Luke 15:17 But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
NLT 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!
This to me is the Holy Spirit waking up something in him that was dormant.