Summary: We are living in a loveless, fatherless generation, and God is wanting to give us a new and fresh revelation of the unlimited, extravagant love of God the Father!
THE UNLIMITED, EXTRAVAGANT LOVE OF GOD THE FATHER
(April 2006 - Sunday am at Bible Fellowship)
Proverbs According To Kids: A first grade teacher collected old, well known proverbs. She gave each kid in her class the first half of a proverb, and had them come up with the rest.
As You Shall Make Your Bed So Shall You... Mess It Up.
Better Be Safe Than... Punch A 5th Grader.
Strike While The... Bug Is Close.
Don’t Bite The Hand That... Looks Dirty.
A Miss Is As Good As A... Mr.
If You Lie Down With The Dogs, You’ll... Stink In The Morning.
Where There’s Smoke, There’s... Pollution.
A Penny Saved Is... Not Much.
When The Blind Leadeth The Blind... Get Out Of The Way.
There Is No Fool Like... Uncle Eddie.
OPENING SCRIPTURE: This morning we celebrated communion together. “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13).
We are living in a loveless, fatherless generation, and God is wanting to give us a new and fresh revelation of the unlimited, extravagant love of God the Father! (My story - alcoholic father, raised in a single parent family, never knew ’dad’)
OPENING THOUGHT: At our Ministry Training Institute a couple of weeks ago, a vision from the Lord: “Love” written on a banner, a young girl running through a field. “He brought me to his banqueting table, and his banner over me was love.” (Song 2:4).
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:14-21).
THE UNLIMITED, EXTRAVAGANT LOVE OF GOD THE FATHER:
Prodigal - Rashly or wastefully extravagant: Giving in abundance; lavish; unsparing generosity
“1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, "This Man receives sinners and eats with them." 3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying… Skip down to verse…
11 Then 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 falls to me.’
Notice the approachability of the Father! He was an extravagant and generous father!
So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, (he was far away from God) and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living… Skip down to verse…
17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ’How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants." ’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him* and kissed him. (*as in the New Living Translation)
21 And the son said to him, ’Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ’Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Unlimited, extravagant love of God the Father:
If another family came, they would kill a chicken, if they had many guests, a goat or a lamb. But to kill the fatted calf? That was done only if the whole village was invited!