Summary: Part 3 in series Return of the Prodigal, Dave continues looking at the younger son’s return to his father’s house, examining reasons why we settle for servanthood instead of sonship/daughtership.

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The Younger Son Returns

The Return of the Prodigal, prt. 3

Wildwind Community Church

David Flowers

February 27, 2011

First I want to say Happy Anniversary to my lovely wife Christy. She believed in Wildwind Church, and dreamed of Wildwind Church, and saw me as the pastor of Wildwind Church, many, many years before I was able to believe in myself enough to step up and do it. She motivates me when I’m stuck, inspires me when I feel lifeless, and stays close enough to me that I get to feed continually off of her energy and enthusiasm. She has been instrumental in turning our three sweet little girls into brilliant, compassionate, and confident young women. She has stuck by me through my problems with MS, worked me through college and grad school, and stood behind me through a huge change when I decided to stop being a record store clerk and became a pastor. She put her own aspirations on hold to stay home with our children, and then still completed her bachelor’s degree and became a teacher after Anna went to school, and then got through graduate school too. As most of you know, she’s a gifted singer, but she also has wicked good decorating sense, is a great cook, is the manager and organizer behind our family, and is an amazing seamstress. Best of all, she loves the kids and me, and loves God, and she is constantly growing in grace, in mercy, and in faith.

You all know her because she’s always up front, but I don’t often take the opportunity to publicly thank her for all that she is and all that she means to me. Happy 23rd anniversary sweetie. Thanks for being my girl since we were 17 and here’s to many, many more years.

We’re looking in this series at the prodigal son and last week I talked to you about his return. This week I’m going to talk to you about – his return. After all, the series is called The Return of the Prodigal. The story matters not because he leaves, but because he comes back. I wrapped up last week saying that the moment that young man decided that he would be better off at home in his Father’s house, he returned. That’s where conversion happened. That was a huge change of mind – a shift in his consciousness which up until that moment had been directed against his Father.

But it’s important to be realistic here. He did not have faith in the Father’s love. He did not say, “My father waits at home, hurting every moment over my departure. He’ll be so happy to see me.” In fact he says just the opposite.

Luke 15:17-19 (NIV)

17 "When he came to his senses, he said, ’How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!

18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’

All he wants is some food and a roof over his head. We don’t have any indication in this text that his motive is anything other than self-preservation. Clearly this boy goes home because he has nowhere else to go. Sounds downright Biblical to me –

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