Summary: This is the 5th sermon in the series "Life’s Challenge’s". This is also a Thanksgiving Sermon.

Sunday Morning November 18, 2001 Bel Aire Baptist Church Thanksgiving Sermon

Series: Life’s Challenges [#4]


Luke 15:11-31


1. We live in a country that is very unthankful and ungrateful most of the time. Our idea of the rough life is the remote control not working. There is many times in Scripture that we are told to give thanks to God and yet we seem to take these things for granted.

2. As we approach Thanksgiving, I want us to be mindful of why we celebrate this holiday. This morning we are going to look at Thanksgiving not from the view of how to be thankful, but from the view of what happens when we are not.

3. Turn with me to Luke 15:11-31.

I. Results

A. Selfishness (Luke 15:11-12)

1. We see that the younger son wants all of his inheritance now. He did not care if that was to be a problem for his family or not.

2. Notice how demanding and unconcerned for others he was.

B. Squandered (Luke 15:13-14)

1. The younger son took all of his wealth and wasted it quickly.


There are many young couples that as soon as they get married, they start trying to accumulate all that mom and dad had all at once. They are quickly out of money and then life becomes very difficult. What do they do now that there is no money and they are hungry? It was fun while there was money and things but when that is gone the fun is over.

Children are another example of this. If I give my children $.25, they immediately need to go somewhere and spend that quarter.

2. The younger son is now completely broke. All is gone.

II. Recognition

A. Losses (Luke 15:15-16)

1. The younger son has lost everything. He went out and taken a job that goes against everything he was taught.

2. To top it off, he was so hungry that he wanted to eat the pig’s food but he was not allowed to. As a Jewish person he wasn’t even supposed to be near pigs let alone eat after them.

B. Lessons (Luke 15:17-19)

1. Notice verse 17. “When he came to his senses,” Sometimes it takes us loosing everything before we remember what we had.

2. This younger son is now remembering how good he had it. In fact, he had realized that even the servants had it a lot better than he did. I can hear him saying to himself, “What have I done? I had it so easy and now look what I have become.” Sometimes we have to learn life’s lessons the hard way when we have become unthankful.

III. Reconciliation

A. Celebration (Luke 15:20-24)

1. This is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible. In verse 20 we see the father running to meet him. Now realize not only did he run to meet him, but obviously he was looking for him. The father did not run up and start yelling at him or telling how sorry he was, the father threw his arms around him and kissed him.

2. We also see that the father has a celebration for his son. Although his son offered to just be a servant, the father treated his as a son although he did not deserve it.

B. Commitment (Luke 15:25-32)

1. The older son comes into the scene and he is really mad. How dare his father throw a celebration for that “sorry” brother of his that has went out and destroyed his life? After all, his father had not thrown a celebration for him.

2. The father tells his older son of the commitment that he has made to both of his sons. The father did not focus on the fact that his younger son had been unthankful or wasted away all he had. The father focused on the fact that his son had returned.


1. This morning there are some of us here that are like the younger son. You have become selfish, greedy, and have wasted all that you have. The good news for you this morning is that the Father is waiting for you to come home. This is the only time in Scripture that you see God get in a hurry and He is in a hurry to see you come back to Him this morning.

2. There are also many of you this morning that are like the older son. You have been doing pretty well. You have not been running from the Lord, but you have become angry with God because He celebrates over those wayward brothers and sisters that come back.

3. Whether you are spending your time wasting all that you have and being unthankful or you are just mad because you didn’t get things like you wanted, which is being unthankful also, you are sinning.

4. This morning it is time for you to come home because the Father is waiting.

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