Summary: We are all prodigals and we all need to come home to our Father.

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Who is the Prodigal? Getting lost, getting scared, and coming home: How can we get back home to our Father? Luke 15:11-32 September 12, 2010

Background: Jesus made of point of hanging out with people on the wrong side of religion and that upset the religious people.

Jesus is telling stories about lost things. Lost sheep, lost money…lost son

These stories illustrate for us how God feels about people who are on the wrong side of religion, people who feel lost and without value.

A Certain Man had two sons – A real story - God’s story, our story.

I. Getting Lost – how do we get lost?

1. Now! We get lost when we demand our own way regardless of the consequences.

2. Agreed - God does not keep us from making our own decisions, even when it hurts him

3. Away - we get lost when we move away from the love and protection of our Father, to a world that we do not belong.

4. Wasted - God has an incredible plan for each of us, and without Him we are wasted

5. Spent - Sometimes we have to lose everything we thought was important to realize what really is.

II. Getting Scared – when we realize that life is a lot harder than we thought it could be, we start to get scared and start thinking about going home.

1. Desperate - we will do almost anything to survive when we are scared

2. Nothing - No one gave him anything – selfishness reigns in a sinful world.

3. Pay Day – when we run away from home, often the only pay check we get is a reality check, “What was I thinking?”

Why is it when you get to where you thought you wanted to be in life, you wish you could go back?

What about the Father?

III. Coming Home - how can we come home when we have ruined everything?

1. Remember – remember how good God is

2. Return – make a declaration: I will go home!

3. Repent – sin is not generic, it is personal

IV. The Father Who Runs

1. He Saw - God is looking right now for His sons and daughters to come home to Him.

2. He Ran - God runs to us!

3. He Kissed - God is not afraid to show affection

4. He Said - God declares our true identity with a brand new coat

5. He Partied - God throws parties for sinners!

V. Angry: A Self Righteous attitude is no better than rebellious sin.

1. With me: presence does not guarantee relationship.

2. Don’t expect everyone to be happy when you do the right thing

3. Knowing the Father is your pleasure - all He has is yours.

Conclusion: Who is the Prodigal? This is our story. This is my story. This is your story. This is their story. This is the Father’s story.

What is the point of the story? Is it to point out the failure of the son? Is it to emphasize the heartbreak of the father? Is it to point out the self-righteousness of the brother?

The point is redemption and restoration. The point is repentance and rejoicing.

God did everything to get us back - in fact, he sent His Son Jesus to get us back.

God lost his Son to bring his sons and daughters back to him.

The Father is waiting for us, calling all the prodigals to come home, running to us with grace in His arms, to throw a new coat on us, a new identity, and new name. Not prodigal, not loser, not sinner, not failure, not worthless, but beloved son, beautiful daughter.

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