Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began."

Luke 15:11-24 (NLT) 

 

We were sitting in our home in Las Vegas on a Friday evening and one of our daughters was in an awful mood. Actually I think I started the whole thing by asking her if she was prepared for her radio show at 10a tomorrow morning.  

Yes, I am occasionally that parent who bothers you with the details of life.

What we were facing now was a total meltdown. Add to that her mother had asked her to put away her clothes. After her mother saw the meltdown she added, “come on there are only a few clothes.”

I had not noticed her get up from the pile in the floor and drag herself into the laundry room but I did hear this:

“I HATE IT WHEN YOU LIE TO ME! YOU SAID THERE WERE ONLY A FEW CLOTHES AND THERE ARE LOTS OF CLOTHES!!”

At this point I had a Dad moment. I rose up and counseled her to go to her bedroom and sit until she could be in a better mood.

After about 10 minutes I was feeling bad so I went into her room (after she unlocked the door that is).

She was sitting on her bed face to the wall. I sat beside her and put my arm around her. I told her “honey you know I love you and even when you are upset, angry and have a poor attitude I still love you.”

To which she responded “Why do you always have to say that it is so annoying”

My Daughter was not comforted by my love she was annoyed by it

The point is: My daughter was not comforted by my love she was annoyed by it. 

It has been this way with us and God from the beginning. God always wants a relationship with us and we sometimes want one with Him. But more often we want controlled visits with Him.

His love is always consistent even when we are hard to love and difficult to be around he puts His arms around us and tells us He loves us

And it is so annoying!

Isn’t it?

From the very beginning we read about it. Man decided he did not want God to find him because God cramps his style.

8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:8.9 NLT)

From the time my children were old enough to talk they would regularly invite me to spend time with them.

 

-Hey dad look what I made

-Hey dad can you answer a question

-Hey dad talk to meeee

-Hey dad can we go to the mall and spend your money. (but I digress)

 

So for the most part if my children and I missed a day a week or anytime at all together it was 100% my fault.

 

I was too busy

I was too tired

I was upset, lazy not interested

The saddest thing I could ever think of in the world would be if I wanted to spend time them but they wanted nothing to do with me. 

BECAUSE OF OUR SINFUL NATURE…

OUR default reaction to God’s love is not for us to be comforted but to be annoyed.

And yet from the beginning God made us to LOVE us.

There is a story in the Bible that paints this picture beautifully. We read it in the beginning of this message.

But after what we have discussed to this point maybe you can hear it again with fresh ears.

It’s the story of a father who had two sons. The youngest son approaches the dad with a request
“Dad I been thinking about something… obviously when you die I am going to get a part of your estate as my inheritance.”
“And what I have been thinking is, it probably does not make that much difference to you whither you give me that money now or when you die.”
“As I have been thinking and planning my future the one thing I know for sure is…
I DON’T WANT TO STAY HERE
I don’t want to stay on this farm I want to get out of here see the world all that.”
“But and here’s my problem:
“I can’t leave now because I don’t have any money”
“So I am sort of stuck here I almost feel as though I am waiting for you to die.”
“I know that sounds rude but you know what I mean…
And so I was thinking if you could give me the money now I could go ahead and start my life.”

In other words, what he is really saying is…
“YOU KNOW DAD WHAT WOULD BE REALLY GREAT IS IF I COULD HAVE YOUR MONEY WITHOUT HAVING YOU.”

The Father should have slapped him but instead the Father agrees to give him the money at that very moment.
The Son says “thanks dad, well I guess this is goodbye”
The Father says “I really hate to see you leave and I will miss you everyday”
The young son leaves and heads down the road…
At first the young son is really happy. He goes to the big city and enjoys doing all the things he wanted to do before but felt his father would disapprove of him doing.
Back home on the farm he had always felt uncomfortable around his dad much as Adam and Eve when God came to visit them in Genesis 3.
He knew his dad loved him but his dads love was kind of annoying.
But now he is really enjoying himself and this goes on until he runs out of money and unfortunately for him, he runs out of money about the same time as a recession hits.
So out of money, hungry, exposed to the elements he is desperate to find a job.
And as luck would have it the only job he could find was as a day laborer on a farm.
So low is the wage at this job that it is not even enough to feed him.
In the Text we see he starts to look at the slop the pigs receive as food to try and satisfy his hunger.
Finally, one morning he has an epiphany:
“Wait a minute here, I am working on a farm and my dad has a farm.”
“The guys who work for my dad make a lot better money than I do here.”
“Obviously I have burned the family bridge my dad would never have me back as his son but I wonder if he would at least have pity on me and hire me as one of his servants.”
With that plan in mind he heads back home back down the very same road he traveled to get where he was now.
And the Text tells us that the entire way home he is rehearsing his speech for his father:
“Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
The text tells us that when His father saw him still a great distance off he recognized him as only a father would have and he ran (it was undignified to run in that day) to him and grabbed him and began to kiss him.
This was unexpected by the son and he does not know how to respond so he goes into auto pilot and begins to recite the speech he has committed to memory…
“Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you..”

What is so incredible about this part of the story is if you read the text closely the father does not even acknowledge hearing the son’s speech.
The father is busy giving instructions to his servants for the welcome home party.

I could say this story relates to your life but that would be inaccurate.

THIS STORY IS YOUR LIFE!

Every person listening to or reading this message is a son or daughter who has said to God…

“God, what would really be great is if I could have your money without having you.”

I’ll take all this great stuff you created for me, food, drink, sex, art, fresh air, the Grand Canyon, Chic fil a…

I actually think I could enjoy all your gifts more if you were not around.

The only difference between any of us in this room is “whither or not you have run out of money yet”

The prodigal son did not come to his senses until he ran out of money

That is the question for you

HAVE YOU RUN OUT OF MONEY YET?

Obviously I am not talking about real currency.

Money in this instance is a metaphor for

-Are you at the end of your rope?

-Have you exhausted your will to do it without God?

-Have you climbed all the ladders, attended the parties, conquered the things you thought would make you happy only to find yourself broken in spirit and penniless in faith?

No matter what you have done, where you have been, how bankrupt you may feel…

God does not want to hear your speech He just wants you to come home.

Isn’t that annoying?

Or isn’t that the most incredible thing you have ever heard in your life

 

Bring the kids and join us this weekend for our annual Back to School Bash Sunday August 21st at 10:30a. Bring a change of clothes for the kids as they will be having some water fun and getting wet. 

Bring the kids and join us this weekend for our annual Back to School Bash Sunday August 21st at 10:30a. Bring a change of clothes for the kids as they will be having some water fun and getting wet. 

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