- Sermon Notes
A Father’s Love
Illus. My Girls
There are some loves that are just so pure and so special. It amazes me that God organized His creation and our nature in such a way that we could feel these echoes of His love, to get some sample of what it’s like to love like He does. You see, the love of a father is like that of our Heavenly Father but perfected and amplified to its greatest extent. It’s a love that goes deeper, wider, and further than we can imagine, and it is, for some blessed reason, directed at us!
It is powerful when you understand the love that God has for us. Knowing and accepting that love is transformative and life-saving. It is a child of God’s joy and pleasure to walk in the goodness and affection of the Father. So, as we strive to deepen our relationship with God, let’s take some time today to reflect on the quality of the Father’s love for us. We will divide this out using the prism of a popular parable.
Read: Luke 15:11-24
The love that this father demonstrated is so spiritually fruitful. Though the actions of the prodigal son my seem unlovely, his father demonstrated astounding grace and mercy, and a capacity to bless beyond his son’s dreams or expectations. That is our Father to a T. Even though we’ve sinned and lost our way, even when we’ve broken everything beautiful in our life, His love is available, undiminished! Life has many shiny things to sell one’s soul for, but there is only one source of perfect love and true life!
I. Don’t Choose The Wrong Treasure
- In this parable, Jesus introduces us to a family, a father and two sons, and right off the top the drama begins.
Luke 15:12 “The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’”
- That’s a bold request. The son was asking for his inheritance, which you will note is usually distributed after the parent’s passing.
- It was not unheard of, but it was unusual for a father to settle his estate before death (HCSB Study Bible). Couple that with the fact the son got as far away from the father as he could as soon as he could, and you have a pretty loud message.
“Dad, you may as well be dead to me.”
- That would be a painful message for anyone to receive, and yet, the father gave the son what was allotted to him. This was an act of great generosity. This father was a good man with selfless love.
- Why would anyone ever want to reject such a great father? How could someone choose to insult and abandon love like that?
- It’s a good question for us to ask ourselves because it’s very easy to find ourselves guilty of the same.
- Why do we choose the flesh instead of the Spirit. Why do we put our treasures in the world instead of the Kingdom? Why do we accept the grace and mercy of God, and squander it with more sin? Why do we accept God’s blessings, yet reject God?
- The son saw the wealth of his father as a greater treasure than the relationship he had with his dad, then he squandered both. We must not make the same mistake!
- You see, we have a great inheritance as children of God.
1 Peter 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you
Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
- We share an inheritance with Jesus! An inheritance of life, love, and the presence of God!
- The blessings of our Father are no replacement for the very source of blessing Himself! If you choose your inheritance instead of a relationship with God you will end up with neither.
Matthew 6:19-21“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
- Let us store our value where the Lord is. God asks for our heart, so we must put our treasure in Him!
- If we do that, we get the true measure of our inheritance, more of the Father. We must not forget how great of a joy that is.
II. Remember The Father’s Goodness
- Well, the son has a lesson to learn, and he heads off to a far land and squanders all of his money on “loose living”.
- This carries the implication that he was living it up with the pleasures of the world.
- Eventually, when hard times come, and he runs out of cash, he finds himself at rock bottom: feeding pigs –a shameful job for a Jewish man—and reminiscing about all that he left behind.
- Sometimes we don’t understand the value of something until we don’t have it anymore.
Illus. Go Away!
- I hope we can be quick to remember the goodness of our Father. That when we do wander and squander, we would quickly recall what we left behind.
- The Prodigal thinks back to the blessing of his Father and decides it is better to be a servant in His house, than to be without him.
- I don’t know where you are at in your relationship with God this morning, but if you have known Him, let’s take time to remember His goodness.
- The joy He gives, the life we find in Him, the peace that washes over us, the sweetness of worshiping Him, the comfort of His Word, His mercy when we mess up, the great hope that He engenders in us all!
Philippians 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ
- Knowing God is our blessing, His love is our portion, our greatest gift.
- When we lose sight of this, we can find ourselves in strange places, drained of the life, joy, and peace we ought to have.
Illus. Remembering the way
- Remembering the Father’s goodness sets you on a path back to His house, back to Him.
- This is part of why the Lord is continually encouraging His people to establish reminders for themselves of God’s goodness.
Illus. From Joshua to Jesus.
Psalm 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
- We should be continually drawn to the Lord, to our place with Him. If we can keep His goodness fresh in our memories, it can help us to never wander too far.
III. There Is No Greater Love
- After realizing what he had abandoned, the son sets off toward home, with the hope of living as a servant in his father’s household. And when the father saw his son coming up the road, he ran to him!
- What a heartwarming response! How quickly the father blew past any resentment or hurt pride. How quickly he moved to embrace his son again.
- When we find that we have wandered from God, we can take great comfort in this image. It’s as if all we need to do is turn back towards God, and He will rush to bring us back into His arms!
- And it goes beyond simple forgiveness. The son only hopes to be brought in as a servant, but the father insists that he would be welcomed as a celebrated son. A child brought back from death.
- This is such a great allegory for the love God has for us, His children. It’s a love that exceeds all hopes. It’s a love that welcomes us back to life, even when we had died in our sin and stubbornness.
- There is no love as intense and powerful as the love our Father has for us. That he would choose to accept us, and grant us an eternal inheritance in Himself.
Ephesians 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
Ephesians 1:4-6 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
- We are chosen by God. Made to be part of His family, brought in through Jesus!
John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
- God demonstrated unmatched love for us:
As the Father by sending His son to die for us
As the Son by giving up His life to save us
- We went out into our sin, living by our brokenness, and we, in so many actions, told God “You may as well be dead to me.” And what did God do? He died…so that you could come back to Him and have your full inheritance.
- Church, we must value God as our true treasure, remembering that He loves us in an unmatched, undeserved, life defining way!
- Let us take time to remember the power and beauty of all He is to us, and all He has done for us.
And He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.