Luke 15:18-24 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring[a] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;
24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
"I will arise and go to my father," said this son.
--His father was waiting and watching, "..saw and had compassion, and ran .. and kissed him" (v 20).
--Isn't that just like a loving, godly father?
--Jesus tells this true story to show what our Heavenly Father is like - merciful, forgiving, caring.
--For God is a model for all fathers. All people.
--And this is their day, Father's Day, to show love.
"Who is the greatest man in the world?" a classroom teacher asked the children?
--Quickly, a lad happily replied, "My Dad!"
--What a son! What a dad, the lad had! It's a goal.
--Even with our faults, let's be fathers God favors!
--I daily thank God for my good Dad, and family.
You know, we never miss them so much as when Dads or loved ones are gone. Take time to enjoy each other.
--So while you have your parents - or children - with you, show them all the love and honor they deserve.
Never forget the Fifth Commandment says, "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long on the land .. God is giving you" (Exodus 20:12).
--So that all become saved .. families God favors.
--So that homes may be a little heaven, on earth.
In Luke 15, Jesus speaks of three lost things.
--The "lost sheep" (1-7) - one lost of a hundred.
--The good shepherd sought it until he found it.
--The "lost coin" (8-10) - one coin of ten.
--And "lost son" (11-32) - lost to the father and to the Lord. One of two sons. Both loved equally.
--Anything - anyone - lost, calls for being found.
We can get lost - stray away like sheep - from God.
--Not just youth; but adults, into sin and neglect.
--This young son wanted his way, and inheritance now.
--With free-will, God let's us do it, but its wrong.
--A rebel son left father and home; went down hill.
--In order to mold us, God often has to melt us.
Soon this son had spent his inheritance; had nothing.
--With his money gone, his fickle friends were gone.
--"He began to be in want .. no one" seemed to care.
--He fed pigs. Ate with pigs. Lived with pigs.
--One day he "came to himself," to God, and to home.
--"I'll go hoome and say, 'Father I have sinned and am not worthy to be your son. Make me as one of your hired servants'" (v 21). Mark the son's repentance.
All the while his father was watching, and praying.
--Once he saw one walking on the road, likehis son!
--Dad stood up. Looked closely. It was his son!
--"His father .. had compassion and ran..and fell on his neck and kissed him." What a dad! Like God!
--What a welcome home to a son, now a different man!
The father said to servants, "Bring the best robe .. put a ring on his hand, and sandals on his feet. Get the fatted calf .. and let us eat, and be merry .. for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found" (Luke 15:22-24).
--That kind of dad is priceless, for he is like God.
Note what the father did not say. He didn't scold.
--He didn't say, "I told you so; what a mess you made of your life." Son got his "licking" in the world!
--Father had a right to, but knew it was wrong to.
--Rather he chose to forget the past; see a future!
--He chose to show a godly father's love, like God's.
Now the son was smelly. Dirty. Ragged. But loved.
--The Greek word means, "kissed him again and again."
--Genuine love doesn't mind one's looks or condition!
--It forgives! It restores! Seeks the best in love.
--That's the father, mother, child, that God favors!
The gracious way our Father-God treats us is the way we should treat our children - and they will theirs.
--If we live for the Lord, train them in His Word, it is most likely they'll turn out alright in Jesus.
--Everyone ought to know who Jesus is - as Savior!
We teach patience, being patient. Honesty, by being honest. Kindness, being kind, thoughtful, gracious.
--We teach love, by loving the Lord, and others too.
It never has been easy to be a dad, so work at it.
--Let the Lord Jesus aid. Seek His guidance, help.
--Dads, you are to be family pastor! And leader.
A teen son got in trouble, in jail, sent for his dad.
--Dad came. Son said, "Dad, I need your prayers!"
--He went on, "I've sinned. I need prayers, now."
--This dad in tears, confessed, "Son, I .. don't know.. how to pray," then added "let's you and me just now learn to pray together." They did; kept at it.
--What a wonderful change it made in that family.
What do we learn from the father of the Prodigal?
--That wayward son learned a lot from him; so let us.
THE "F" OF FATHER IS FOR "FAITHFUL." This dad was.
--All of us should be faithful - to God, parents, all people - and it requires a faith in the Lord God.
--As we live up to our faith, others will to theirs.
--To do this, dads and lads, moms and gals, need Jesus.
All our parents deserve our respect and devotion.
--God tells us to do so, to those who bring us up.
--Honor them while they live, and after they're gone.
May I ask, how is your faith? Is it in Jesus?
--Is He your Savior? Lord? He revealed the Father.
--Jesus said, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). "I and My Father are one" (10:30).
--Jesus died on a cross for our sins. "Arose again."
--Jesus tells us we "Must be born again" (John 3:7).
--The fathers - mothers, youth - God favors are those who repent, receive, and follow Jesus as Lord.
--Let's live our faith. Be faithful in all we do.
--The father of Luke 15 was a man of faith; let's be.
THE "A" OF FATHER IS FOR "ADMONISH" OR ENCOURAGE.
--How we need to encourage one another, to admonish.
--Kids need it, as much or more, than at any age.
--We all need it. Let's all try more to give it.
--People tell me, "I don't get encouraging words even when I try so hard to please," Say that word!
--Compliments, thank you's, well done, encouragement.
--Why are we quick to be critics, slow to compliment?
--Sports teams need cheer leaders. So do families!
THE "T" OF FATHER IS FOR "TEACHER." Parents teach.
--We teach by our life, what we are; what we say.
--What message are we giving out?
--I think this father taught well; did the son hear?
--Did that son learn? God's Word? His Commandments?
--God says, "Teach them .. to your children" (Dt. 5:7)
--Do it while you can .. before they are gone.
How do we teach? In family devotions, grace at meals.
--By reading the Bible together, and discussing it.
--By prayer times. Taking an interest, showing love.
THE "H" OF FATHER IS FOR "HELPER." Help in the home.
--Come on dads, let's do our part around the house.
--Do it willingly. Happily. Volunteering, to help.
--A good father is first of all a good husband.
--He remembers God's counsel to husbands, "Love you wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself."
I love that song, "There is beauty all around, when there's love at home." Love is ready to help.
THE "E" OF FATHER IS FOR "EXAMPLE." Live for Jesus!
--I believe this father lived for the Lord, so Jesus uses him as an example of God, and an ideal dad.
--In fact, his acts, words, and love are the proof.
--I pray this may be said of all dads. All people.
A proverb says, "Better to see once than hear a hundred times." We best learn, by watching an example.
--Folks, we are being followed. "Walk in God's way."
THE "R" OF FATHER IS FOR "RECONCILER." Peace-maker.
--This dad was reconciled to a wayward, "lost" son.
--He made peace with an unhappy elder son, at home.
--God's saved ones seek peace. Make peace. Live it.
--Jesus reconciled us to His Father, on a cross.
--He took our hand, and the Father's, to redeem us.
--Be reconciled to Him.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD. DD. 180