The Forgiving Father; The Lost Son; The Celebration

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Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-24 NLT)

11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 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.

13 “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. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 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.

17 “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! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

20 “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. 21 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.[a]

22 “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. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 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.

Last night was my first time preaching an expository sermon without any notes, just the text and having the Word of God from my heart. In order to do that, I spent a week of studying the Scripture that I will talk about. I did background studies for the book of Luke, Greek word study to understand some of the text well, and read three different commentaries regarding that scripture. Then, I had to fast for one day and just contemplate on the message on how can this scripture speaks to my audience.

I was doing fine but Friday night, a major panic attack consumed my soul. I was at work, and I felt so nervous, my heart was beating really fast, I was sweating even though it was a cold afternoon, and there was this enormous cloud of sadness that was lurking behind my spirit. I tried to relaxed because I was about to go home anyways, then when I went home, I stayed in my car. Listening to K-Love Christian Radio, and the song played, “How He Loves Us.” It calmed me, tears were flowing out of my eyes. The scripture that I was studying reminded me how HE LOVES ME.

There will be a time where people will never take us back. They will never give us the robe of distinction that I am free of whatever sin that I committed, the ring that gives me the same power and authority, and the sandals to identify myself as not a slave but a child that belongs to a family. But, I have a really good Father, a God that did something out of the Jewish culture tradition, willing to do something extraordinary, accepted a son that was disrespectful and sinner, and even gave him a party. God did that to me.

I am in complete mercy and grace, humbled by His amazing love. Last night, when I gave the message to these young people, I saw myself again. The person that was passionately in love with Christ. The person that God has called to preach the love of God. The person that was His own child. The person that is willing to make a difference in people’s lives. God placed me in Mira Mesa First Assembly for a reason. God is molding me into something that I cannot imagine. I am so unworthy but here I am with my heart and hands wide open saying, “I AM HERE, USE ME.”

Right now, I am just serving Him. Whatever I do, wherever I go or stay, I will continue to serve and worship Him.

If you are reading this, you are a part of this journey with me. Come along and pray with me. Come along and join me. Come along and celebrate with me. Come along because I have a Father that will take care of us. Let’s go!

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