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June 19, 2020 3:08 pm
In this Father's Day message, my friend, Pastor Jim Bachmann talks about a story we all know ...from a different perspective than most have heard.
Rev. Jim Bachmann is the senior pastor of Stephens Valley Church in Nashville, TN. He's been our pastor and friend for more than twenty years. You can livestream Stephens Valley and also access their archives.
Caregiving is hard enough. It's harder alone. It's even harder without an assurance of God's love and provision. This message strengthens my heart, and I believe it will also encourage yours.
Hope for the Caregiver is the broadcast outreach of Standing With Hope, a 501(c) 3 organization. Donations are considered tax-deductible by IRS laws.
Turn now to Luke 15 consider one more familiar parables probably mostly a parable that our Lord ever told you know it as the parable of the prodigal son. I think a better title might be the parable of the loving father because by the end of the narrative. It is most assuredly the father's love and the joy and forbearance that really takes center stage.
Lord, thank you again for your word.
We pray that your Holy Spirit will be our preacher and he will lead us into truth that he will quicken us touch our hearts soften us use this blessed us. We pray, thank you for the power of your spirit to grant illumination and regeneration and so we pray that you will work in us today. Mold us and make us after your will. While we're waiting still Christ our Lord, we pray.
Luke 15 beginning in verse 11. He said there was a man who had two sons, the younger of them said to his father.
Father give me the share of property that's coming to me and he divided his property between not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had journeyed into a far country.
There he squandered his property in reckless living when it spent everything a severe famine arose in that country and he began to be in the so he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country you sit in sent him into the fields to feed pigs with longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate. No one gave him anything when he came to himself, he said, how many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread but I perish or hunger. I will arise and go to my father and I will say to him. Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.
I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
Treat me as one of your hearts are in the arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion and ran and embraced and kissed and the son said to him. Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, bring quickly.
The best role put it on, but are waiting on his hand, and shoes on his feet and bring the fattened calf and kill it and let us eat and celebrate for this my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is, they began to celebrate Noah's older sons in the field and as he came and drew near to the house.
He heard music and dancing, and he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant and he said that in your brother has come.
Father has killed the fattened calf because it is received and back safe and sound that he was angry and refused to go in.
His father came out and entreated him but he answered his father look these many years I have served you never disobeyed your command that you never gave me a young goat that might celebrate with my friends.
When this son of yours came, who is devoured your property with prostitutes you kill the fattened calf said to him soon. You're always with me. All mine is you. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad this your brother was dead and is alive. He was lost and is all flesh is grass and all its loveliness, like the flower of the field. The grass withers, flower phase, the word of our God stands forever. I can back up just for a moment and confess to you that when we began the service with the assertion quarter earlier the Lord be with you and also with you. I couldn't help but remember the story of what happened in an Anglican church some years ago where the minister who sadly was rather unpopular and seemingly more unpopular with each passing week, stood up to begin the service with the assertion quarter. But as he spoke those first words Lord be with you. He realized the microphone wasn't on and so he tapped on it in the blade with it and they look for the on off switch and and any finally realized it wasn't here but over there, sound engineer, and the sound engineer will assist state and city turn the microphone on it just the moment the minister was heard to say there's a problem with this thing and the very well-trained congregation responded immediately and in unison and said and also with you.
There is a problem with the father's these days too many fathers. I'm afraid some fathers are too severe. Some fathers were too lax. Some fathers are too distant, not engaged with their families, summer two unspiritual, some are all of the above, we come to this familiar parable, we come to a father who initially looks to be a great failure. Destiny seemed like he had a lot of problem. But as we look closer and as we come to the end of the parable. The come to admire his love and his patients and his joy over the sinner who repented noted several things about the father wouldn't call them the best father.
We all want to be the best father will fail.
That way, but we should set our standards high aim high. See how well we do with God's help of course. First of all, he trusted the Lord.
Verse 13. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country. There he squandered his property in reckless living part of that verse 12 younger son said his father. Father give me the share property that's coming to me and he divided his property between we cannot always prevent our children from making mistakes going in this boy are probably young man actually made a mistake, that he made a big mistake live at home with no longer good enough. He rejected his father's leadership all of the father had done for him. It didn't matter.
He wanted out.
He wanted his share of the inheritance, and he wanted his share of the inheritance and now he was not willing to wait until his father passed away as would've been the normal custom.
We went to his father with an ultimatum with the demand and surprisingly, the father consented. No debt with a broken heart, because he knew his son was heading in a very bad direction noise that will widen the father just sort of man up, step up and left little boy in his room refused to let him go. Why, given his share of the inheritance.
Was he not aiding and abetting the sons rebellion prep so consider this, why does God allow us to run and make a mess of our lives. Did you look back on your life and say always got it stop me. We should lock me in my room before I made such a mess of things. Why did God let Jonah run for a while.
Why did he left Peter did not him three times. Don't you know Peter regretted that what he let Paul kick against the pricks think it's fair to say that sometimes God allows us to run to teach us our folly and to show us our need of him doesn't doesn't he allow us sometimes to try our very best to try so valiantly to prove that we can do it to ourselves that we can indeed be the masters of our faith in the captains of our soul only to show us in the end, how incompetent we are and how desperately we need is that once apart from me you can do nothing. This boy might've been at home with his heart was already a long way from his father's heart. So the father granted the request and in so doing trusted the Lord that all the good seed sown in his life up to that point would one day bear fruit hard thing to do for most of us are control freaks that we as parents. The hard thing to let go and trust the Lord particularly when we see our children heading down a bad path deal Lily once was asked to go preach prison and he did and after after reaching the visited some of the inmates one by one. He asked the man what what have they done and one after the other said things like I had a bad attorney. The judge wasn't fair jury didn't get all the information I was framed one excuse after another, and finally Moody came to the one man who had his face buried in the same net man said simply. My sins were more than I can bear. Moody said thank God for that and had the joy of leaving that man to a saving relationship with Christ, the son had to come to that point the sun had to be broken and the father had to trust the Lord. Somehow the Lord would work even though he knew his son was heading down a bad path, godly parents, father's so good seed water that see in the end must trust the Lord at his appointed time to bring forth fruit and sometimes a lot of pain before that fruit is born.
Secondly, the father was a safe man. Verse 20 and he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion and ran and embraced him and kissed you that's probably the clearest one of the clearest statements of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in somewhat disguised form you find anywhere in the Bible look at the father heal son arose and went to his father. But while the boy was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion and while the sun running to the father is the father running to the sun and embraced him any kissed him and his left party celebration.
How much joy is in heaven over one sinner who repents.
I don't know more than over 99 who need no repentance lists of the sun had essentially come a point where like the inmate. He said my sins are more than I can bear. But the question was where his sins more than the father could bear. That was the important question he didn't know was it safe to go home or not with the father have the front door lock to the front gate locked we have a we have sleeping cherubim with flaming swords guarding the entrance would be there intellectual boy he didn't know.
So there was some risk in going home, that's only and therefore he rehearsed his speech depressed is like a bridge of my practice a sermon. So he practiced his speech. Verse 18 I will arise and go to my father now set in. Father have sinned against heaven and before you no longer worthy to be called your son.
Take me back as a hired servant you ever practiced a speech before you can practice in your speech before you came here today because it wasn't anything at stake see people in your go say hello how are you etc. etc. when you practice the speech of the one you do it when you want to get it right in the something important to be said and maybe your little bit nervous think all of things would apply to this boy he wanted to get it right, you little bit nervous about going home but you know what, more importantly, he was hungry.
His repentance started in his stomach and made its way to his heart. I know man one time of rehearsed speech was very first date. Rivertown has to girl out and he was so nervous this back in the day payphones and remember those things and it only parents to hear so EA walked some distance to the payphone and he had a little piece of paper with an easy everything he was planning to say how he was going himself and lead into the big question. You know, would you go out and every conceivable response that she might make with will exactly what he would say in response to her response control free. One thing you can count on. She said yes. I wonder if the prodigal son counted on the father saying yes! He ran to his son and embraced in many gifted is that what the bathrobe on this boy in a ring on his finger a part of this family and shoes on his feet feel that fattened let's have a party to always safe to come to the heavenly father please understand that no matter how how far a country you and I may have journeyed to matter how far we may have is always safe. He will in no wise cast of those who come to him in faith and repentance the sacrifices of God are a broken heart broken and contrite heart he will not. This he delights to show mercy. He loves to forgive Charles Spurgeon once said, God is more ready to forgive than we are to see how ready are we to sin more ready than would like to come very naturally for us. He loves to forgive this father trusted the Lord when things seem pretty bleak. He was a safe man to come home to finally facility they love extravagantly already mentioned this with mentioning again. Verse 22. The father said to his servants, bring quickly. The best I just printed best put it on and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet and bring the fattened calf and kill it, unless he can celebrate this my son was dead he's alive again. He was lost and is beginning to celebrate the spare no expense. He was so thrilled to see you soon. In verse 31. We pick up this interesting subject of the other brother verse 31.
Father send them son, you're always with me and all nine it was fitting celebrate and be glad for this.
Your brother was dead, he was lost and is usually a two product you have one prodigal yet to prodigal's and those of the parents of you are trying or have tried to raise multiple children.
I see smiles on their faces. You know how challenging and how perplexing it can be. How often are they all happy at the same time we decided we had 3/5 happy when I'm here this morning. We had three get to heaven here this morning. Student we had 3/5 happy at same time. That's pretty good baseball terms were betting 600 nobody bats 600 this father betting 500 one out of two was happy. GK Chesterton once in the family is like a little kingdom, like most little kingdoms, is generally in a state of something resembling anarchy.
We just got back from the beach last night we had 2020 people with this five children, nine grandchildren and laws, girlfriends, etc. if you look to Kristin's forehead this morning. You might think there was some anarchy the self-inflicted wound to seek tried to teach the grandchildren to do a back flip and the pool a lot of a bit too shallow and so right. I'm completely innocent of that guilt guilty of a these editorial comments is a great week. Actually a lot of fun together and we stayed in separate units, which was a good idea.
We were in the same complex units, but we did it together sometimes and we had all 20 in our place. One night, some by turbulence abusing people started dancing in the YMCA song YMCA song came on where all I am see anything and it was referred exciting, but I'll bet you a if we do stay another day or two a better than some anarchy there was anarchy there was anarchy here and lick 50 there was some serious anarchy and it was so human, so typical, so had to be so strange understand this father is his prodigal son. It just come home and he was so happy, maybe ecstatic is a better worker.
He was beside himself with joy and that celebration triggered rebellion from the older son and complaining all the years I have labored for you.
You never even gave me a two prodigal's father had two motions at the same time, he had this great joy. This delight this ecstasy.
This euphoria the same time, such exasperation, such frustration even maybe despair but he loved both of them extravagantly and unconditionally. He was strong and he was solid and he was committed and to the one he said put the best robe on and to the other. He went out and entreated him party pooper. He was a father will not entreated him and said son everything I have is in so doing this father furnished. I think a beautiful picture of our heavenly father who isn't stingy with his left toward us.
He isn't frugal. He is extravagant and there's a party in heaven over one sinner who repents it makes are YMCA dance look puny in their grief in the Godhead when we rebel we grieve the Holy Spirit and that Holy Spirit begins to speak to us and worked on us and plead with us and treat us in Bacchus and some of us and command us to repent and seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near and through all the roller coaster of emotions that we know all too well. His parents now I will speak for God. I don't know if he has that same roller coaster of emotions are not know is brief Holy Spirit. It's great.
I know there's joy in heaven. Through it all he loved so faithfully and so extravagantly and gave his son for us while we were busy rebelling while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the waitress to come home.
He came after us and loved us and gave his son for euros 15 years ago this month that Pres. Ronald Reagan and that a private service at in Simi Valley, California. His adopted son Michael spoke and among other remarks he might do something wonderful.
He said you knew my father as governor and president of Emma's day only tell you little about my dad. Ronald Reagan adopted me and his family in 1945 I was a chosen I was the lucky one and all of his years.
He never mentioned that I was adopted either behind my back, or in front of me. I was his son, Michael Edward when his family grew to be two families. He didn't walk away from the one to go to the he became a father to both Patty and Ronnie always tomorrow lean my sister and myself. We look forward to those Saturday mornings when we would pick us up. Sitting on the curb on Beverly Glen as his car would turn the corner from Sunset Boulevard and we would get in and arrived at his ranch and play games. He would make sure it always ended in a tie. We would swim and ride horses or just watch and cut firewood.
As years went by and I became older and found a woman I would marry Colleen. He sent me a letter about marriage and how important it was to be faithful to the woman you love the edited PS you'll never get in trouble if you say I love you once a day. I was so proud to have the Reagan name to be Ronald Reagan's. What a great honor.
He gave me a lot of gifts as a child horse car a lot of things but there is a gift he gave me that I think is wonderful for every father to give Everson last Saturday. My father closed his eyes for the last time I realize the gift that he gave to me the gift that he is going to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He had back in 1988 on a flight told me about his love of God is love of Christ is the Savior. I didn't know then what it all meant. But I certainly certainly no I can't think of a better gift for a father to give us hope to honor my father giving my son Cameron and my daughter Ashley that very same gift he gave no one where he is this very moment is very day that he's in heaven. I can only promise my father's dad when I go I will go to heaven to you and dad, my sister Maureen went before us, we will dance with the heavenly host of angels for the presence of God father in heaven. We ask your help that we as fathers and mothers as families and as a church family would always be directing each other, to our Savior who has loved us so extravagantly sought us when we were strangers who is safe to come home to does not despise a broken and contrite heart, so give us grace when we hear you softly and tenderly calling us to come home prodigal's that we are by nature, give us grace to come home give us grace to serve you honor and worship you to love you with all of our heart just as you first loved us so extravagantly and as fathers and parents and mothers help us to trust you and her children go astray and continue to bear witness to them, knowing that your your seat is good.
See, and your word never returned, so use us all. We pray to bring glory and honor the one who loved us and gave himself for us, even while we are proud Jesus Christ our Savior