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May 25, 2021 6:00 am
If I ask you to describe God for me. What would you say to me how picture an invisible God, I mean more than naming his attributes like holy, just, loving, kind, what picture comes to your mind that would really get your arms around God really is.
If you're stopped stay with that today.
Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram Living on the Edges of international discipleship ministry in the Bible teaching up your bedroom or debris chips in the middle of a series, the prodigal as a perfectionist yellow family dynamics can trick this program.
Chip takes a look at a family the Capone described as disastrously dysfunctional.
The good news is he also tells us about that will inspire and encourage you to let's get going. Airstrip of the stock from Luke chapter 15 receiving grace by way of review each story. One big story talks about things to make one really big point. Each story has five things in common. Number one, something valuable is lost right a coin that sheep son, actually two sons number two and intensive search occurs.
I mean they are searching and really looking number three that which was lost is found. Number four a great celebration follows the shepherd causes friends. The woman calls her friends.
The father literally you can learn. It's a near Eastern village the entire village would come to this party and then for the spiritual application is explained. So each time Jesus talks about the value of one single center someone far from God, whether they're religious or not coming to God and enjoy the celebration, the party that happens in heaven. What we learn from the Paramore, the following things by way of review is that God deeply values irreligious and moral loss. People and part of the message is going to be. He wants us to deeply value in moral lost your religious people as were many of us, God actively is pursuing a relationship of lost people.
This whole story is Jesus again criticized his he's relating and hanging out and eating in loving and caring about third heaven rejoices when one lost person repents the value of that lost person exponentially increases the story keeps building to a climax sheep would be worth something.
The coin more in the sons far more the story and story number three represents the father is God. Jesus is going to completely redefine, especially for the Pharisees. This is what God is like. Instead of who you think is like the two sons depicted the younger son is the immoral center. The older son is the righteous or religious center, but both are far from God. Both are disconnected from the father and then, finally, both sons are equally lost, but not equally equally aware of the lawlessness. Now here's what I want to do on a walk-through our time with the younger son and I'm going to ask you to put on some new glasses and see the story if you had grown up in a peasant village in the Middle East at the time of Jesus. What you learn is that actually a lot has changed a lot of these villages because what you can see is when you understand if you understood the story he's going to tell would have never happened, it would have never happened. In fact, it was scandalous there shocked.
I will tell you as we began to open up the story. The disciples are over here with their mouth gone and the Pharisees are over here. Gone away because what Jesus is going to do for them and I pray for us. He's going to completely redefine what God is like left ear self left to myself. People left to themselves. We create in our mind and heart, a God who can never ever be pleased.
A God who will probably be holding out on us and that we can't trust a God who's not really good. And so we basically say I'm in control I'm doing life my way all build my security.
You know what I'll give some you know maybe a little of words and comments and yeah I want to believe in God. But when pressure comes I am in control. This deal is about me and my life and what I can do in our senses that there's some way. Maybe someday we can earn God's favor. That's hardwired into human beings and Jesus is going to destroy that. So what can we learn about the three main characters. First, the sons request pick it up in the verse 12 fear, the sons request.
He says to his father. I want mine now. This is completely culturally never done completely on unacceptable.
In fact, in this particular culture.
Even today, you never even discussed inheritance never even discuss it. In fact, I don't have time to develop it but the little speech about his dad. He phrases a number he uses three or four different words to get around the word. He doesn't say I want my inheritance.
Basically he says I want what's coming to me and he avoids that because once you get the inheritance.
Two things happen. You not only get the property and the money that's due you, but you also get the responsibility of taking over that part of the family.
When that happens he wants his stuff, but he doesn't want any responsibility. In fact, what he's really saying his sons messages. I wish you were dead.
This son is revealing his heart. He's rebelliously self-centered.
He's cruel and he's calloused he doesn't care about the father doesn't care how he feels. I wish you were dead. I just want what I can get and I wanted right now. The implications for the father economically and socially. This is where it gets interesting.
According to Jewish law. The older son got a double portion of any inheritance. According to Jewish law, you could get your inheritance.
You could possess it, but it wouldn't be repossessed.
Another words so you you could actually it would be yours but the father has authority over until he dies and then it's yours to spend so the sun comes and says I want mine now will first of all the men in the village when they heard this, there natural response would be taking out my taking out he's shamed the father he shamed the village. This is we don't want those kind of people here kicking out of the family banish him. That would've been the normal response. Father doesn't do that there listing the story on no father would do this second thing is happening is is that you know he didn't go down the bank and say what you need to cash in some of my 401(k)s or mate. What wealth was not liquid he had land and property. The generation after generation after generation had been given his family. Many had barns and then had livestock for this younger son to ask for this. Now he's squandering the future.
I mean, 20, 30, 40 years later when the father is going to die. I mean his estates going to be this big.
Not this big. And so he says I want it now. So he's the younger son so he gets 1/3 of the estate and the only way to get the third of the estate is the father now is completely embarrassed.
He looks like a fool. He's selling property. Isn't that your family property. Yeah, you get selling your livestock. Yeah you selling two of your barns yeah why I'm going to give 1/3 of all that I have, to the sun and not only that he can possession possess it, but I'm going to let them have it literally loaded phrase. Later, he gets his things together. The phrase literally means he cashed out and by the way he would be ridiculed. I mean he would be scorned. I mean people will be talking about do you believe this guy do you believe this kid, this is the most ruthless, selfish, narcissistic, funny people, so he's gonna sell it fast what what happens when you sell stuff fast right thing to visit you guys got firesale. You don't get you don't get a lot for it.
So he's completely discrediting his father so the father now economically huge implication socially huge, you fool, you should kick them out of the family. By all rights a rebellious son at this level, you might jot down Deuteronomy chapter 2118 to 21. A rebellious son. In some cultures in the law, you could stoning the fathers giving this son, the exact opposite of what anyone in this village could ever fathom any father would ever do.
He is a notorious sinner and his actions not be thinking about why is Jesus telling the story and who is Jesus hanging out with in one of these very religious people who know the Bible backwards and forwards and I mean they tied down to the to the men's and herbs. The father's unprecedented response shocked his audience. That's putting it mildly. They were absolutely undone and at this point they're not thinking highly of the father stupid foolish. What's he thinking he's violating hundreds of years of culture in our village. Finally, we learn not only about the young son who is a selfish, I'm in it for me. I'm going to be in control of my life, a father that doesn't seem to make sense to actually takes the shame on him instead of the sun and the now we have the older son shocking silence reveals he is a broken relationship with his father and a broken relationship with his younger brother at the very bottom. I put the book that I told you about a man who lived in the middle eastern culture for 60 years and he set off topic.
This message of Luke 15, thousands of times and when I get to this portion of it, and I say there is a rift in the family. The father and the younger son who should solve this and that. He said 1000 out of a thousand times.
The older brother. That's his job in the Middle East. You don't lose face. It would been the older brother's job to go to the younger brother and say what are you thinking you little idiot me. How do you think it makes dad feel, what you doing to the inheritance equity doing to me. You're making a laughing stock in the village now but there's no way you can get a dad I'm really really sorry your let me work something out and he would negotiate or he would put a pack together so that he could resolve this, the older brother was responsible as his role in the family because he's going to be the new head of the family is silent he doesn't care how his father is viewed and he doesn't care about his younger brother. So that's what we learn about the three main characters.
Now let's dig in and what can we learn about ourselves because the younger brother doesn't just represent these lost in moral people of that day. It's really a picture really of all of us left to ourselves and our attitude toward God the father and so you notice it says he went to a distant country.
We know from what he does it say Gentile area and he goes to this distant country and he's cashed out and that basically what he's done is he squanders all of the fathers resources. Now this is also very interesting me as I've studied. This is yours wonder you know his older brother says he you know I don't know if it was his his own thinking.
If I would've left. This is how I would've squandered it because we never know how it goes this son of yours squandered it with prostitutes and it certainly may be the case and historically at an immoral lifestyle seem to be a part of this but one of the other thing that's interesting is if you would go to a different land in this time to win friends and influence people. You would have parties you would want to be seen as generous you'd want to be that you want to get acceptance in your in this Gentile area. He's got a lot of money and so he's inviting a lot of friends and having a lot of parties and the probably pretty wild parties and everyone's alts great great great and he's the guy that's got the stuff and then pretty soon because they're all friendships based on note disguising to pay the bill will go party with them and then assess a severe famine comes in the word severe and famine is picture in your mind a compassion or world vision commercial with the little kids with their little tiny bodies and their ribs sticking out.
That's this and there was no government. There was no relief organizations. In other words, there's no there's no crops, and so he finds himself and in this culture, you don't help foreigners you take care of your own family.
Best and so he's out of money. He's in the Gentile world is a sort of big party lifestyle is upside down and now he's stuck and he goes through this sort of internal time of what am I going to do and so little of the phrases he hires himself out literally the word is he attached himself to a business person. There, the words used your problem with someone of wealth that even in the famine had resources and this Gentile doesn't want to help and so the picture here so if you have a Jewish boy. You don't want to help them but there's some sort of social obligation. What you do you give him a job that you know he can't do this is sorta like maybe some of you have experienced this, you a company decides they want to get rid of someone, but they don't want to fire them and so they give them a job that they know they'll hate were transferring you to Siberia, where going to have you united it out on the field. We would like you on the desk and the hours are from 6 AM because we actually it's actually from 3 AM to because we want to do work with another unit you just created job where the person goes this I can't do this liquid and that's what happens here. He's given a job it, it's absolutely the lowest point you could ever get at and these look at what the pigs eat in the notice.
He is a turning point in the turning point is interesting.
He comes to his senses, and I would like to suggest that the reason he came to his senses.
Was he was really hungry was really desperate and the memory of his father in the Jewish culture at the time there was a bondservant you read to the Old Testament. This is someone who served a master in there.
Such a love relationship. At some point in time. He says I never wanted not be your servant, and I literally would they would go against a post and it would take all and and they would drive a hole in a pretty ear ring and that would mean is a bondservant of part of the family and he just is on on the part of the family to be well taken care of and I never want to be sold. I never want to leave. Then there were other servants or slaves.
And then there were hired workers, the bond servants would often live in the house. The hired workers often live on the estate. The other servants and then they were the casual workers and this is the work he's referring to. These were people like you to go to a Walmart parking lot. If you go to a target parking lot and and people that are looking for work in the just kind of hanging out hoping that you know hey you need some help today.
That's what these people did. They got up every day. They lived in town didn't have any regular work. They were called hired help in what goes to this guy's mind is his father is good and kind and generous because he wouldn't have to do this but he takes care of the bond servants. He takes care of the slaves on the estate but these hired workers.
All they really deserve is hey look, here's your paycheck, but no no no no that they're treated like family. They eat plenty he takes care of he's now remembering what kind of man. His father is and he realizes at this point, and by the way, this is how a lot of us come to the father, skull, desperation may not love it if it wins some great holy moment we said you know what my life is so wonderful. I don't know if there really is a God, but I think out of the goodness and wonderfulness of my heart.
I think I will pursue the God that is that the matter is, we are high control people that tend to be very selfish by nature. We get it very naturally, you don't have to teach your kids to be selfish. You have to teach your kids to fight, you have to teach your kids to be greedy and when they grow up to become like us where we do very sophisticated ways we can actually look nice and sweet and still be selfish and greedy right you guys know like that too much of it is true and its it's when were desperate was when realizing of what I can't make this marriage work, or I you know what I've been to a lot of doctors in this and going to go away or you not tried this job this job this job and by now I thought I would be here and I'm here or I am struggling and I'm discouraged and I'm depressed and I'm trying hard to have a positive attitude and listen to self-help tapes, but it's just not working here this at some point where you find yourself next to a bed with one your children and I see you and you don't. If they get to make it and all the sudden the reality of what matters in life versus all the stuff all the junk and all the pressure and you cry out to God like never before and what's amazing is instead of being sort of consistent going well. I notice when things are going well.
You are talking to me much. You don't need a God whose arms are and that's what Jesus is trying to teach them. Part one chips message receiving race series article in the perfectionist chips exploring the elusive concept of grace. Helping us discover the depth of God's love so crucial to understanding that our failures are never final when we bring them to him. Chip brings Jesus teaching to life. Looking first at the heart of a merciful father and then his two sons one or prodigal, the other a perfectionist as you listen, you'll likely see a little of yourself in each of these guys. The question is are you positioned to receive the grace your heavenly father is willing and able to leverage on you.
We hope you'll engage the question and continue the journey by digging into the messages of the series of prodigal and the perfectionist to listen again or to check out the resource options go to LivingontheEdge.org call AAA 333-6003 or Special offers on the chipping roadmap hey I want to take just a minute to ask you something really important. If you been impacted by this ministry. Would you please pray about partnering with Living on the Edge in a new way right now. Nearly everything we do is dependent on contributions from partners like you are ability to reach people through radio online or are app sharing and developing small group resources, providing broadcasts that are international in Asia and the Middle East and literally dark places around the globe. Please pray how you might be able to come alongside and be a partner to Living on the Edge to help us reach people with the truth of God's word.
Thank you in advance for what ever God leads you to do. Thanks Chip if that mission resonates with you.
We'd love to have you join us helping Christians get a high accurate biblical view of God will change the world we live it, to give a gift today. Just give us a call a triple late. 333-6003, or if you prefer to give online you can donate securely by going to LivingontheEdge.org that's LivingontheEdge.org. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Well here. Strip with some final thoughts about this message. As we close today's program and think about what the father is really like what Jesus taught about his heart. You know that picture of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son what I want to ask you is this, is that when you mess up when you fail me when you know you've done something that's really wrong or God spoke to you and said I really want you to do this and you just flat out didn't do it.
Or maybe you find yourself in an addiction or you've really made a a moral lapse or your privately logging onto the Internet and you know this whole addiction with pornography. No one knows about.
We all have secrets, but your view of God will determine what's going to happen to the rest of your life if you think your guilt and your mistakes and your failure make you unacceptable to him. And because you don't feel like you can come to him.
It will keep you far away. Your life will never change. Today is a day where God gave you a picture of the kind of God that he is that when he sees your pain, your addiction, your lies, your stealing your adultery, your image management all the stuff that we humans have the moment you would come to your senses and say, oh God, I need your help. I want you to know the God of the universe that sent Christ, his son loves you is for you once to forgive you once to redeem you once to help you out. Here's the question.
Are you willing to come right now and say God help me. Are you willing to humble yourself and admit that you need help from God.
If so, tell them right now in your own words and then find the greatest Christian you know and tell them I just had a very serious prayer with God, and I think I need help on the path God will show up run to him. He'll greet you with open arms before we go. Let me remind you of an easy way to listen to our extended teaching podcast. Here Chip anytime on Amazon's Alexa echo and echo.just say Alexa open Living on the Edge and you'll hear that these extended teaching any time you want well for Chip and everyone here. This is the saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge