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April 15, 2022 6:00 am
Today is Good Friday and this weekend will celebrate Easter. The question I have for you is why why do you celebrate Easter what is it about this day about what we celebrate and what really makes a difference. That's will explore today face for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge church or Bible teacher for this international discipleship to start helping Christians what Christians for this program to support short series prison father strips message will help get the most out of downloadable to the broadcast tab of LivingontheEdge.org Listeners Special offer that looks Georgia for part two of his talk is he continues unpacking the lessons we can learn from the parable of the prodigal son found in Luke chapter 15. No, Jesus is given us quite a commentary because we tend to think of the those of the people that really need God. You have the really far away from God and other sex addicts and drug addicts in their atheist and they hate God and they blaspheme in and such are some of us were that Jesus is going. It teaches that the older son is actually as lost and as far away from God. The rebellion of the younger son keeps him away from God, but the self-sufficiency and the works mentality seek the young son what I want what my dad has. I just don't want my dad's authority. Notice the older son. His response is anger. I won't go in his recent pride.
I never disobeyed you his message. You owe me. I've been slaving for you is attitude bitterness and resentful. His motives exposed. He's just like the younger son he wants what the father has but it is not the father you know there's interesting.
No one went searching these are these are people that are steeped in the Old Testament the very early chapters of the Old Testament Genesis, or what Cain and Abel, are you your brother's keeper. The older son the Pharisee the religious person, the loving person he should name a kid you know what unit that dads weightman we got a family and this is this is not worked out. Don't go here. You're wasting your life. I love you dad loves you, come on back to the Pharisees of the day didn't do that.
They repelled religious people remember the reason he's telling this parable is because Jesus is hanging out with your religious people and he loves them and they feel comfortable around what we learn from the elder brother that very good moral religious people can be as lost as the most immoral center we learn that Jesus extends forgiveness to the older brother is the father goes out and he says he can come in. These Pharisees are plotting to kill Jesus and Jesus knows that anything it's still not too late. The father is gracious with your religious people and he's gracious with moral people out of your goodness and your morality. You keep God and obey. And then there's some lessons about fatherhood that we learn from the entire story and I have to tell you I had to learn a lot about being a dad for some of you the idea that all God as father you're sitting here going to yeah that's just like my dad. He was always around was carrying. He was gentle and a member.
He read me stories and but that's not many of you, my dad is a good dad.
He was a World War II vet Guam Iwo Jima Purple Heart killed thousands of people saw his buddies die. He was one of the few that made it out. He got deeply deeply damaged. They didn't do counseling banner in that kind of stuff that he came back in and and the way you you dealt with your pain then is that when you had those images comes your mind. He had nightmares into the last years of his life at 87 you had a couple beers and he felt better.
So like that was good medication and then unit five years later you have like four beers and feel better. Eight or nine years later.
You have eight or 10 beers and you feel better by the time I was in junior high he had about 15 beers before he got home from school the teacher and and then bottom.
I got high school Creek likeness supper, a member Saturday mornings he would even other guy would have two cases and they would each drink a case of beer and sit there all day and he love me was for me and cared about me was very functional and somehow he could get up and go to work in Hamlet was a good provider but but he was just absent, I didn't hear him say I love you and and heat the way his some of you have this you know the way he love me was if you get really good in your successful that's you be happy and so you really push me in sports and push me in school and and so I got good in sports. I got good in school but no matter what I did. I never measured up and then this is a long story but I I married this very wonderful beautiful woman who'd been through some great pain before she came to Christ and part of that great pain involved to little boys and so when I got married I had this wonderful experience. I had to have days of honeymoon I came back as a dad and I have 24-year-old. And God told us to go get prepare for ministry. I was sure I was going to be a basketball coach and I darted into grad school and note you to do this and so now you know within a couple years. We had 1/3 little one, and I'm thinking man alive.
I don't have a clue about how to be a dad and whether you like it or not, you parent where you were parented or you realize I never want to parent the way I parented into the exotic exact opposite and so I'd written a thesis once and it was really hard in the really long you been to grad school and so my next thesis that I had to write I thought I'm gonna write it on something I desperately need how to be a father. And if you have into grad school. What you know is make the title of your thesis as long as possible right you want to limit all the stuff you not to talk about to get it down to just a few little things so my thesis was the role and responsibility of teaching of the father of teaching values in the family. So what's a father to be with the father to do in the long story of it was.
I went through every passage in the Bible about a father or parenting, and I looked at you know the first five books in the wisdom literature in the Gospels and the prophets in and then I just asked two questions what what's his role. What's he to be what's his responsibility was he to do and I got all that really clear in the Bible was really clear up father is to lead keys to model the kind of life for his kids father is to provide you take care of people emotionally, spiritually, financially fathers, to protect and will you protect your family and a father helps give purpose and alignment and you're the biggest cheerleader of helping become what they're designed to be.
That's what that does.
And because my background in the social sciences I thought well I wonder mess with the Bible says, but I thought that other thesis was all about values and so I looked at all the social science literature in order to find out is your unique role of the father the kid self-esteem or self identity is the sexual development is moral development and are certain things up as you study this is sort of in my whole world of educational psychology and how people grow and think in all that in.
And so are certain things a woman does in the life of a child than a man doesn't do this very unique a man and a woman are have equal impact in terms of a child's self-esteem how they feel about themselves. Self identity.
The father has a very much stronger influence on the sexual identity in the moral development of a child, little boys, for reasons I don't understand understand what it means to be a man to be masculine from their dad and little girls understand what it means to be feminine.
By the way they're treated by their father and nurtured in a nonsexual way, and esteemed and the moral development of what's right and what's wrong that goes from ideas to something within they buy into the father has this unique power in his life and nurture the development that's God's plan. Every single person in this room has been deeply deeply impacted positively and probably negatively by your father or lack of father. In fact, if you you look at another set of research. The top 10 most problematic issues and all of the world are related to a father absent family direct correlation drug addiction, imprisonment, juvenile delinquency future divorce seat when people don't have a dad and have a clear picture of dad difficult things happen and so Jesus wants you to understand and what he gave to me was hoping your father I'll love you and is not based on your performance. I'll all protect you all provide for you all help you discover your purpose. I got a plan for what he wanted people to know is he's not a higher power. He's not some set of principles. She's not some rotating sense of what happens. Life after life. She's not an angry God is your heavenly father when he wanted people to learn how to pray. What did he teach them when you pray, say, our father used an intimate word.
It wasn't like father was it's it's it's the word of little children climbing to the lap of the father. That's who God is and I can tell you, you can know the what of Easter. God became a man, perfect life.upon the cross rose from the dead paid for our sins and never get why he wants to be your father wants to guide your life. Love you.
There's 45 implications and notice the first one in terms of what Jesus tells us about God is that you are exceedingly precious to God our father brought you in this room to just remind you that you let someone else about a way, it's not you are precious to him when you're doing good or your precious to him.
If you come to him you are precious to him. That's the story the wayward younger son mattered to God. The religious goody two shoes, who was actually jerks mattered to God to both of them.
The father said come in, come in second. Our willful rebellion keeps us from experiencing the father's love and provision and just just a quick word here I yeah I don't come from a Christian background and there's some of you, the people been talking to you about Jesus and down deep in your heart you feel like God just couldn't. I would never want to come clean with) and there's just their stuff in your past and stuff in your history and you just feel like you don't measure up in God. Once you know you have to measure up disgrace's gift.
He wants to not do this, this, this, and then start coming to church that read the Bible. Clean up your life, stop cussing quick drinking quite so much. You know, get off her prescription drugs quit logging on the Internet you know it's cheating on your taxes. Are you the list goes on and on. On right and then God will love you.
That's a picture but that's not the God of the Bible is his. I love you just come home and you know what I'm going to do something inside of you and see part of why we do really stupid stuff down deep that violates our own conscience is that were looking for significance and security in the whole of not being deeply loved just for who we are and God says you know I start filling that your your morality changes, but it doesn't change some list of rules changes out of a relationship because you love someone, the third observation is that the father is daily, waiting for you to come home which it would you shut down least like five words, God is not down on me. And if you're counting that six words, God is not down on me.
You don't maybe verbalize that but unconsciously you know why a lot of Christians don't pray very much. Who wants to pray to someone who's down on you. You don't measure up.
You not doing what you should you're lusting privately you got a problem over here. You make some bad decisions here, you feel like a failure over here your families rejected you over here and you just like I don't measure up. So who wants to go before a holy God and be reminded.
You don't measure up.
What did Jesus do, and what was the response of the father to a young son who absolutely did not measure up her robe or ring sandals celebration. See, we Christian what Christianity is become is become so warped as nothing more than moralism be nice, be a good person.
Follow some rules do good and to others. You can do all that and completely missed the point of why Jesus came and what he offers. He came to give you eternal life not eternal rules became that you would be connected to the father and he would fill the deepest needs of your heart and life and that you would be loved and he would transform you and he would live inside of you, and you begin to live his life out through you and actually cause you to be an agent or a conduit of grace and love. So you and care about other people help people to mentor a couple abortions and set a woman is been there for venture a couple marriages.
Someone has been there for some of been a drug addict or a sex etiquette site look. I was lost, but I'm found you. This is the father. It's the love of God that causes people to turn and change that we are world got all these religious people thinking that all the bad people are out there is not the God of the Bible. Fourth, art arrogant self-reliance keeps us from experiencing the father's love and provision in this is the older son and by the way, here's the danger you be careful, the younger son knows he's lost the older son has no clue most dangerous place to be in the world is to be a religious Christian or just a religious person who you've come up with your own idea of what God is like, and you've made your own little system and basic you always find people that are doing little bit less than you and you say I'm good. I don't need God's help, I will be my own savior and for Christians the characteristics of older sons or life is duty and obligation. You think God owes you a good life you down deep, feel guilty because you don't measure up. And you know you not to be doing this and I should be doing that you feel pressured right living. You think God is going to make things right. If you do right.
There's a quid pro quo. I do this I do this I do this you gotta give you good family good marriage and then you get really angry God when life doesn't go your way, in relationship to others older brother still superior their critical to prejudiced or judgmental or legalistic the champion justice, not mercy, and the propeller religious people about what you can be religious in your own little religion and most people religiously. I asked my hang out with lots of different people and oh yeah came from sort of come from Iran or came here Saudi Arabia. Here's where I came here so I came in all, I'm not. But people, the great majority of all the Muslims are not radical at all, and there are no more Muslim than most Christians are Christian I or or juice or Buddhist or Hindu's it's cultural cultural juke cultural Baptist cultural Catholic in and basically here's here's the mix.
No one really practices in it of things that your culture and when anyone would question like what is God like you to tell me.
And so you collectively say I can like this part of that group in this part of that religion is part of that religion is part of that religion and I was on the plane. The guy just the other day really need God.
Had a great conversation and he pulled out his iPad. It was all in Jewish and I still can remember little Hebrew and so he can't do the prayers I said so you to choose. Yeah I 30 orthodoxies no is a what are you doing this disperses if you got a blush. If you do this prayer we talked for an hour on the plane I said so. So what are you doing as well keep the Sabbath, but all the other stuff I'm not into and you know what I just appreciate his honesty. I meet Muslims all the time. Do you pray five times a day. Are you kidding me, but what happens.
What do you not forget when we go we go home to visit up with a scarf on if you ever travel to Middle East. All ladies come with a scarf on them to get on the plane right starts come off designer jeans coach bag Gucci kick. Here's what you need understand you can be as lost as a religious moral good person and as far from God as people in the ditch in Vegas because you've created your own God. You decided only what gives you the right where where you and all eternity. When did you create the galaxies. When did you say oh I like this into the meditation part of Buddhism is great in the golden rule from Christianity is good and you know like the discipline apart little Islam here Julie Sabbath and I think that fits in a I think I'll be Baha'i because you can be anything and you talk to people, and here's what you get. I don't have any need. I'm self-sufficient what self-sufficiency is arrogance and so the elder brothers didn't realize there lost so they can hear the Christmas story they can hear the Easter story they can hear about Jesus and its and here's that's good for you. Be a nice person you live a more moral hope things go well I have my set of rules. I have decided what I believe and why I'm existential I'm intellectually elite. I more sophisticated than that and we kinda denied all of time in history. And don't realize that Jesus came to say I'm not saying car and you have 35 or 50 or hundred different pictures comes your mind I'm saying God when I sing God the father. I'm offering eternal life and eternal life is to know personally, relationally, the one true God and Jesus Christ whom you sent and who doesn't need a father. Would you let me love you not signing up for a worldview not signing up for a set of principles you not signing up for a formula you're coming home. In fact, the very last observation from this passage is that Jesus made a way for all who would come to him to have God as their father. We have to come.
He made a way he died upon the cross and whether it's blatant sins or arrogant sins are subtle sins. You have a heavenly father that invites you and loves you. You know when you think of this and think what Jesus was talking about and the Pharisees are here in the young sons here in and all that, you know, the shepherds will I get it. The women of the coin they get it in what what could keep people and they really understand that their deeply loved from from embracing that level of for some of us in this room coming from for me. I still remember what what is it that could keep us from I mean this is like completely different than any worldview any religion. This is Christ.
This is a gift. This is life and us demonstrated there's a resurrection and historical proof in what could keep us from coming home and I read a story that reminded me of why true story it would happen a number of years ago.
True story of two people. One is David Thomas and the other is Rachel.
It's in Wales and a David Thomas had a neighbor name Rachel and the row 32 years old and a 32 they were engaged in about to be married and had a lover's quarrel must've been a very big lover's quarrel, and so they both went home that night and were alienated and late into the night. David felt like I really blew it on get on my part of it and he went and he wrote a love letter to Rachel and said I'm really sorry I ask you to forgive me for my markup. My part of the coral the road put an envelope and with the next morning and he stuck it under the door for the next 42 years, every single day. He wrote a different love note put it and stuck it under the door 42 years. I don't know if he just got old thinking. I'm not sure this is working took in 42 years to figure out whether he got up the courage so two people are living side-by-side. They have loved each other deeply, but deeply behind it. Really want to be together but for 42 years living side-by-side. Note note note note chapter 42 years gets the courage knocks on the door. Rachel opens the door. Their eyes meet.
He says will you marry me and Rachel says yes and it was in the paper they inviting people at 74 years old.
They're both being married for the first time you what. That's a picture of. That's a picture of a lot of people were God is here and you are here and he's been slipping note slipping out slipping out slipping notes and I love you I love you love you and you saying waiter me. I don't know and it's pride what Rachel it was well you know what I'm he on his part, but until he does this until he does that and inside she knew you what Jesus is doing today.
Behold, I knock at the door of your heart if any man or any woman would open the door, I will come in and live with you and you with me.
I will lead you. I will protect you. I will forgive you. I will be your God and you be my son you be my daughter and and and it's not just a spiritual decision or a moment effect look look at your notes.
This is what Jesus said when he was walking on the earth. Come to me all of you that are burdened are heavy laden, stressed-out, pressured and I will give you rest.
Has anyone kinda come to the conclusion that how you're doing. Life really isn't working, and then he goes on to say.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me and Edwards at the picture to oxen and Jesus is here and he goes this is about some little religious experience.
Hook up with me and let's do life together. Learn from me, I'll teach you how to do relationships.
I'll teach you how to forgive all teach you how to handle your money.
I'll teach you how to have joy I'll teach you everything because I'm all-knowing and all-powerful and all not just be with you all live in you and give rest to your souls. By the way, you don't have to get uptight. I'm gentle and lowly. I'm not an oppressive taskmaster my arm around you through this together. That's the for the why very privately ask where you had. Where do you see yourself in this passage you that younger son that's been far away from God and you feel like there's nothing you can do to ever measure up to God would reject you or you that older son that is been trying so hard and in your religious or your at least very moral and you feel like I don't really need God. Today is a special moment in your life and I have no idea how many more of these you get, but the special moment of today is that the God that created all that there is and made you sent his son to die in your place to pay for your sin and wants to offer you an amazing really unfathomable gift of eternal life, and that gift comes in the person of Jesus Christ and Easter is about not just his death paying for your sin but Easter is about the proof in the declaration of his victory over sin and death and Satan and saying to you I love you, will you let me be your father and so were ever you are, whatever you doing as is appropriate. I like you to turn your heart and mind and turn to your heavenly father and say God I want to recognize where I am and I fall short of being perfect. I'm not the man or the woman not the student that I know I want to be. The Bible calls that sin and I want to ask you right now in the name of Jesus to forgive me and cleanse me and come to my life make me your son make me your daughter today. I believe your death paid for my sin and today I believe you rose from the dead will you help me follow you now in Jesus name as you prayed that with me in your heart.
God intervened in your life.
On this day to forgive you to save you place a spirit in you now find the greatest Christian you know the best church that teaches the Bible open the Bible to the gospel of John and start your journey of walking with him and go to our website and there's some resources there that will help you as a new believer and we want you to know, congratulations and welcome to the family of God. If you prayed with Chip, we look to put a resource in your hands. It's called starting out right and it's absolutely free. This resource will help you gain a clear biblical understanding of what it means to put your faith in Jesus and that's our whole mission here Living on the Edge helping Christians really live like Christians. So let us help you get started in your faith journey.
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Sure, we heard from your wife Teresa who talked about our innate value to God through her series precious in his sight talk for a minute if you would about the connection between our identity in Christ and Easter. Dave, I just have to tell you I think there's an amazing Segway, as a new Christian. One of the very first verses that I memorize with second Corinthians 5 verse 17 if any man or of any woman is in Christ, you're a new creation the old things passed away behold all things become new and you have so often. I think we are good at telling the story of Easter right you know awesome, fully man and fully God, God the son died in our place, was buried, rose again the third day, and he's ascended into heaven, and we get that picture. But what we forget is it so that we have new life we have a brand-new identity were up brand-new person and I think we spent an awful lot of time talking about the story and the facts that is so important. But we forget it's the birthing of a absolutely new person and that's really what being precious in his sight is all about is I'm thrilled that we can offer this book and these affirmation cards during this season were really celebrating Jesus died for you.
You died with him. You rose with him, you are a new person with a new identity. Now the question is how do you live that out fixture. Well, I can't encourage you enough to get Teresa's new book precious in his sight, and a set of or affirmation cards that we've bundled together. If you haven't thought of it already. These resources would make great Mother's Day gifts for any of the women in your life. So be sure to place your order by April 29 to receive this bundling time for all the details, go to LivingontheEdge.org or call us at AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003, or LivingontheEdge.org app listeners to have special offers no great way to stay engaged and connected to chip in Living on the Edges with the chipping roadmap. You'll get free access to all of Chip's recent messages is message notes and much more. Not only that, but it couldn't be easier to call or email directly from the app will until next time, this is Dave Shirley say thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge