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The Ungrateful Brother

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2021 8:00 am

The Ungrateful Brother

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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September 30, 2021 8:00 am

In this message from the parable of the prodigal, Adrian Rogers explains how our relationship with the Father is measured by our love for our brothers.


How can we measure what is on the inside? Welcome to Love Worth Finding, featuring the dynamic teaching of pastor and author Adrian Rogers. In Luke chapter 15, Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son reconciling with his loving father. However, as the passage continues, we meet his brother. Through this epilogue, Jesus reveals that the love of God that melts one sinner's heart can harden another sinner's heart. If you have your Bible, find Luke chapter 15.

As Adrian Rogers reveals what we can learn from the story of The Ungrateful Brother. And Jesus told this story. It's a story of two sons and two kinds of sinners.

One son, the story we're very familiar with, is the story of the prodigal son. He was a rebel. He was a renegade.

He was a rioter. He ended up penniless. He ended up shameless.

He ended up friendless. His were the sins of the flesh. But there was another son, a son that stayed at home. Outwardly, he was a fine son.

He worked hard. He kept his father's commandments outwardly, did nothing wrong that anyone could obviously see. And his were not the sins of the flesh. His were the sins of the Spirit. You see, there are some sins that are outward, and there are some sins that are inward. There are some sins that are sins of the flesh, but other sins that are inward. There are other sins that are sins of the Spirit. There are some sins that are gross sins.

There are other sins that are subtle sins. People pay more attention to the prodigal son than they do the elder brother. And you know why we don't pay much attention to the elder brother? And why you don't hear many sermons about the elder brother, the brother that stayed home and complained about the younger brother who'd been away, complained when the father lavished his love upon that younger brother?

Because we're so much like the elder brother. It's a love story, this 15th chapter of Luke, but you're going to find out that the love of God that melted the heart of one sinner hardened the heart of another sinner. The elder brother was outwardly moral, but Jesus in this story made havoc of his little list of virtues.

And you're going to find out that Jesus had compassion for that outward sinner, that man who was guilty of the sins of the flesh, but you're going to find out in the Scriptures that Jesus had white-hot words for those who were self-righteous, those who were guilty of sins of the Spirit and would not let go of those sins of the Spirit. Now ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you how our lives ought to be lived. First of all, there ought to be a pure, sincere, overflowing love for God. That love for God ought to lead to service for our Lord, and that service for our Lord ought to lead to great, wonderful, abounding joy. Love, service, and joy ought to mark our lives. Well, I want you to measure tonight your love for God, and I want you tonight to measure your service for God, and I want you tonight to measure your joy in the Lord.

And may I tell you several things. First of all, you may measure your love for the Father by your relationship with your brother. Put this verse in your margin. First John chapter 4 and verse 20. Here's what the wise apostle John said. He didn't beat around the bush, did he? For man say, I love God, and hateth his brother.

He's a liar. For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? Now there's some who would like to assume the place of a son without assuming the responsibility of a brother. My dear friend, you're going to measure your love for the Father by your love for the brother.

You see, you can't see God the Father, but you can see your brother. And so in a very practical way, that which we can see is that which we can measure. Downstairs in our church kitchen and many church kitchens, we have big coffee urns. They put the coffee or whatever the beverage is on the inside, and on the outside there's a glass tube that runs up and down. And you can tell what's on the inside by looking at that glass tube that's transparent.

And as the liquid goes up and down in that glass tube, do you know what I'm talking about? You know what's on the inside. You can't see what's on the inside.

But you can see what's on the outside. And my dear friend, your love for your brother is that which can be seen, which is the absolute measurement of what is on the inside. Now you would have thought that this elder son who was out in the field when he came home and saw that they had killed the fatted calf, they were having a party, they were dancing, they were making merry. You would have thought he would have said praise God, hallelujah. Our prayers have been answered. My brother has come home.

What a wonderful day! I wouldn't blame my dear old dad if he overdid the festivities just a little bit. But he wasn't that way. As a matter of fact, he was such a poor son because he was such a poor brother.

Do you know what I have in my mind? I really believe that this elder brother was a little bit jealous of the good time he thought the prodigal son had been having. That's what he really didn't get a chance to do. He's like that woman who prayed in a prayer meeting when there were only a few in the prayer meeting.

Lord be with us as we meet here with you while so many of our members are out there in the world having a good time. You know, this is the way he felt. But I'm telling you, dear friend, you may measure your love for your father by your love for your brother. If a man say I love God and hateth his brother, he's a liar. Whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? Now there's a second thing. You may measure your service to the father by your fellowship with the father.

Look, if you will, in verse 25. Now his elder son was in the field. That is, he hadn't been wasting his substance with riotous living. He was out in the field. He's working the ranch. He's working the farm. He's taking care of the flock, whatever it is.

He's in the field. And when I to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said unto them, Thy brother has come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf because he hath received him safe and sound.

Now watch this. And he was angry and would not go in. Therefore came his father out and entreated him. Now watch verse 29. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I see. I serve thee.

Neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment, and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that is a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. Now he's interested here in his service. And it's very obvious that he was a hard worker.

He was in the field. And he says to his father, and he reminds his father in verse 29, I have served you for many years. Now hear your service for the father by your fellowship with the father. This elder brother was what we would have considered a model worker. And yet he did not know the father's heart. He did not understand what motivated his father. I can just almost hear his mind working.

He's saying, you know, I don't understand what's wrong with my dad. We've never had finer crops. Look at the cattle, how sleek and fat they are. Look at the barns, how freshly painted, how large, how wonderful they are.

Look at all of the workers we have coming and going. Everything looks just so fine. I don't know what's wrong with my father. My father just seems to sit there. He never seems to be completely satisfied. No matter how wonderful the farm is, no matter how beautiful everything is, my father seems to have a faraway look in his eyes.

I don't know what's wrong. with my father. I'll tell you what was wrong with the father. He had a broken heart over a son that was away from home.

I want to ask you a question. Do you think God is primarily concerned about several hundred in a choir? Do you think God is primarily concerned about several hundred in a choir? You see dear friend Here was a man who was serving God without ever really knowing the heart of God It was simply legalistic service. Do you know what he was thinking? He was saying God Actually to his father, but the father here takes the place of God.

He was saying father. I Have served you and you haven't rewarded me correspondingly It's very obvious here that here was a man who was serving for reward His service was legalistic service and he missed his father's heart You see the Bible says for example about giving 2nd Corinthians chapter 9 verse 7 every man according as he purposeeth in his heart. So let him give not grudgingly nor necessity for the Lord loveth a cheerful giver What is not cheerfully willingly given? God neither needs nor wants We're to give out of a heart motivated with love you may measure your service to the father By your fellowship with the father if my dear friend you serve for reward It's not going to be long before you're going to be complaining that you're not being blessed sufficiently. And If somebody else is blessed more than you're blessed.

You're really going to be complaining But if you serve the Lord out of a love for God Not out of reward. You're going to be blessed indeed listen this Young man did not know what made his father's heart beat. He could have known He should have known but he didn't I'm going to mention one other thing different Not only are you going to measure your love for the father by your relationship to your brother? Not only are you going to measure your service for the father by dear friend your fellowship with the father? But you're going to measure also that third thing that I mentioned your joy with the father By your sharing of the father's burden notice again in verse 29 and he answering said to his father Lo these many years do I serve thee neither transgressed died any time thy commandment and yet thou never gave us me kid Do you see his finger in the face of his father yet? Thou never gave us to me a kid that I might make merry with my friends.

That is I'm not merry. I'm not happy But as soon as this thy son was come do you hear that not this my brother but this thy son But as soon as this thy son was come which hath devoured thy living with harlots that has killed him for the fatted calf He said unto him son Thou art ever with me and all that I have is thine it was meet that we should make merry and be glad for this thy brother was dead and is alive again and was lost and Is found but the elder brother didn't make merry The elder brother was not glad he had no joy Because dear friend he's wrapped up in himself He doesn't have the father's burden. Look in verse 29. He's not concerned about his father in verse 29. He says I Me five times He is full of self-righteousness He is full of self-centeredness He is full of self-pity and he is perfectly miserable and so will you be If you don't know the father's burden if you do not share the father's burden You'll never know the father's joy If you do not love your brother You don't love the father if you don't have fellowship with the father your service amounts to nothing And if you don't have the father's burden, you will never know the father's joy now He had it all but he had nothing Look if you will as the father reasons with him look in verse 31 the father said unto him son Thou art ever with me and all that I have is thy now look at it He has everything and yet the one thing he wants the most he doesn't have and that's joy He had position because he was a son.

Look at it. He calls him a son. He has privilege Because he's with the father. He has possessions because the father says all that I have is yours Now in Bible times the elder son got two-thirds of the inheritance the birthright The younger son got only a third Everything that was left Really belonged to the elder son. The father says son.

Listen, you have position. You're my son You have privilege you're with me. You have possession all that I have is yours and yet He had no joy I'll tell you why The same reason that some in this building tonight say I just don't understand why it is that I'm not getting joy in my faith Well, I'll tell you why you don't share the father's burden You don't see things from God's point of view you feel that somehow That somebody else's blessing is your demise Now what this young man needed to understand was that in the father's house? There's always a surplus the prodigal son knew that he said even my servants have bread enough and to spare My dear friend. There's enough of God's grace for all five billion people on planet Earth You can have all you want and they can have all they want what brings the father Joy, what makes joy in heaven? again, what burdens the father's heart a Son away from him what gladdens the father's heart? Listen, Jesus said there is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repentant More than over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance I used to think that meant that the angels rejoice and I suppose they do but that's not what that verse means It doesn't say there's joy among the angels. It says there's joy in the presence of the angels It's the Lord who rejoices when a sinner comes home. There's joy in the presence of the angels Just as there was joy when this prodigal son came home. What gives the father joy? For sinners to come home What will give you joy?

He that goeth forth and weepeth bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again What with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him my friend? Do you want joy if you want the father's joy, you've got to share the father's concern You've got to share the father's burden This elder brother could have been concerned with a surplus in the house and an empty place at the table And yet there was no twinge in his heart Have you ever thought about why he didn't share his father's concern? Why didn't he know How the father felt I'll tell you why He spent no time with his father.

Do you know what he should have done? He should have said dad. I Want to talk with you Dad, even though the crops are doing well and even though the servants are obedient and even though the barns are well-built and even though The cattle is sleek and healthy and everything was good father. I can tell your burden level with me dad Why do you look so burdened and the dad would say son?

It's your brother You know son He wanted his inheritance early and I gave it to him and your brother's left home. I Hear there's a depression in that land where he went I'm concerned about your brother Let's pray for him perhaps son you could go and see where he is Perhaps son you could go to your brother and my son and tell him that mother and I love him and that you love Him and that you want him to come home and that we want him to come home Welcome him home He never spent any time with his father He didn't know his father's heart Do You know why people don't have a love for the lost? Because they don't have a quiet time with God Did you know it's not primarily love for lost souls that we need. It's primarily love God that we need Jesus didn't say do you love sheep or do you love to feed sheep?

He said to Peter love us thou me feed my sheep But here was a son who spent no real time no quality time what he did He shut out the concern of his father while pretending to serve his father He was self-centered and he was miserable He came home And he said what's all this noise about? Did you know in churches across America today? There are people who don't want to be a member of an evangelistic church Do you know why it bothers them? they wish the preacher would just preach and Say amen and let them go home They don't like a man to stand in the pulpit and say come to Jesus Sing another stanza sing another stanza sing another stanza they get antsy They look at the watch they say it's time to go What's all this noise about? Disturbs me Everything is fine. Just like it is we don't need a new church There's plenty of room for me.

I always get a seat What's all this noise about What's all this concern about? What's all this pleading and praying about I? Want you to learn three things and learn them good The Christian life is summed up in love for the Father Service to the Father and joy with the Father Your love for the Father is going to be measured by your love for your brother your service to the Father is going to be measured by your fellowship with the Father and Your joy with the Father is Measured by the degree that you share the father's burden Friend when we learn to weep with him, we'll learn to rejoice with him What a profound message for us today and maybe as you've listened a prayer request Has risen to the surface of your life at love worth finding One of our great honors is to come alongside you and pray with you If you can go to our website LWF org slash radio and scroll down to find our prayer wall You'll find the option to either submit a prayer request or pray for others This resource is one of our favorite ways to keep the ministry and the community praying continually for one another's needs Let us hear from you today again find our prayer wall at LWF org slash radio Now if you'd like to order a copy of today's message in its entirety The ungrateful brother is the title and our numbers one eight seven seven. Love God You can also order online at LWF org slash radio or write us at love worth Finding box 38 600 Memphis, Tennessee 38183 do you identify more with the prodigal son or the ungrateful brother? Remember your love service and joy toward your brother measure how much you love the father I'm glad you joined us for this important message and be sure to tune in next time for more from Adrian Rogers right here on love worth finding A listener wrote on our Facebook wall recently with these powerful words Adrian Rogers has a unique way of making you feel he is right with you He makes excellent illustrations as power points to connect the dots so you can understand you agree with that Well, we are honored to share the truth of the gospel for such a time as this and that's why love worth finding is proud To present a new documentary nothing But the truth in partnership with the film's producers when you donate to the ministry right now We'd love to send you a DVD copy this documentary exposes the cultural erosion of biblical truth in America and Provides viewers with access to faith strengthening truth from the Word of God Request the DVD nothing but the truth when you call with a gift One eight seven seven. Love God is our number one eight seven seven five six eight three four Six three or give online at LWF org slash radio And thank you for your generous support of love worth finding
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-18 12:38:10 / 2023-08-18 12:47:25 / 9

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