Share This Episode
Running to Win Erwin Lutzer Logo

Getting Parenting Right Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
August 17, 2021 1:00 am

Getting Parenting Right Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 779 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

August 17, 2021 1:00 am

The story of the Prodigal Son is really the story of two prodigals. One left in rebellion, the other stayed in rebellion. In this message we look into a famous parable of Jesus that shows how the Father in heaven relates to His beloved children—even when they go astray.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
The Daily Platform
Bob Jones University

One reason for us to Jesus phone number for the story of the prodigal son is really the story of two privately one rebellion the other day today overlook this parable of Jesus shows how the father in heaven relates to his children, even when those children go astray from Chicago. This is with Sir there teaching helps us make it across the amazing love prodigal father bestowed on his wayward son is almost more than we can comprehend.

You know Dave, I want to commend you for the way in which you introduce this message because you're absolutely right there to prodigal's in this story there is the one that we always think about who ran away from home and then there's the one who stayed home served his father out of a sense of duty without a real sense of love and connection to prodigal's absolutely right now I think that this parable has a tremendous lesson for parents and I say to all who are listening, you have a wayward child, be sure to keep the light on, so to speak.

Let them always know that no matter what they have done. You don't have to agree with their lifestyle or the kind of life that they have lived, but what you need to do is to assure them of your continuing unconditional love, and of course as we think about this parable, the father of course represents God and so I say to those of you who have wandered away from God come back home. The father is waiting now at the end of this message. I'm going to be giving you some info as to how you can connect with us but for now let's just listen to what Jesus had to say and the lessons of the prodigal son is to understand their need and even those who have gone to the far country actually are much more welcome by the father then somebody who believes that his relationship with God is based on his performance is a here's a young man who said to himself I'm doing all of the right things.

I I am the one who gets up early in the morning I go to bed late at night and the farm is prospering because of me and you don't do this for me.

Of course, the father says you know everything that I have is yours. Several lessons immediately grow out and that is it is possible to be a son of God and still live like a servant.

It's as if this man didn't understand that he had an inheritance he could throw a party whenever he wanted to throw part but as long as he is relationship with the father was based on a sense of duty. It was based on a conviction of merit his anger toward his father grew and I might say to those of you who believe that your relationship with God is based on merit. You're going to be angry with God and you're going to be angry with others. If you believe that God owes you. And the reason that God owes you is because of what you've done and look at I abided by the rules. I've tried to go to church.

I've tried to be the best person I possibly can, and therefore God owes me blessing. He owes me have an you are going to be bitterly disappointed and angry because when God doesn't come through for you and when you begin to understand that your merit does not add anything to God's grace toward you, then you will become bitter and angry, and your soul will be closed to the father to see the elder brother illustrates the fact that it is possible to be busy in the father's work and still not sure the father's heart hits possible for you to be faithful in your service to the Lord and and yet there is no connection really with your father. All that there is his resentment, particularly to those whom God seems to bless by the way, have you ever notice that God sometimes blesses some people more than he should never notice that I've certainly noticed that sometimes God blesses people that I wouldn't bless. If I were God, are you envious because God is generous as a matter fact when this boy is emoting here and explaining why he won't come into the feast. You'll notice he says that when this advise son he never even called him his brother cases when this guy son is, was devoured by living with harlots with prostitutes. You go from the paddock. Interestingly, nowhere in the text earlier doesn't say that the boy did that, the elder brothers kind of tipping his hand as to what he would be doing if he had the nerve to leave the farm and spend time in the far country, and so there he is out of sorts with his father. Why was the father so delighted to see this wayward boy wayward boy came and said father I've sinned against heaven and against the and if I am to receive even so much as a crust of bread. It is going to be a demonstration of your matchless grace and the father love that because the father deals with us on the basis of grace and not merit. And so what the father was saying is, at last I have somebody who is willing to wear my robe and to have the ring in two give shoes to because I'm a giving father. I love you and as long as I was dealing with the elder brother on the basis of merit. I couldn't give because I only deal with you on the basis of grace. Some of you think that the way to the father is by being good that's good to be good but that's not the way to the father. The only way to the father is by grace. I think it was Mark Twain who said on one occasion, having spent a great deal of my life with good people is that I now understand why Jesus spent most of his time with tax gatherers and sinners will know what it's like to be with good people judge mental they become the standard by which others should be judged resentful of God's mercy poured out on other people why because they're out of touch with the father's heart. Though they delight in the fact that they have been so very good.

Let me ask the question, how does this relate to those of us who are fathers and I understand that we can take all of the things that are here with this father and apply them because certainly with our children. We do have issues of accountability, but first of all I want us to understand that as fathers we have the responsibility of being the lawgivers but also grace givers and this is very important. You know, I've noticed that there are many fathers who are lawgivers and they like to shout out their laws they like to almost be abusive in terms of their expectations. They like to criticize. They like to say that in this home. This is going to be the standard and you'd better abide by it.

Etc. etc. where is the grace where is the humility that says as a teenager I did the same thing you're doing and here's what God taught me about why it's wrong and why this is a better path. I cannot stress enough that we as fathers need to have law, but we also need to exercise grace. Grace isn't a lax attitude toward what our children are doing. It is forgiving as specially when they that they have done wrong. Grace is necessary.

True story young girl brought up in a very good home.

By the way, churchgoing parents, loving parents, as she admits admitted I should say loving parents, but runs away from home as a teenager. Parents have no idea where she is, she doesn't connect with them for months and when she does she's God knows where. What a tragedy. Life I cannot even tell you the heartbreak that the far country brought for her couple of children with different fathers.

Going from one job to another abuse. All the things that happen when you're in the far country. 30 years later. 30 years later, she picks up the phone calls her father. Her loving father and the first words out of her father's mouth where where are you and how can I help you. That's what grace does law might have said, you've just graced us. You been away for 30 years you've embarrassed us as a family. Why should we have a relationship with you now. You made your own bad. You can sleep in unknown on the grace grace goes to the farthest reaches and grace is extended to the most needy of sinners because grace represents God's grace represents God. Some of you fathers and years ago I told you this story before but there are dozens just like it of the father who was in a meeting and he was saying what God was doing among people how families were being reconciled even within the church where he was and then he was angry with his five sons and five sons had a bad relationship with all of them and of course it was always their fault.

They never lived up to his expectations. They never really obeyed him they didn't really respect him and he tried to work with them tried to give them the right formula to be the people that they should be in. Of course, all of them missed the mark. You know there's some parents who, no matter how far you throw the football or you kick the football even when it is in the air they move the goal posts so that you can never possibly please them, but there is, but he's a Christian. He says as he sees what God is doing how he's breaking self righteous elder brother hearts in this church. He takes his fist and pounded into his hand and says God you will never get me. Imagine a Christian same and some of you were listening were not believers in your saying the very same thing. Now you say well you know God is going to get me while I'm very glad to say that eventually God God him got God him and when he began to see his part in the struggle he humbled himself, went to all five children and said will you forgive me. My self-righteousness no there there.

Children who want to just embarrass their their parents and they want to do that because because they they want to hurt their parents so you know they'll dye their hair blue or something.

There was an old, whose child is that all its own, so's child will, isn't he is not a Christian family, or they'll put on a tattoo that is very obvious they want to embarrass their parents because they are angry. I think for example of one mother who win that meeting her daughter's boyfriend is said, well, there's one thing that can be said about him.

She's looking for something positive.

She's at least the words on his tattoo were spelled correctly. Parents if you are ashamed to continue to love your child take a lesson from this man who said he is willing to forgo the shame, and even love the wayward child. So let us keep in mind the first of all, that we must always welcome a word children. Secondly, you must understand that as parents we have the responsibility of bringing peace to our homes.

Don't wait. I'm thinking for example of this man who ended up with a family problem here you have an elder son and you know the elder son is usually the achievers they're the ones you know who are the perfectionists. They're the ones that outshine all the others that come behind them and and the children that come behind them can never live up to the expectations of the elder one and so at you've got that in your home where you are negotiating issues between two different kinds of children. The wayward one over here and the goody two shoes over here and what you must see is that it is your responsibility to bring about some kind of harmony you have to in each other and invited them to the feast, so to speak, and that's what he did. Fact is that the Pharisees never really attended the feast as long as they were merit-based and thought to themselves that their own righteousness should gain some kind of approval before God. They continued in that vein all the time and never really understood grace and that's what leads me now to the final conclusion when God deals with us. It is always on the basis of grace and not merit, it may be better to be the elder brother who stayed home than the wayward one who went to the far country. Sometimes when you're in the far country you can't come back.this elder brother could never really appreciate the father or love. The father unless he came to the father in grace unless he acknowledged his own sin acknowledge the fact that his relationship to the father could not be based on his performance and came with a sense of repentance and hope and said dad I too have sin, and because I have sinned. I also seek your forgiveness and your grace and the Bible says that where sin abounded, grace abounded more and as we come to God, we are faced with a God who loves to give grace. It was the great preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon says that we pile up a mountain of sin and then God comes along and piles up a mountain of grace that is higher than our mount sin and then we continue to pile up our sins and God shows more grace and he shows a greater amount of grace because grace is greater than our sin.

I conclude today by asking you a question do you find yourself distant from the father. Some of you do, because you've never trusted Christ as Savior and your whole life is been performance based in God doesn't accept it and so you don't know father personally.

You have to come to him through Jesus Christ and I'll tell you what he does when we come to him.

You know the rollover that the father was willing to give to his child, his very own when we come to the father through Christ Jesus takes off his robe, so to speak, and he gives it to us. He gives us the robe of righteousness. He gives us a ring that shows our already, he gives us shoes to show that we are no longer just slaves, but we are sons and we are daughter's, but the only welcome that we can have. To the father is through Jesus Christ our Lord.

He's the one who puts us in touch with the father.

There is a story which I read many years ago and I'm not able to verify it but I'll simply share it with you about a wayward son was often the far country, and that he didn't know whether or not his parents would welcome him home that he did know that when the train came into their town. That was actually the tracks were quite close to the back of his house so he wrote them a letter in which he said I don't know whether or not you want me back and I understand if you don't want me back, but if you do I will take the train to town and if you tie a handkerchief on a branch of the tree in the backyard all know that you want me back if it's not there I'll just keep going to the next town. Well, as the story goes, as the train was rumbling through his town. He pressed his nose against the window almost afraid to look at the tree in their backyard, only to discover that every branch had a handkerchief. God says to you today. Your reluctance is what hinders you is not me. I love to dispense grace.

I'd love to give you a party and welcome you into the family, but you can't do it by being good can only do it through repentance and faith through Christ our Lord. Grace and outlaw.

Let's pray together.

Father, we want to thank you today for your mercy and for your grace thank you that all of us are chronicled.

Thank you father that the elder brother was also a prodigal, but unfortunately didn't know it.

And so we pray that through self revelation of your Holy Spirit, that you might help all of us to see what our needs are in your presence.

Now before I close where are you in your relationship to God is no reluctance on his part went you talk to him right now. Even where you are father we ask in Jesus name, that those who do not know you as Savior will come to know you, through Christ through grace and for those who do help us Lord to rejoice when you lavish grace on others. Help us father to have a heart like yours where we can we can enjoy your grace and read delight in the fact that others are receiving it to do that father for us. We pray in Jesus matchless name, a man what my friend, this is Pastor Luther have to ask you a question today. Are you blessed as a result of the ministry of running to win new programs like this encourage you and instruct you. That's why running to win exists and if you want to know what really blesses my heart is that running to win is heard even in the middle east.

I hold in my hand a letter from someone from the great country of Morocco listening to running to win is like going to the church that I am unable to attend because of my background. Thank you for helping me be discipled and understand God's will for me on earth. Well my friends, I have to tell you that letters like this make it all worthwhile. Would you like to invest in the ministry of running to win. The reason that you are blessed is that others have invested in this ministry. I trust that you will become a part of what I like to call the running to win family.

Would you consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts.

Of course you need info. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW

Now, of course, RTW offers all one word RTW or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337. By the way, when you go to RTW Be sure to click on the endurance partner button so to repeat RTW or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337. We don't look at you as a donor we see you as a member of the running to win family.

I hope that you take the initiative to join us today. It's time once again for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

The last book of the Bible uses terms that can be hard to understand John listen store broadcast. He asks this in Revelation 3 verse one Jesus mentions the seven spirits of God, the footnote says or sevenfold Spirit.

Can you explain this to me. The term came up in our Sunday school class about a year ago and I'm still wondering about John. Let me begin by assuring you that there are not seven spirits that pervade the universe and we would believe in many gods would be polytheists.

Clearly, I think that your footnote is right that this is a reference to the sevenfold Spirit or the completeness of the spirit and that's the point that is being made. You know many people point us to Isaiah chapter 11 verse two there you have seven references to the spirit listen carefully. It says it speaks about the spirit of the Lord. This is what is going to be upon Christ, the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of understanding the spirit of counsel, the spirit of money to the spirit of knowledge and the spirit of the fear of the Lord that seven in all. So obviously it is trying to give us a much bigger picture of the Holy Spirit is reminding us that the symbolism in the book of Revelation indicates completeness does not mean that there are seven different spirits, good question.

I hope that my answer helps.

Thank you John for the question.

Thank you Dr. lutes are if you'd like to hear your question answered. You can just go to our and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 in an unusual parable Jesus taught the disciples about how rewards are handed out the kingdom of God. At first glance what he taught seems quite unfair.

Next time I'm running to win. We look beneath the surface of the words of Jesus and learn some life-changing our innate sense of fairness. Don't miss getting rewards right thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin lutes are this is Dave McAllister going to win is sponsored by the church

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime