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Unquenchable Love

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
January 31, 2022 9:00 am

Unquenchable Love

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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January 31, 2022 9:00 am

Pastor J.D. preaches about the most famous parable Jesus ever told—the story of the Prodigal Son. There’s a reason this parable is so popular: In it we see the biography of all of human history, the story of every single one of us.

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Today on Summit life with Judy Greer will assume that God loves them only when they return home and only after they cleaned up their lives. That is not true. God loved us while we were still sinners.

While we were wandering the far country we live in a cancel culture for me. I cancel you sent did not cancel God's love for you right now he is looking for you right now is only for you, another week of gospel saturated teaching here on Sunday like Judy Greer, pastor of the Summit church in Raleigh, North Carolina.

As always, I'm your host Molly benefits today, we're visiting one of the most famous parables Jesus ever told the story of the prodigal son. Now we all know the story and have no doubt learned many lessons from it, but there's a reason this parable is so popular.

I think it's because we see the biography of all of human history. The story every single one of us. We've all got our own way. At some point and then we see a picture of God's extravagant love that is more astounding and more surprising than we had ever dared to help. So grab your Bible and settle in your head back to the book of Luke for a sermon after JD titled unquenchable 15 Bibles to bottom with 15 open him up term on whatever you got 15 Christian history's most famous paintings is Rembrandt's return of the prodigal son, but many don't know about this painting is that this was actually Rembrandt's second painting of the prodigal son, the first Rembrandt did in 1637 when he was only 30 years old and back version of this picture Rembrandt places the prodigal son in a brothel. The colors are bright.

He's got this elated look on his face a drink in one hand and a beautiful woman on his lap. If you look closely, they say you can see that Rembrandt painted his own face as the face of the prodigal in the second version, which is one that Rembrandt painted at the very end of his life. It was in fact his last painting his last statement to the world about his life.

It is clear that by this point in his life. His view of the story had changed the mood of this version is fundamentally different in this one. Everything is dark.

The colors are muted and you can feel, but the brokenness of the prodigal and the light in the picture directs you to that.

The overwhelming compassion of the father and the first painting, the focus was on the prodigal in the second, the focus is entirely on the father most interesting to me, perhaps, is that is the fact that in this second painting. Rembrandt does not put his face on the returning prodigal biographer say that that was intentional and that was because Rembrandt doesn't want you and me looking at the painting say no look look see that one there. That's Rembrandt know he wants us to see ourselves in the story, and he wants her focus not to be on the prodigal wants it to be on the compassion of the father see this story is the biography the one you look at today is the biography of every single person in human history. Put into a pair.

It is the story of our relationship with God. It is your story. Jim Luke 15 verse 11 verse 11 shows you that the store has three main characters. There is a younger son he's the one that we typically call the prodigal.

There is an older son who has a very important role in the story that we sometimes overlook.

Then there is the father a couple of things that people usually get wrong about the story first. I think the main character is the runaway son, but the main character as Rembrandt realized is the father.

The father is mentioned no less than 12 times in a span of 20 versus second thing they get wrong is that they think the word prodigal means runaway. That's not what the word prodigal means prodigal is an old-fashioned word that means reckless or wasteful. The prodigal spends and spends until he has nothing left. The word prodigal only appears one time in the story and it's a reference to the sun blowing all of his money.

What I want to try to show you today is it when you see the bigger point in the story, you will realize that the word prodigal applies just as much to the father as it does to the son because the story is about the recklessness of God's love as extravagant as is the younger son spending even more extravagant is the father's love and redeeming, but verse 11 verse 11 there was a man who had two sons in the younger of them said to his father.

Father give me the share property is coming to me in the story Jesus gives you a picture of the anatomy of sin and analysis of sin. Sin almost always has three distinctive elements right. The first is a desire for independence, the sun does not want to be in the father's house. The sun does not want to be under the father's guidance and care and protection. He doesn't want to be under the father's rules for years.

I've explained to my own children, that the essence of sin is revealed and how you spell the word you spell the word sin SI in the middle letters I send is when I want to be in the center. I want to be in charge I want to make the rules, not him my way, my desires, my glory, this boy thinks my ways are better than my fathers. I am the wisest.

The second element of sin is a demand for instant gratification. A demand for instant gratification. The sun does not want to wait for his inheritance. It's all coming to them anyway but he wants it now. Quite often people get tangled up in sin because they can't wait for God's timing. I gotta have it all.

Right now or I cannot be happy you're the writer of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament identifies this this demand for instant gratification as the reason a lot of people forfeit eternity in heaven uses the Old Testament story of Esau to illustrate that Esau was the firstborn son of Isaac, and he comes in from hunting one day and he is powerful hungry, so his conniving younger brother Jacob offers to give him a bowl of porridge. If Esau would yield to him the rights of the privileges of the firstborn. Now this was a colossally stupid trait you are trading your entire retirement portfolio for a cold beer, but in an incredible act of insanity. Esau does it in the writer of Hebrews uses this to illustrate what many people do with their eternity, particularly with their desires for sexual immorality. They sacrifice the eternal on the altar of the temple to give away eternal life and happiness with God for a temporary thrill that doesn't last long and doesn't really satisfy anyway so your second part of sin is this demand for instant gratification. The third element in the most serious element of all is a desire for the father's death, desire for the father to be dead.

The father is an obstacle to the boys freedom. It's not that he hates his dad is a man. It's just that his dad represents an obstacle to doing things his way and so we once in Gaul right in saying give me my inheritance is like. I wish you were already dead. Once his dad's stuff but he doesn't want his dad. You know, there are few things more painful than a parent could ever experience. But every parent knows that there comes a point when it is useless to try to force an adult child to do something that they don't want to do so.

Verse 12 a broken heart.

The father divided his property between them, which leads us to our first point, God loves you when you break his heart see the shock of the story to the Jewish audience is that this father does not respond well Jewish fathers in that they were expected to respond back in Deuteronomy 21.

The Jewish law, so that a boy that did such a thing should be stoned to death. This kind of rejection. This kind of arrogance and pride ungratefulness.

This kind of rebellion Jewish losses was worthy of death, even in those situations where they family did not carry through with the sentence Jewish community performed a ceremony called the Zaza because as I which literally meant cutting off in which they would declare the rebellious boy to be dead to them and no one in the community would ever speak to them again.

The shock of the story is that this father does not respond that way he lets his son go and instead of pursuing him in anger. He opens up his hands and he gives his son the inheritance literally. In Greek the word for inheritance of the word bios is very life. This is more than given the boy little money right.

He let the boy go, even though it tore his very soul.

Verse 13.

Not many days later, the younger son gathered all that he had a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless.

There's your word prodigal in reckless living and we have spent everything a severe famine arose in that country and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out. One of the citizens of that country sent him into his fields to feed pigs he was longing to be fed with the pods of the pigs. Eight. No one gave him anything. Number two God loves you as you wander in the darkness. God loves you as you wander in the darkness. This young prodigal's new life started out swimmingly sin always does is in the far country right he's away from the father.

He's away from the restrictions. He's away from the guidelines where he enjoys now everything that money can buy sin always starts out this way it's parties and freedom and excitement but then the wind changed, which they always do.

The money ran out. The friends left.

Then came the brokenness, loneliness.

Now this young man who'd grown up in privilege and promise is reduced to begging his new life ends with him taking the lowest job in all of Israel feeding pigs pigs were unclean. They were defiled, and there we find this boy sitting in the pan with the big dirty file hungry so hungry they sharing food with the page wondering how in the world that got the better you are this weekend, maybe sexual sin has led you to a series of relationships where you can barely even look at yourself anymore. It's a pornography addiction seem to start out harmless enough for now. It's got you a place that you don't even know how you got there.

Maybe it's alcoholism or its drugs. When you've lost your job. You're losing your family during debt you're listening to me right now from prison. That path you chose all the money in all the excitement all the thrills it promised so much but has not led where promised the pleasures of sin or real, but they only last for a season.

Eminem who typically don't hold a lot during sermons be acknowledged recently was this gotta be careful what you wish for. Always wish for this but it's become more of a nightmare than a dream or take Billy eyeless to the number one album in 2019. At only 18 years old she said recently in an interview famous trash. Why is it because the more famous I got the less I enjoy my life. The beaver explained recently even a lot of money close cars, accolades, achievement awards, and I was still unfulfilled verse on how lonely some of you probably heard that it which explains that journey.

Maybe that's where you are this weekend you're in the far country.

There's a good news. God loves you as you wander in the darkness is never stop loving you. She's always read the story and in split screen on one side of the screen is the son and his reckless living on the other side, though, is the father who's never looked away. The sun doesn't realize it, but at that very moment that he is eating with the pigs. The father is looking his direction.

Loving him thinking about and please never stop missing.

Many people assume that God loves them only when they return home and only after they cleaned up their lives. That is not true.

God loved us while we were still sinners. While we were wandering in the far country is you got good news for you this week if your sin did not cancel God's love for you. We live in a cancel culture.

You offend me. I cancel you sin did not cancel God's love for you right now he is looking for you right now is longing for you to come home and I Hosea or God says through Hosea of my people are bent on turning for me, but I just do evil. There bent on doing evil there addicted to doing evil that all they do is think about how to get away from it all they do is resent me all they do is stay angry at me. So what is God respond with.

I'll show you who's God no bursae how can I give you up, Ephraim. How can I turn you over all Israel, when you were doing evil when you were at your worst.

God says not just doing evil, but bent on doing evil when you're addicted to it.

It was then that God cried out. How can I give you up when you are your worst. That's what he loved you the most, miracle of miracles are sin did not cancel God's love for us. It's almost as if it made him love us more. He loves you while you wander in darkness, and the three God loves you as you brings you back.

God loves you brings you back for 17 when he came to himself how many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread. I perish here with hunger. I know I will arise and go back to my father now 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 hired servants, and he rose and came to his father. One thing you may not notice about the story. It looks in the story like the sun just up and decides to come home on his own but that's not true. You see, the third. This is the third of three stories in which Jesus talks about God's love for sinners. The first is a story about a lost sheep Shepherd, Jesus said, had 100 sheep and one my missing Shepherd couldn't just cut his losses and rejoice in the 90 and nine, yet he left the one, even though it probably would've made better sense. Just up the attention of the 99 that the shipper could do that.

I read up a business book recently that explained that we tend to focus too much on business that we lose, not realizing that usually it would be more profitable to focus on developing what we have left than it is trying to go after what we lost. And I suppose that is usually good business advice, but that does not work when you love the one that you lost. You have to find you can be happy when it's lost.

In fact, Shepherd in the story has more joy over the one that's reclaimed in the 99 better there healthy and fruitful and multiply. That's how God feels about you like a shepherd. He is out looking for you right now he is calling out to you the second story Jesus tells us about a lost coin that same situation woman's got 10 coins that you lose one somewhere in her house similar to the previous story. Should I just rejoice in the nine she has left you pulled apart the house piece by piece under the rug and she takes her Christians out of the sofa and she gets over closing dumps all the pockets and check the washing machine and dryer until she finds out lost one unit of feeling when you lose your credit card you not kind, not content with the other six.

You have in your wallet got up on the one that lost the desperation this woman feels for the coin.

The climax of Jesus trilogy. In this is the story about the loss on the nature of love that adjusts doesn't stop.

He can't give up several years ago, Rick Langston, who is one of early pastors younger son Michael who just disappeared one day nobody were I was even having a tough time in school and the one getting along at home within one day he was just up and all his parents frantically called around but nobody had any idea where he was. Rick said he remembered his son talking. I wanted to run away to New York City so he and another one of our pastors. David Thompson jumped into a car drove all night up to New York City or Shiraz. New York City is a humongous place so I got to the edge of the city, they stopped. They prayed and they split up. David headed over to Times Square and when times were about where would Michael go in times where we went into the McDonald's and there sat Michael called Rick and he said simply that I found some but told me he said I never heard three sweeter words in all of my life. I found, by the way, Mike is now married and his wife, Megan, oblong, or downtown campus in the service foster parents of the service terms are very well indeed, but the point is, this is the desperation the God feels for you when you were lost can't be happy until he finds you again. You'll see it illustrated as much in this final story, but he is seeking you to select Shepherd goes out looking for the cheaper the woman goes out looking for the lost coin. He puts things into your life to call out to you to wake you up.

Sometimes it's a memory that you can't shake.

Sometimes it's up conversation that just comes out of nowhere. Sometimes it's pain a broken marriage, a severed relationship, a lonely heart of failed career thought once with a professional athlete here in the area who was one of the most promising young athletes around here just signed a multiyear, multimillion dollar contract with a professional team that he and some buddies had hopped on the some motorcycles going out to have some fun.

Yet an accident where he shattered his leg in multiple places beyond repair is contract stipulated that if you hurt himself while riding a motorcycle. His contract will be Noel and Boyd meant that in the space of just a moment he had lost literally everything.

We were sitting together the Mad Hatter in downtown Germany. He told me to tears in his eyes he said, as I lay there in that hospital room all can think is, why would God do this to me is a mother thought was I can't believe I threw away my entire career for a few seconds on a motorcycle. He confessed to me there, sitting there in a coffee shop that he had not been walking with God. But this accident it forced him to rethink some things and that's when he come into our church. That's what I had met in so there we sit in the middle the Mad Hatter in downtown Durham.

I looked in the medicine he meant.

I don't mean to speak to boldly or presumptively, but I don't think you should interpret this as God's anger at you I think you should interpret it as his kindness to see you said I can't believe I threw away my entire career for a few seconds on a motorcycle. But what if God was waking you up before you throw away your entire eternity for a few seconds and the spotlight, remember him sitting there saying I get it I get it I get it now understand what God is trying to say to me and I asked him of the men you want to give your life to Christ he said here is the one not not explained to him how we could pray to receive Christ on never forget as he reached across that table, unprompted, and grabbed both my hands and started to pray, not in a quiet voice but make the whole place of the Mad Hatter turned into like a little prayer places this very well known to be professional athlete prayed and gave his heart to Christ was one of those amazing events that I've ever been a part of not typical for that Mad Hatter crowded downtown Durham on the way Sen. for many of you that's exactly what he has been doing and you maybe this weekend. He's put you flat on your back like we say around here sometimes so that you would finally be looking in the right direction and listen to much on the beach immiscible, but you understand that it is not an accident that you were here today.

It's not an accident that you are listening, you might've felt like it was a random invitation or random invitation from a friend or that friend kept texting you this link and you will like fine just to get you off my back. I'll click it I'll watch it for two minutes. That way I can say I watched it, but now you're still here and you're still listening.

CS Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia. The best one of those global horse and his boy in him that when Lewis tells a story of a boy running away, but throughout the entire journey as he runs away from his dad he hears footsteps the occasional roar in the distance. CS Lewis said that he was putting in a story form.

In this book, how he CS Lewis experience God pursuing him. He said God was whispering to me in my pleasures telling me there was something more God was screaming at me in the desperate feeling that I had in my cancer see this happening right now in your life loves you draws you back much richer experience your financing loves you. God loves you as you wrap you in his arms and says while he was still a long way off, his father Solomon felt compassion ran unquenchable. The main take away from pastor Jean reunion on Sunday. My if you make any of today's message or would like to catch up on previous messages in this series through the book of Luke. You can find and free of charge

Would you agree that we need a weapon to keep us from falling prey to the enemy after he prowls around like a roaring alien looking for people to destroy so is the most valuable weapon will of course it's the word of God. And that's why we have to keep putting it into our hearts so that when life cuts and we believe the Scriptures this month we put together a pack of 50 memory verse cards for you to use as a daily mapping if you want to carry God's promises in your heart.

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You can get JDGRR done for me because let me remind you that if you sign up for our email list is the best way to stay up-to-date with pastor Jane's latest blog and wants to make sure you resource for series. It's quick and easy to sign a don't want to forget, Pastor JD on the grand more encouraging by Molly that event inviting you to listen again Tuesday as we learn story and his brother everyone of us can have our heavenly father comes home with open arms. CTs day on Sunday night here ministry

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