East Side Church
(Baptist - Disciples of Christ)
201 Spruce Ave.
Sharon, PA 16146
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June 17, 2012 (Father's Day)
"A Father's Love"
Read Luke 15:11-32.

As we honor our fathers on Father's Day, our scripture reminds us that God is the best example of what a father should be.

(His Family and Lifestyle). 1) We learn from 15:29 the way he raised his boys. The older son said that he had faithfully served his father for years and never neglected any of his commands (15:29a). The father had exercised strong leadership in the home; he was in charge. 2) Moreover, he didn't indulge his boys, but rather acted responsibly in the way he raised them. When in a moment of anger, the older son reminded his father that he had not even granted him a goat so he could have a party for his friends (15:29b). 3) It's clear from the open relationship of the two sons with their father that he was heavily involved in their lives.

(His Relationship with the Younger Son). 1) The father had cultivated an honest and open environment. The younger son was able to approach his father with a difficult and demanding request, "Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me" (15:12a). 2) We discern that the father was mature and secure. Rather than argue with his son over his request, the father concluded that it was time for both of his sons to receive their inheritance. So, he "divided his wealth between them" (15:12b). Afterwards, his younger son left home with all his new wealth. 3) The father calmly and confidently waited for his son's return. He knew he could not change his son, so he relied upon God to do the changing required. Eventually, the boy did realize his foolishness, and when he did, he showed no hesitation in returning home to his dad. 4) This father had modeled a genuine faith in his home. The younger son knew what sin was; he knew how to repent and ask forgiveness (15:18-21) things which must have been taught to him by his father. And when he returned home, his dad offered him no sermon or blame. Instead, he displayed compassion and forgiveness and provided for a time of great celebration (note 15:22-24).

(His Relationship with the older Son). 1) Diametrically opposed to the lifestyle of the younger son was that of the older son. He remained home and faithfully served his father when his brother did not. And when the foolish son returned home to such a warm reception from his father, the elder son refused to join in the celebration (Note 15:28-30). 2) The father responded with words of affirmation and love (15:31). The father also helped his son focus on his younger brother's present repentance rather than on his previous rebellion (15:32). He never denied the younger son's sin, but he wanted his elder son to understand that his brother's repentance should be followed by their unconditional acceptance and forgiveness of him.


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