The Loving Father / Luke 15:11-23

Posted on June 21, 2015


This is the Fahter’s Day meassage delivered at Hillcrest Baptist church on June 21, 2015. This message uses the parable of the prodigal son to illustrate a father’s love, and the nature of our Heavenly Father. This post contains my sermo notes, and an audio recording of the sermon.


Father’s day 2015


Here we see a situation where a father allows a child to learn a hard lesson. He allowed his son to make some bad decisions, just as God often allows us to do. The son had to suffer the consequences of those decisions, just as God requires of us, but when the son repented, the father was right there. This is a picture of love, and a picture of our Heavenly Father. 

v.20-23 – A surprising response:
 When Jesus started talking about the son’s desire to return home, the Pharisees probably thought about what they would do. They would have been expecting the father to disown him. After all, he had dishonored his family. What a shock they were in for!

The son realized how wrong he was, and decided to return home. There is no mention of him even trying to clean himself up. (we should leave that to God). He simply said I have GOT to get back to my father. He just headed home in the most despicable condition possible. Just like when you were a child, when you got in trouble, you would run to Daddy!

The father saw him coming (he was watching), and eagerly embraced him. What a beautiful picture of God. The father seemed unconcerned about where he had been, or what he had been doing. His focus was on the son, who had finally returned. This is the moment he’d been waiting for.

How far is too far, and how long is too long?:
This story points out that God’s love has no limits. A person cannot go so far that God’s love and forgiveness are no longer offered. In fact, it was as low as a Jew could get, to have to tend to pigs, yet the father didn’t care about that. He was patient. He was willing to restore his son no matter when he returned.

God patiently waits for you, even if leave for a season of sin.
Patient but eager:

God is eager to express His love. “While he was yet a long way off…” the father ran to him. (He met him on the way.)
This probably stunned the Pharisees, who had a different view of God, a god who delighted in chastising sinners.
Do you realize that God is more eager to establish fellowship after sin than you are? He can’t wait for you to return back to Him.

  • Romans 8:32

God doesn’t break off fellowship with us when we sin, we break it off with him. Our guilt and shame causes us to run from Him.
The focus of the father:
God’s focus is the sinner, the lost sheep. The son had a prepared speech, he was begging for mercy. He knew what he deserved and was willing to pay the price, but he had already been forgiven. The father seemingly ignored the son’s speech, and began shouting orders to clean his son up, and prepare a celebration feast.

God has dealt with your sin, it is no longer His focus. You are His focus. Sin stands in the way of fellowship with God, because we allow it to stand in the way, but nothing has to stand in the way of your fellowship with God. All you have to do is turn from your sin, and run back to God. God is eager to reestablish fellowship with you. Repentance is vitally important.

Once you turn back to God, He will immediately take you back. No questions asked.

  • 1 John 1:9

A model father:
God joyously receives the sinner back into fellowship.

  • Have you turned from God?
  • Is the guilt of sin standing between you and Him?

No matter how far you’ve gone, or how long you’ve been away, God will eagerly and joyously receive you.

  1. Understand the great extent of God’s love.
  2. As a father, everything you do should be motivated by love.
  3. Fathers should be active in their children’s lives, as God is active in our lives. Let your children know that you will always be there, and that God will always be there. Try to model God for them.
  4. Just like God, discipline when necessary, and love ALWAYS!

God wants you back, don’t put it off, come to Him.

Posted in: Holidays, Sermons