On Father's Day many of us look back to our childhood and have precious memories: Some of sacrifices they made for us we didn't even realize at the time.
Now I know that some did not have a loving earthly father and some grew up without a father in the home. But whatever your experience you have had with your earthly father, if you have received Jesus as your Savior and Lord then you have been born into the family of God. You now have a Heavenly Father who is Loving, Forgiving, and Nurturing.
Jesus said in Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Well, that was my introduction. Let's look at Luke 15:11-32.
We call this the parable of the prodigal son, but we could have called it the parable of the loving father.
We can see an example of our Heavenly Father in this parable: Of His great love and forgiveness, and how God still loves us even when we are a disappointment to Him.
The father in this parable had 2 sons. Both were a disappointment to him: One by his actions and one by his attitude.
Sometimes we disappoint God by our actions and sometimes by our attitude.
But I like this dad. He doesn't change his love for his sons because they disappointed him.
The younger was still his son when he was in the pigpen just as much as before he left home and after he came back. The younger son had lost fellowship with his father for a while, but not relationship.
The older son had a strained fellowship because of a jealous attitude.
This dad deserves better. He has been a good provider and a giver. He divided them his living. All that he had he freely divided to his children.
You know our Heavenly Father has promised to provide all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
In Matthew 6:31-33 Jesus told us not to worry what we would eat or what we would wear.
Mt 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Mt 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Like the father in the parable, our Heavenly Father is a good Provider and a Giver of His wealth unto us.
The father in the parable granted his sons that they could choose. He gave them freedom to make their own decisions as to what they would do with their inheritance, their gifts.
Here again I see God as He gives blessings and gifts and then allows His children to either waste them or use them in His kingdom.
I have known several people in my lifetime that have taken God-given gifts and wasted them on the things of this world or just not use them at all.
The older son was angry because he had not enjoyed his inheritance. But, the father said, "All that I have is thine." He could have had that feast he wanted anytime, but he just sat on his inheritance.
There is a difference between wasting and sharing. Fathers are disappointed by wasteful or stingy children. But they love to bless a child that will share the blessing.
It is a blessing to the Father when we are not wasteful, riotous, or stingy, but are good stewards that are willing to share the gifts He has given.
I look at this parable and see there is not only bread enough to spare in the Father's house, but there is also compassion, forgiveness, and restoration there.
This father deserved better, but good dads don't sit around thinking about what they deserve. This dad looked every day (I believe) for his son to come home.
Good fathers don't spend their time thinking on what they deserve. They spend their time thinking how they can serve.
I remember when I was 16 and just driving where I wanted to go. I had my dad's car. It wasn't a new car, but it was my dad and mom's only car and I wrecked it. I side-swiped a tree and I just didn't want to go home. I felt so bad. I just knew dad would be so upset with me.
When I got the car home it wasn't the reaction I expected. My dad was silent for a while (That really scared me), but he wanted to be sure I was alright and that no one else was hurt. He finally said, "Son, I can always get another car." Then he made me get back in the driver's seat and go find the headlight rim.
Good fathers know when to punish and when to show compassion.
When the prodigal returned he wasn't met with punishment, but with compassion.
Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Let me ask you today.
Have you wandered away from God?
Have you come to a place where you are in need?
Maybe you feel like you have disappointed the Father. Well, we all have at times.
If your fellowship with God has been broken or strained by sin or disobedience turn toward home today. He's waiting for you with out-stretched hands. He wants to restore. He wants you to call Him Daddy again.
The prodigal son had to make a decision. He had to turn intentions into actions.