Week 1 - The Introduction of Grace

The Introduction of Grace

Week 1 The Waiting Father – Ps Tony Cameneti

Outline

  • Week 1 – The Introduction of Grace
  • Week 2 – The Tale of Two Brothers – Patsy
  • Week 3 – The Robe of Righteousness
  • Week 4 – The Ring of Authority
  • Week 5 – The Shoes of Freedom – Patsy
  • Week 6 – The Feast of Feasts

The story of the prodigal son This parable could also be called ‘The Waiting Father’. We will be looking at the story from the perspective of the father. In the book of Luke, Jesus told several parables about people looking for ‘lost things’. Luke 15:11-24 “To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story, ‘A man had two sons …’“(NLT) What point does Jesus want to further illustrate? Luke 15:10 “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” (NLT) Summary of Luke 15

  • Tax collectors and sinners came to Jesus
  • This made the Pharisees upset
  • Jesus then told these stories:
    • A shepherd going after one sheep
      • The shepherd is the pursuer of the lost sheep
      • The shepherd calls friends and rejoices when he finds the lost sheep
    • A woman loses one of ten silver coins
      • The lady is the pursuer of the lost coin
      • The lady calls friends and rejoices when she finds the lost coin

Jesus then gives them Luke 15:10 Luke 15:10 “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” (NLT) The Theme of Luke 15 Love and Forgiveness Demonstrated By Pursuing the Lost At All Costs Luke 15:11-12 “To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: ‘A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.’” (NLT) Dr. Kenneth Bailey is a former chairman of the Biblical department at the Near Eastern School of Theology in Beirut. During his years in the Middle East, he often would ask people, “Have you ever known a son to come to his father and demand his inheritance?” He learned that such an act was unthinkable in that culture. It would represent an unspeakable offense and the grossest insult to a father. Dr. Bailey heard of only two instances of such a thing happening. In the first, the son was chased out of his home by an irate father. In the second, the Oriental father, previously in good health, died within three months of his son’s demand. The wife, who told Dr. Bailey the story, believed her husband died of a broken heart. She said, ‘He died that night!’ Jesus’ listeners understood. To demand your inheritance from a living father was equivalent to saying, ‘father, I wish you would drop dead!’ The significance of understanding this

  • The Jewish world would focus on the father
  • The western world focuses on the son in this parable
  • The western world looks at the son and misses what the father was doing during the son’s absence and his return

The Jews developed thought patterns based on the covenant they lived in. Ezra 9:15 “O LORD, God of Israel, you are just. We come before you in our guilt as nothing but an escaped remnant, though in such a condition none of us can stand in your presence.” (NLT) The church world thinks that the father should have been irate. The son came home wondering how he could stand in the father’s presence. Jesus wanted to illustrate a change to the Jews or (Eastern World). He wanted to introduce a change in thinking and a change in culture (NB Bible culture trumps all other cultures). This week we will focus on the Father Luke 15:20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (NLT) Understanding the culture in the first century helps us to understand that Jesus firstly, shocked His listeners by illustrating such an act of love and forgiveness by the father; then secondly, touched the hearts of his Jewish listeners. Most of us visualize the story within our Australian or western frame of reference. We imagine a country house with a long driveway with the father sitting on the porch and looking for his son. However, the setting in Jesus’ story was different. Families did not live in isolated houses in Jesus’ time – not even farmers. They resided near one another in a cluster or complex of dwellings. Communal living was customary and socially comfortable in Bible times, but also necessary for security reasons. The fields they worked were away from the village itself. Workers would leave their homes in the morning and go out to the fields to labour. In the evening they would return. The father in our story is part of such a community Perhaps someone working in the fields sees the prodigal approaching and alerts the community. The report spreads quickly. Not only the insulted father, but likely a resentful and possibly angry crowd, awaits the betrayer’s return. Jesus surprises His listeners BIG TIME. This father doesn’t wait for his son to crawl to him and repent. He surprises His listeners with a father who goes against the grain of established culture. He is moved by love. He runs to welcome his son. Jesus is illustrating a new culture of love, grace, and mercy. The father humiliates himself before the community so his son will be spared their unforgiving judgement. It was considered demeaning and uncouth for an elderly person to run. The father, by running, redirects the judgement towards himself in order that the son will escape judgement. The grammar, used in the Greek, here suggests: when he gets to him, he kisses his son repeatedly. A custom existed at the time of sealing an agreement or reconciling two disputing parties with a kiss. The father, by his act of unmerited mercy and favour, sends a clear signal to the community that reconciliation has occurred and the offending party has been forgiven and reunited. Jesus was establishing

  • Heaven’s culture over all other cultures
  • Christian culture over Synagogue culture
  • Christian culture over nation culture
  • New Testament culture over Old Testament culture
  • Grace culture over law culture
  • God’s forgiveness culture over man’s un-forgiveness culture

Rom. 5:8 “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (NLT) Romans 5:8 reveals the doctrinal revelation of the story of the waiting father. Closing Thoughts

  • God’s great love is toward us, even though we, by ourselves, are not worthy of His love.
  • When we turn our back on God – He remains faithful and doesn’t turn His back on us.
    • our faithfulness to God is fueled by the knowledge of His faithfulness to us.
  • Knowing God’s great love is what empowers us to go boldly to the throne of grace.
  • God will patiently wait for all wrongdoers to come back to Him.
  • God will run toward us with open arms that are full of love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness.
Week 2 - A Tale of Two Brothers

A Tale of Two Brothers

Week 2 The Waiting Father – Ps Patsy Cameneti

Luke 15:11 “To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: ‘A man had two sons …’” (NLT)

The primary focus for the story is ‘a man’. This is the reason that it is a good story – God is a good Father. Jesus introduced Heaven’s culture to us – introduced us to God’s perspective and way of doing things. In strong contrast to the way the current culture believed and acted. Heaven’s culture is always more important than any other culture. We always take Heaven’s culture over any other culture – whether it be a national, religious or personal culture.

The Way God Thinks

We are to think the way He thinks, then we will act the way He acts.

In the culture of the time, a son asking his father for his inheritance is the same as the son saying to his father, “Dad, I want you dead”. It was the highest form of disrespect.

The father’s response was completely uncharacteristic. He did not respond to the son’s disrespect. He did not respond in kind with, “If you walk out that door, you will never be welcome back”. No! Instead, he made a road for his son to return.

2 Tim 2:13 “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.” (NLT) God does not always respond to us in the same manner in which we act towards Him.

As well as being a good father to his sons while they were growing up, the father also showed that he was a good boss to his employees. He showed the heart of God by his relationships with these employees.

Rom 2:4 “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (NLT)

The Older Brother

Luke 15:25-29 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.” (NLT)

The father is having a huge celebration for the son who has just returned – this son who has done nothing except waste his money on riotous living. ‘It’s not fair!’ says the older brother. ‘I’ve slaved for you’ (v29).

The older brother regarded the time he spent with the father as a time when he was a slave. This attitude shows that he did not have a relationship with his father but was only someone that he worked for. He never embraced the father-son love relationship.

Luke 15:30-31 “Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf! His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.’” (NLT)

Verses 29 and 30 show the perspective of the older brother:

v29         I’ve slaved for you           is a slave

v30         this son of yours               he does not think of himself as a son Verse  31 shows the father’s response to this older brother:

Look, dear son …                              The father does see this older boy as his son

Everything I have is yours …        not just the original inheritance, but all that has been gained since the inheritance was divided between them

This is Heaven’s culture – everything I have is yours. And the Father gives because He loves and because He is full of grace. Sometimes children can think that they earn blessings by good works. But Heaven’s culture is based on God’s love and grace.

The Younger Brother

Luke 15:12 “The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.” (NLT)

The younger son says:    ‘I want’ – like any young child can say ‘I want; I want; it’s mine, mine’.

The father responds:     he gives the son what he asks for. This shows a tremendous amount of love, patience and kindness.

Whenever we start demanding I want; whenever life is centred round ‘me, mine, what I want’; it is the beginning of a downward spiral. We hear these same words from lucifer:

Isa 14:13-14 “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

Comparing Judas Iscariot and the Younger Brother Judas

John 12:4-6 “But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, ‘That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.’ Not that he cared for the poor – he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.” (NLT)

Judas was concerned about there being less money for him.

Younger Brother

Luke 15:13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living”

It is possible for us to use God’s blessings (His favour, His wealth, His health, etc) on stuff other than what He desires. But, God is gracious. When we don’t have something in our present, God can remind us of something in our past in order to bring us to our senses.

Prov 13:15 “… but the way of transgressors is hard” (KJV)

Luke 15:14-17 “About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!’” (NLT)

Bad things that happen to us can be the scenery along the road we have chosen to walk along. They are not punishments from God. The younger brother was starving and sharing his life with pigs. No- one was there to care about him. He had sunk so low; but, in this place where he had no future, he remembered how good his father’s servants had it. He wasn’t even thinking how good he had it back home – but how good the servants had it. Good thing the father was a good boss.

Luke 15:18 I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you’” (NLT)

Thinking about where he was at, he made a choice: I will go back to my father and admit I have sinned. Before going home, he needed to do something about the state he was in.

Judas

Matt. 27:3-4 “When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. ‘I have sinned,’ he declared, ‘for I have betrayed an innocent man.’ ‘What do we care?’ they retorted. ‘That’s your problem.’”(NLT)

Judas was filled with remorse. He was in the same position as the younger brother. His choices had brought him to this point and he needed to do something about the state he was in. So, he took back the 30 pieces of silver and said ‘I have sinned’. He went back to the priests and tried to make things right through them.

But things are never fixed until they are fixed with God and through Him. Reconciliation is good; but, some parties may not want to.

God’s Way

2 Cor. 7:10a “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow… “(NLT)

God wants us to experience this kind of sorrow – ‘I don’t like where I am; I don’t like what I am doing; I don’t like how this is affecting my relationships’. This kind of sorrow leads us away from sin and brings us to salvation. Even after Jesus has saved us, He is still our salvation – because we still have to fight the flesh. We all need to come away from sin.

2 Cor. 7:10b “… but worldly grief (the hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of the pagan world) is deadly [breeding and ending in death].” (AMP)

Worldly sorrow brings us to death.

Godly sorrow brings life and is pure.

Matt. 27:5 “Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.” (NLT)

Judas threw the money back and hanged himself. Sometimes people just hate life. Worldly sorrow brings a sense of hopelessness.

2 Cor. 7:10a “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow…” (NLT)

Godly grief leads us from sin and there is no regret with this kind of sorrow.

2 Cor. 7:11 “Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.” (NLT)

Godly sorrow produces earnestness, indignation, longing, zeal. We remember Him. We hate the pain that is caused but we do not hate ourselves. Godly sorrow says, ‘I hate where I am; I hate what I’ve done; so, I will get up and go to my Father.

Heb. 4:16 “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (NLT)

We will receive mercy but not because we have earned it. Boldness is not arrogance. We do not come saying, “Come on God, give it up. I’m your child. I deserve it”

His love and goodness are freely available. We run to the throne room for His mercy – so that we can act like sons.

The position of receiving is the position ‘under’. Humility goes along with boldness.

What To Do

For those children of God who find themselves in a bad place because of wrong choices:

Don’t hate yourself (this sounds holy but is worldly wisdom) Hate what you have done

Don’t just feel terrible

GO HOME

Does this mean you have to get saved again? No. The younger son was still a son – even in the pig pen – but he needed to come back to being with the father again.

Coming home
Coming  home
Never more to roam
Open wide
Your arms of love
Lord, I’m coming home

Week 3 - The Robe Of Righteousness

The Robe of Righteousness

Week 3 The Waiting Father – Ps Tony Cameneti

Luke 15:13-16 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.” (NLT)

 

The Son’s Wrongdoing

He committed the most insulting thing a son could do by asking his father for his inheritance; then he left his father and wasted everything he had on prostitutes and wild living.

 

IMAGINE YOURSELF: Doing those things that you have heard all your life were wrong

 

The Condition in Which the Son Returned

  • Out of money (v13)
  • Starving (v14)
  • Having lived with the pigs (v15)
  • Eating what the pigs ate (v16)
  • No one giving him anything (v16)

These are all natural discomforts. On the inside, however, something else was at work in the son. Repentance was working and he realized his actions were wrong.

 

The Son’s Response

Luke 15:19 “… and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.” (NLT)

 

The son returned with no earthy possessions; but he also returned broken, believing he was not worthy. He believed that he didn’t deserve to be called a son and was willing to except punishment and be treated like one of the hired servants.

 

SIGNIFICANCE: the son came home dirty, feeling worthless, hopeless, believing he had lost his standing as a son

 

The Robe of Righteousness

Luke 15:22a “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him … ‘“(NLT)

 

The robe represents an awareness of right standing. When someone rubs shoulders with the world and lives the way the world lives, they can feel torn and dirtied. God doesn’t take our righteousness away from us. It was given to us because of all that Jesus did through the Cross. But we can lose our awareness of our right standing with God.

 

1. The Robe Erases All Guilt and Condemnation

The son came home thinking he was unworthy. He was filthy, dirty, wasteful and sinful; BUT, he was repentant.

 

The father fell on his son and kissed his neck. The son was stinking and dirty from being with the pigs (the son wandered to the place where he thought he belonged). The father kissed him in his filthy condition and covered over his dirty clothes.

 

When we approach God with a repentant heart, He kisses us the way we are and He covers our ugly past by cleansing us from all our wrong doing.

 

SIGNIFICANCE: the kiss symbolized the end of the dispute – forgiveness

the robe symbolized unending right standing

 

Isa 43:25 “I – yes, I alone – will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” (NLT)

 

2. The Robe is Immediately and Freely Given

Luke 15:22a “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him …’” (NLT)

 

The father did not let the son go on talking about his past.

 

In this story, Jesus told of a man who went against culture and whose heart ran with compassion toward his sinful son. Q. What was Jesus’ point in telling this story? A. The law came by Moses but I bring grace and truth.

 

Prolonged days of self-pity, guilt and condemnation are over.

 

Gal 4:6-7 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore, thou art no more a servant but a son; and if a son then an heir of God through Christ.” (KJV)

 

 

3. The Robe was Placed on the Son by Servants

Luke 15:22a “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him …’” (NLT)

 

The servants retrieved the robe and put the robe on the son. The servants did the work just as Jesus did the work for us. He places us in Himself and Himself in us.

 

Rom 4:6-8 “David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: Oh,what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin.” (NLT)

 

4. The Robe Identified the Son     

Luke 15:24 “… for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found …” (NLT)

 

The son returned exposed, shamed, defeated. EVERYONE saw him filthy and dirty. He knew he had sinned and he knew in that culture that he had no right to be called a son any longer. He LOST his consciousness of right standing.

 

The son could no longer act like a son. He said ‘I am not worthy’. His filthy clothes and state spoke to everyone around that he was not a son.

 

BUT, when the father had the robe placed on him, the son became aware that he was a son. He could now act like a son – his robe empowered him to act like a son. The robe symbolized dignity and belonging. He was empowered and everyone who saw him knew he was empowered.

 

1 Cor 15:34Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” (NKJV)

 

Conclusion

  • The son never ceased being a son
  • His wrong living caused him to lose his awareness that he was a son
  • We cannot lose our right standing
  • Wrong living can cause us to lose our awareness of our right standing
  • This story illustrates that whoever returns home to the Father with a repentant heart has total acceptance back with the Father
  • God kisses you in your current condition and freely forgives you
  • He immediately reminds you – you  are My son, My daughter – get back up and act like it
Week 4 - The Ring of Authority

The Ring of Authority

Week 4 The Waiting Father – Ps Tony Cameneti

The Waiting Father

Outline

  • Week 1 – The Waiting Father
  • Week 2 – The Tale of Two Brothers – Ps Patsy
  • Week 3 – The Robe of Righteousness  
  • Week 4 – The Ring of Authority
  • Week 5 – The Shoes of Freedom – Ps Patsy
  • Week 6 – The Feast of Feasts

General Introduction

There can be a misunderstanding between the church and the synagogue

  • Understanding the parable of the prodigal son can deliver us from this misunderstanding
  • The western world focuses on the ‘son’ in this parable
  • The Jewish world would focus on the ‘father’ in this parable

The father shocked the audience with his responses

  • By giving the son his inheritance and allowing him to leave
  • By running to him and kissing his neck
  • By speedily accepting him back home
  • By unashamedly proclaiming him as his son

It was one of the most gracious acts a father could do in that culture

Week 1 – Review

Jesus was establishing

  • Heaven’s culture over all other cultures
  • Christian culture over Synagogue culture
  • Christian culture over nation culture
  • New Testament culture over Old Testament culture
  • Grace culture over law culture
  • God’s forgiveness culture over man’s un-forgiveness culture

Week 2 – Review

  • Difference between Biblical repentance and worldly grief
  • Worldly grief destroys us whereas Biblical repentance works good things in us

Week 3 – Review

The robe represented righteousness

  • Righteousness is a free gift
  • It is not earned or worked for
  • We cannot lose our righteousness
  • We are sons and daughters by grace through faith
  • When we return home to the Father, He accepts us back immediately
  • He expects us to act like sons and daughters who are in right standing with Him

The Ring of Authority

Luke 15:22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger …’” (NLT)

 

When the prodigal son left his father’s house he probably had a ring but, eventually, he probably sold it or lost it. The end result for the prodigal was that he became a servant and a slave to others.

 

Rom. 6:16 “Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness?” (NET)

 

We stated last week that believers do not lose their right standing with God – but can lose their awareness of this right standing. We also do not lose our authority as sons of God – but we can lose our confidence to exercise our authority.

 

Mankind is helpless without authority and a victim to anything that comes its way.

 

The Ring Symbolizes Power and Authority

The Old Testament

  • Pharaoh gave Joseph his ring and put him over his entire kingdom (Gen 41:41-42)
  • The king gave Mordecai his ring and put him over his entire kingdom (Esther 8:2)

 

When the repentant son received the ring, the father was saying ‘I recognize that you have had a change of heart. You have come back home to me. Here is a ring for your finger; here is your authority, son. You don’t have to earn it back. You can start using your authority immediately.

 

Definition of Authority             the power to give orders or make decisions

the power or right to direct or control someone or something

 

Jesus was our example of a righteous man. He exercised His authority on the earth.

 

Matt 17:18 “And Jesus gave orders to the unclean spirit, and it went out of him: and the boy was made well from that hour.” (BBE)

 

Mark 1:27 “Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? What new doctrine is this?For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.’” (NKJV)

 

Mark 4:39 “And he came out of his sleep, and gave strong orders to the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be at rest. And the wind went down, and there was a great calm.” (BBE)

 

Luke 4:39 “So Jesus went over to her and ordered the fever to go away. Right then she was able to get up and serve them a meal.” (CEV)

 

Various Things that Obeyed Jesus

  • weather
  • devil and demons
  • sickness and disease
  • fevers
  • provision – (multiplied loaves and fishes)
  • nature – (cast your net for a catch)

 

What the Centurion Understood

Luke 7:8 “For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this’ and he does it.” (NKJV)

 

  • I am a man like you are

Being a living man or woman on the earth is all that is necessary in order to exercise authority. Being a man or woman qualifies us to use authority.

 

  • I am under authority like you are

He understood how he was under authority. It helped him to see that Jesus also was under authority. The authority of the Roman army was behind the centurion. He saw that the authority of Heaven was behind Jesus.

 

  • I have soldiers under me

Sickness is under your authority. I tell my soldiers what to do and they do it; and You tell sickness what to do and it does it.

 

Every Christian Can Use Their Authority Against

  • sickness and disease
  • fevers
  • devil and demons
Week 5 - The Shoes of Freedom

The Shoes of Freedom

Week 5 The Waiting Father – Ps Patsy Cameneti

SANDALS FOR HIS FEET

Luke 15:22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.’” (NLT)

In this Scripture, the Father is saying, “You’re mine. You’re mine. You’re mine. I want you. I want you. Nothing can cut you off from Me.”

William Barclay said this:

“The children of the family were shod and slaves were not. The slaves’ dream in the Negro spiritual song is of the time when ‘all God’s chillun got shoes’ – for shoes were the sign of freedom.”

Slaves and servants were not given shoes. In the culture of Jesus’ time, a person’s standing in the culture was judged by looking at their feet. One of the first things that the father did was call for shoes for his son’s feet. This was another way of saying, “you belong to me; you are not a slave but a son”.

Gal 4:7 “Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (KJV)

Jesus came to Earth, not only to show us what the Father looks like, but also to show us what a son looks like.

Phil 2:7 “… but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” (NKJV)

Jesus, in Heaven, held the place of a son. When He came to Earth, He still served as a son. He still held the authority of a son. And, from this place of dominion, He served. Like Him, we are not grovelling. We serve from our position of authority.

We have been given the ring. We have authority. Our words carry weight. Our words count. We are not dominating or authoritative. Instead, we serve. We follow Jesus’ example (example – He is the model for husbands – to serve their wives).

We serve because we love.

In their letters John, Jude, Peter, James and Paul always referred to themselves as ‘servants’. They all knew they were sons but they all served.

We are not self-serving.  There is no greater honour in the entire world than to serve the King and His kingdom. We personally serve the King. Thank You, Lord, that You have chosen me to be Your son and I am free to serve.Unknown Object

Gal 4:7 “Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” (NLT)

This translation uses the word ‘slave’ instead of ‘servant’. A slave is a worse position than that of a servant. There is absolutely no recompense given to you for anything. You are made to do what you do not want to do.

Rom 6:14,16 “For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God’s favour and mercy] … Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?” (AMP)

We are no longer slaves. We have, once before, all been slaves to sin, slaves to addictions. When sons (who are free, have the robe, the ring and the shoes) submit and obey sin, they can become a slave to sin and can become bound to this sin.

Jesus bought our freedom. We make ourselves a slave by yielding to sin. We make ourselves a slave.

Rom 8:12 “So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh.” (AMP)

We are not to hav obligated to sin. There is no condemnation if we do sin; but, we are not obligated to sin

If you have an addiction – eg smoking cigarettes – you can talk back to that cigarette. You have been given that authority. The cigarette is saying, “you have me, you need me, you want me”. You can talk back to it and say, “I am not obligated to you”. You talk from that place that is free.

Look at that addiction and say, “I am not obligated to you. I am free”.

Heb 2:14-15 “Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die; and only by dying could he break the power of the devil who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.” (NLT)

Jesus came in the flesh. He was able to set free everyone who was afraid of dying.  We are not afraid of dying. We do not have to have any fear in our lives. Jesus broke the foundation for the fear of dying.

Unpack the shoes. Jesus wanted us to know that we do not have to have any fear. Perfect love casts out all fear

Say this:               God is with me. He is in me. I will not fear.

Keep drinking the presence of God.

Feet in the Bible Speak of Different Things

1. The Divine Purpose and Plan

Feet allow your body to stand and to stand on your own. They allow you to walk. God wants His sons to stand up; and not be grovelling and crawling their way through life. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us and He wants us to walk in it.

Sandals for the feet are His preparation for the plans that He has for us. But, this preparation never comes to an end. We are always in preparation. God wants all His sons on their feet, walking in His plan. He put shoes on their feet.

Say this:               My Father has a purpose and plan for my life

Eph 6:15 “And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.” (AMP)

His plan prepares us for what He has ahead.

Ex 12:11 “And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’S Passover.” (NKJV)

They were to eat fully dressed with their sandals on and their staff in hand. They were to be ready to go. God wants His children on their feet, ready to go. He does not want any of us in an armchair just sitting and watching.

2. Fruitfulness

Isa 52:7 “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” (NLT)

Our feet have a purpose – to stand, to walk and to bring the Gospel. The Word of God contains promises for our feet; therefore, our feet have purpose.

Ps 18:33 “He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places.” (NKJV)

My feet are like the feet of deer. Deer bounce through life. They live in the high places. He sets me on my high places. Let us each go to our own high place and not someone else’s.

Ps 18:36 “You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip.” (NKJV)

I will not slip. I do not have to be afraid that I will miss it.

Ps 25:15 “My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.” (NKJV)

When your feet are in a net, they are tangled up and stuck. God plucks your feet out of the tangle. You are coming out.

Ps 40:2 “He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” (NLT)

God lifts us out of the pit of despair and puts our feet on solid ground.

Ps 40:3 “He has given me a new song to sing; a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” (NLT)

When we are walking free of nets and muck and mire, we are an example to others. God will use our testimony to help others.

Ps 56:13 “For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.” (NLT)

He keeps my feet from slipping so I can walk in His presence. Not so I can just do anything that I choose to do.

Ps 116:8-9 “He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the LORD’s presence as I live here on earth!” (NLT)

It is not God’s plan for you that you be sad. With God’s shoes on, your feet won’t be tangled; you won’t slip. Our trust is in God; therefore, we do not walk tentatively, tense but free and light.

Look at your feet.

God knows where your feet have gone. He knows where the feet of your children have gone. He is more concerned about your children than you are.

He made our feet free; confident to move in His direction. We take these promises concerning our feet.

We declare:            our feet are coming out of the muck and mire and depression

our feet are strong and steady

we are coming out

we are sons of the Living God

Week 6 - The One Who Didn't Enter

The One Who Didn’t Enter

Week 6 The Waiting Father – Ps Tony Cameneti

God’s giving always follows His forgiving

This story of ‘The Waiting Father’ reveals that, when God forgives, it is as if we had never sinned at all

The One Who Didn’t Enter

Luke 15:23-24 “And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found. So the party began.” (NLT)

The Feast is Symbolic

  • All the angels in Heaven rejoice when one sinner repents
  • Satisfaction comes only from relationship – or feeding on Jesus
  • Feasting speaks of our rich fellowship and communion with Jesus and the community (the church)

The eldest son would not go in to the feast.

Luke 15:28-31The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’ His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.’” (NLT)

The father’s response reveals that the older son had right standing, authority and freedom.

The older son’s response reveals that, even though he had it all, it did not satisfy him. He had no satisfaction.

Why was he in this condition?

  • His expectations were built on works
  • He was angry because his brother hadn’t earned the right to have a feast thrown for him

The father threw a feast that wasn’t based on the perfect performance of his returning son

The older son wasn’t able to forgive his brother, so he couldn’t go in. When we think we are blessed based on our works, we will look at other people the same way.

The father’s love and grace qualified the older son BUT the older son’s self-righteousness disqualified him

The law disqualified the younger son BUT the father’s love and grace qualified himUnknown Object

Rom 10:3 “For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.” (NLT)

‘Freely’ Can Move Us to ‘Fully’

Luke 15:17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!’” (NLT)

The son was starving. Starvation was the initial motive that drove him back home to his father. It didn’t start with his conscience or heart – but his stomach. He didn’t initially think to go back because he felt guilty about doing wrong – but because he was hungry.

God’s free forgiveness raises our motives

God even receives those who come with lowly motives. If a man goes back, even for no better reason than hunger – as long as he does go back, he will be welcomed by the Father.

The One Source of Satisfaction

1. The son was willing to give up his sonship to get food for his belly. He wanted his hunger satisfied.

2. It’s possible to go looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places. Hungry hearts can be roaming hearts. They can take us to the wrong place to get us what we think we need. The son went to the city – enjoyed the high life – but ended up in the pig pen.

3. The father orchestrated a set order when the son returned. What the son wanted most was not what he needed first. Firstly, He was freely accepted and forgiven and then bathed in the outflow of his father’s love. This was then followed by right standing (the robe), authority (the ring) and freedom (shoes). Then, came the feast (the food).

Our Feasting is done from Our Place in Christ

We don’t feast to attain right standing or authority or to gain freedom from slavery. We feast from our place In Christ. We are already complete in Him.

We can know that we are in right standing with God; that we have authority; and that we are no longer slaves but sons and have freedom. But, we can still be hungry.

Ecc 5:10 “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” (ESV)

Children of busy rich parents often have it all but all they really want is time with their parents.

“In a surprising switch, the offspring of the affluent today are more distressed than other youth. They show disturbingly high rates of substance use, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, cheating, and stealing. It gives a whole new meaning to having it all.”                                                                                                Psychology Today

Ps 107:9 “For he satisfies the longing soul and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” (ESV)

Satisfaction is not a consequence of our position, gifts or freedom BUT of our feasting with Jesus

How satisfied we are in Him affects our stewardship of our authority, our power, our position and our spiritual giftings.

Jer 31:25 “For I will satisfy the weary soul and every languishing soul I will replenish.” (ESV)

John 7:37 “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.’” (NKJV)

Rev 3:20 “I am now standing at the door and am knocking. If anyone listens to My voice and opens the door, I will go in to be with him and will feast with him, and he shall feast with Me.” (Weymouth)

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