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Faithlife

Search Engine for Relationships

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Search Engine for Relationships

I.                    Text: Luke 15:11-24

II.                 Major Objective: Discover God’s Process for relationships.

III.               Central Idea of the Text: God has a process that leads to good relationships.

IV.              Subject: Search Engine for Relationships

V.                 Thesis and Goal

a.       Proposition: God has a process that works.

b.      Specific Objective: For the Holy Spirit to convict this age group of the need to be guided by God to develop good relationships.

VI.              Introduction

At first glance this may seem like a strange title for a sermon.  Yet, today we learn so much from the Internet.  In addition, if one is to find anything on the Internet they are probably going to use a Search Engine at one time or another.  It would make sense that within our lives there should be a Search Engine for Relationships.  Many of you at this time in your life are experiencing difficulties both in your family and outside.  This is very normal for you are growing into a time when you are naturally going to want to start exercising more independence.  For those who you have related to in the past may find this difficult to relate to.  Creating and nourishing good relationships can be an important part of your life.  With that said, God I believe has supplied us with the story of a young man that had similar difficulties.  Today I’d like us to take a few minutes and look at how he handled his relationship issues.

VII.            Passage

Luke 15:11-24

VIII.         Repentance

a.       Our story opens up with the younger son of the two demanding what had coming to him.  In today’s language it would be one’s inheritance.  The younger son, with no regard for other relationships in his life, turned everything his father had given him into cash and left for the land of “Video Arcades and Virtual Reality Rooms” and there he spent everything he had.  The young man now having no way to enter the land of “Video Arcades and Virtual Reality Rooms” he went to work cleaning out sewers.  This work the young man hated but still this did not get him what he wanted.  Then while cleaning out sewers one day he thought, “I will go home to my father and be one of his hired workers; even they don’t have to clean out sewers.” 

The younger son picked himself up and started for home.  While he was still a good block and a half from home his father saw him.  His father was so glad to see him coming home he ran the block and a half to meet him.  He threw his arms around his son and hugged him.  The younger son tried to tell him how sorry he was but the father was so glad his son was home he wouldn’t let him finish his apology.

There are times when we as people, as human beings, as fallible creatures commit a wrong we need to admit to our wrong and apologize to those we have offended.  In this case the younger son knew he had done wrong and turned around and headed home.  This is the definition of what the Bible calls repenting.  Repenting is the first step in creating a good relationship with God.  If we want to have a good relationship with people in our lives we must first have a right relationship with God.  Repentance is the first step.

IX.              Restoration

a.       The next step is to restore you to a right relationship with individuals within your life.  As our story continues we see the father wanted to restore the son to his previous position.  The father called his servant and told him to retrieve the best set of clothes in the house, get the best set of shoes for him, and call the local caterer for there was going to be a party in the house that night.  The father gave him a ring.  If we were to change this a bit to fit our times we might see the father giving the son a new set of clothes, new shoes for his feet, and the access code to the family’s audio video room where the new XBOX-360 is waiting for the son’s return.

The father restored his son.  Yet, the father decided how he would restore him.  His son came to him in humility and repentance.  If we came to our heavenly father in repentance and humility God wants to restore us.  Before sin entered the world we had this very close relationship with our heavenly father.  Now we are all carrying the effect of sin committed so long ago.  God is ready to restore us, which is the second step. 

X.                 Rejoicing

a.       The third step is rejoicing.  Later in our Bible passage we can see there was a great party that was taking place.  The father stated, “…he was lost and is now found.”  Think to a time when someone in your life was angry with you or you with them.  Now think about what it felt like when the two of you came back together.  It was surely a time of happiness maybe even some tears.  Now multiply that many times and we have an idea how happy God is when we return to him.  The father was very happy when his younger son came home, so also is your heavenly father when you return to him.  In our times it might be a great time of pizza, video games, and good times.  It would be a time when we are gathered together with our friends and all are having a great time.  Angels rejoice in heaven when we come home to our father in heaven.

XI.              Conclusion

a.       Today we have taken a few moments to look at some steps we can take to improve some relationships that maybe have become broken or damaged.  The first step was repentance.  This is when we turn from the direction we are going and return to our heavenly father.  This can be compared with when we turn to someone we have a damaged relationship with and apologize sincerely.  Next our father in heaven wants to restore us to our former relationship with him.  This can compare to when we resolve an issue that is dividing us from having a relationship with another person, maybe a friend, a parent, or some other relative.  Finally, we saw how the father rejoiced when his younger son returned, so also the angels in heaven rejoice when we return to our heavenly father.  This was compared to the joy we feel when we are friends with those we have broken off relationships with.

Today, I want to lead us in some prayer.  As I pray I want you to think of a relationship that could use God’s help.  If you have never trusted Jesus maybe this would be the time that you can open your heart to him and let him come into your heart and healing this relationship between you and God.  Maybe there is a friend, or a parent, or someone else that you have a broken relationship.  Ask God to heal this relationship.  Let us all bow our heads in prayer.

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