Elements City Church
Prodigal - wk 4 A Compassionate Core
One of Jesus’s most famous parables in one of the most powerful chapters of Scripture has insights for us today. New series for the month of March. Join us each Sunday at 5pm.
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  • Elements City Church
    1825 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA
    星期日 5:00 下午

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Whether you're in the house or joining us online from your house, we are praying that tonight will be an encouragement to your soul and that you know you're loved. May God whisper to you and help you in taking your next steps in a journey with Him.

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Jesus made a statement, recorded in Luke 19 - that’s drilled down on and expanded upon in Luke 15 - it is a declaration of Jesus’ mindset and focus - captures his heart & his mission:

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” Luke 19:10
In Luke 15 - Jesus tells 3 key parables or stories that describe God's heart and what he's really like. This comes off of understanding verses 1-2 that are driving why he tells these stories.
We’ve gone from 1 / 100 sheep -to- 1/10 coins to now 2 sons
The stakes are escalating… we’ve gone from livestock, to material things to the most important - human relationships… the stakes are getting higher as Jesus continues to tell these stories in order to push back against the narrative and understanding of how do we truly understand what God’s heart is like?
This story is usually referred to as “The Parable of the Prodigal Son.”

According to the Dictionary, the word “prodigal” means: “One who spends lavishly…spending freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant.”
Here we are told at the end of both first parables:
Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

JESUS SEEMS BENT ON HIGHLIGHTING THE JOY OF HEAVEN WITH THOSE THAT ARE FOUND!!

So we are reminded that these stories are bigger than just a lost sheep and lost coins but it shows us the celebration in heaven when a sinner comes home to salvation…

We tend to call this last parable - the parable of the Prodigal Son. “By focusing on the prodigal son, however, we may miss the central lesson of the parable. The central character in this story is not the son, but the father.
Here at the climax of the last of the three stories, we have the most amazing, shocking, category-busting message of Jesus about what it means to be spiritually lost.

The father has to go out to each one.

What is Jesus showing? That both the bad son and the good son are both alienated from God. They’re both cut off from the father. Both Lost.

Jesus says there are two ways to be spiritually lost…
The Bible says you can either look to Jesus as Savior or to something else. You can either look to Jesus to save you for your salvation and to justify you, or you can look to something else to try and save you and justify yourself.

Don’t you understand everybody is lost here?

We’re all lost. The good people are lost. The bad people are lost. God has sent me (Jesus) to seek and save the lost. He loves the lost.

Only people who know THEY ARE lost have any hope of being found!
Are you forgetting? Paul says in Romans 5, “… while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

On the cross, this EASTER, we remember: that The cross says too you and to me, “You are so messed up, you are so lost, you are so hopeless, nothing less than the death of the Son of God can save you.”

AND YET at the same time, Jesus is saying from the cross, “I’m glad to do it.”
Only when you see this incredible humiliation and this incredible affirmation through Jesus Christ dying on the cross for you, only when he humbles you so much you can’t possibly earn your salvation anymore and yet he affirms you to the stars so you don’t need to …THAT’S WHEN YOU CAN BECOME OVERWHELMED BY HIS COMPASSION and his amazing forgiveness!

QUOTE:
“Mercy and forgiveness must be free and unmerited to the wrongdoer. If the wrongdoer has to do something to merit it, then it isn't mercy, but forgiveness always comes at a cost to the one granting the forgiveness.”
― Timothy Keller

The only reason why you are in the feast of the Father’s salvation is because the ultimate Rich Man, Jesus Christ, became poor for you.
=It cost him everything to pursue you & it was a price he was willing to pay!

Compassion has a cost to it - but the return on that investment is priceless!
We are not just called home, we are called to become like the Father.
What will that cost you?

The heart of the Father in this story - is revealing the compassionate core of God.

Quote
“For all his resplendent glory and dazzling holiness, his supreme uniqueness and otherness, no one in human history has ever been more approachable than Jesus Christ.”
-Dane Ortland

Motivated by compassion - made Jesus approachable.

Q) a good question to wrestle with in your spiritual maturing process:
Are you becoming more approachable or less?
A heart like the Father's is one that is willing to be inconvenienced so that others might be brought back to God.

Quote:
“In this story the father represents the Heavenly Father Jesus knew so well. St. Paul writes: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus is showing us the God of Great Expenditure, who is nothing if not prodigal toward us, his children. God’s reckless grace is our greatest hope and a life-changing experience.”
― Timothy Keller

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Elements family: thank you for enabling us to BE the Church in our city - especially in this moment. Your gifts help fuel the mission and our capacity to share His love with as many as we can. You help us bring the HOPE and LIGHT of Jesus to our city! You can give here, online, or through the Elements app.

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We'll see you back at Elements next weekend as we celebrate Easter together!!
Have a blessed week friends!!

reminder: we encourage you to spend some time reading/reflecting on Luke chapters 22-24 this Holy Week.