Words Men Want to Hear

Lessons we can learn from The Parable of the Prodigal Son.

James Greer
Jun 30, 2019    25m
In this sermon Pastor James Greer teaches us three important lessons we can learn from The Parable of the Prodigal Son. He explains that we all want to be accepted by our loved one and God, we all want to feel loved by our family and God, and we all want to feel understood by our loved ones and God. In this parable, the father shows all three of these traits. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: 00:00 Let's hear it for the Alexandria campus. They are rocking the house. God's blessing them and we're excited for what all God's doing over there. This is the last part three, round three, of fight like a man. Exodus 15:3 said, the Lord is a warrior. Another translation said the Lord is a fighter, and to bring you up to date and we'll start our third part, but we taught you how to fight spiritually. We said the number one thing you do is you surrender. Surrender means you become preoccupied and dependent upon Christ. Second of all, you take the sword, which is the word of God. Word of God is quick, powerful, sharpened two-edged sword. Then you add the seed of faith, which is allows us, if we add our faith, says the seed of faith, all things are possible.

James Greer: 00:51 But, what we're going to talk about today is family fights. It's where we really live. How do we deal with our children and our teenagers and husbands and wives, and how can we learn today? There's three things that everybody needs to hear. We need to hear them from God, the father and our children and mates need to hear them from us. And if we could learn these three things and do them. The three words, these three actions, it could radically change every relationship that we have. There's a verse that the last month or two that's really gone along and really stuck in my heart. It's Proverbs 4:7 it says, wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom. With all that getting, get understanding.

James Greer: 01:51 And see there's something that this man had that we need so bad. It is part of the story later on be about the prodigal sons. There was really two of them, but they had a dad that had this unbelievable understanding on how to deal with his children. His children didn't always agree with what he was doing, but he had a godly confidence on what to do, how to do it, and what to say. And I think if we could learn these three things and we can apply them to our lives and we could really soak them in and we could really get the understanding that it would help every relationship that we have. And here's the three words. First is accepted, that you want to feel accepted. I want to feel accepted. We all want to feel accepted. And the wonderful thing about this is even when we're kind of unacceptable, God accepts us. So you're going to find out this father, when his son was acting in a way that was unacceptable, when he came back, his dad accepted him.

James Greer: 02:48 The second word is love. Everybody wants to feel loved. And even when we're unlovable, the wonderful thing about even when you're unlovable, God loves you. There is nothing you can do to make God love you anymore. Or God love you any less. God loves you. Amen? Well, that's a characteristic that God want us to have. He wants to have it for each other, but he especially wants to have for our children. That he wants us to accept them. He wants us to love them. And the third thing is to understand them. Understanding is such a powerful thing. It doesn't mean you always agree, but you try to understand where they're coming from. It'll change our perspective on how we deal with everything. It'll just change our perspective on how we deal with our marriage, with our kids, our job, in every area of our life. See you. You can have a great home, you can have a great job, you can have a great paycheck, but if you do not have understanding, you won't have a great marriage.

James Greer: 03:36 See, you can be wherever you're at in your relationship, you can be married five years, 10 years, 20 years, but if you don't have understanding, that relationship won't grow. And so the man that we're going to talk about today, if there's anything he had, he had understanding. So there's acceptance, there's love, and there's understanding. So we had three parts of the sanctuary .Over here, this over here, you're accepted, say accepted. Over here, your'e love. Say love. Over here, you understand, say understand. Over here, you understand, say understand. All right. You're loved, you're accepted. See, if we can learn those three things, and we could apply those three things, it would change every relationship that we have.

James Greer: 04:24 So you might not have an earthly father, though. So, so I've been preaching three Sundays on how a father should fight like a man. Let's see, you might be here and you either don't have an earthly father, or you don't have a father that's active in your life. So, before I get into the prodigal son story, I want you to know that Psalm 65:5 says, “He'll be a father to the fatherless, defender of the widows.” This is the God who dwells in holy places. So you can have one. 2 Corinthians 6:18 says this, it says, “I'll will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and my daughter, says the Lord Almighty.”

James Greer: 05:00 When Miranda and Ana were giving their testimony about how they'd lost their father at a young age, and she said she didn't know what she was going to do. And she said, I'll just bring my daughter to the father's house, which was here. And her daughter wrote down this 2 Corinthians and she said, now God is going to be my father. So you can have a father that will go with you 24 hours a day. He has the right answers, he'll provide and protect. And the best way to get to know him many times is through the Proverbs. And then we have a lot of ladies that come and maybe you don't have a husband in the house, and you don't have a man. And last Sunday I preached on men and pansies and or have a powerful man in the house, and maybe you don't have a man in the house.

James Greer: 05:49 Well, how about this? Isaiah 54:5 says, for you are the creator, you're going to be my husband. And the Lord of the heaven's armies is his name. He is your redeemer, the holy one of Israel, the God of all. So see, you've got a man. He is the man, he is the heaven's armies, he's your redeemer, he's your king and he is your provider. So what I'm trying to tell you, we all can have a Father in heaven in spite of what's going on in Earth. Amen? We got a Father that loves us, accepts us, and understand whether you're a success or a failure. I was blessed. Man, I was so blessed. I had a dad that knew one thing, and he didn't go to church much, but he knew how to give acceptance and understanding and love and way back in the day. You all probably don't remember Dukes of Hazzard, do you? The Dukes of Hazzard, man, they always had this car and then it jumped over hills, and it landed the right way. Well, my dad bought a Volkswagen. I lived out of city limits, and behind my house there was hills and levies. I'd been watching the Dukes of Hazzard, to me it looks like every time Duke's Hazzard went over the hill, the car just sailed. So, I went over the hill and the car just sailed, smashed the front of the car in. So I went and ran and brought the car back, parked it in the driveway, like he isn’t going to know what's going on. Can I tell you? Don't try to jump hills with your car, that just works on TV, especially if you've got a Volkswagen.

James Greer: 07:29 But, anyway, what I learned from my father is whether I had a wreck, or whether something happened, my dad would always come and say, I can get another "blank", but I can't get another blonde hair blue-eyed boy. Now you're saying, I cannot believe you ever had blonde hair. Well, when I was little, I did. And what my dad gave, he said, look, I love you more than things, I accept you, then we would be corrected. Man, wouldn't you like to be a father like that. Wouldn't you like to be a dad that said, hey, you grew up knowing that you're worth more than the things around the house. I may not have done a good job like that, but I got a Father in heaven that treats me that way. That says, hey, I want you to know I love you and accept you no matter what's going on in your life.

James Greer: 08:18 We're going to look about two sons in a little bit. One of the sons looked like a failure, and really ended up probably being a great success. The other one looked like a great success, and ended up kind of being a failure. But he ended up being a failure mainly because he wouldn't accept his dad's love and forgiveness and understanding. He became jealous in resentment. See, jealousy will destroy relationships. See, he had worldly possessions, but he didn't have the right position in fellowship with God his Father. You all, jealousy is just the desire to deprive another person of pleasure that draws attention away from you. Jealousy is when you really have all you need, and you still want what somebody else has. And the second son is often not remembered as the prodigal son, and he was the jealous son.

James Greer: 09:09 So, let's take some time now, number two and let's look at the father that understood, the father that had the understanding, the father that knew his son was wrong. But he understood if he didn't let his son do what he thought he needed to do, that his son would always think he was right. Men, what we need more than anything else, is understanding. We need to understand the situation. We need to understand what's going on. We need the Proverbs 4:7 verses that says, "Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom and in all that getting, get understanding." We can see things from their perspective, even when we don't agree with them. One of the hardest things to ever understand is, you ready, it's when to let your kids go, and when to let them return. See in Luke 15:1, his father had to deal with that. And Jesus was speaking, and he was speaking about, really about God the Father, but he was speaking about us. And in Luke 15:11 he said this, Then Jesus said, a man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, give me my share of the property." I want to say, really it was the dad's in the first place, son. But anyway, "So the father divided the property between the two sons, and then the younger son gathered all that was his and he traveled away to another country. There he wasted the money on (What?) Foolish living." Let me give you a free insight, you ready? Wealth without wisdom will always equal waste. Haven't you ever known people that gave the kids inheritance at too young age, and all of a sudden they don't have anything. I knew a guy that won several million dollars one time, and yet he didn't use it wisely, it wasn't but a few years later and he still was broke.

James Greer: 11:11 See, if you have wealth and you don't have wisdom, it'll still go to waste. That's what Proverbs 16:6 says, get wisdom, it's worth more than money, choose insight over income, every time. I want to tell you something else that this father did. First of all, the father gave it to him. Second of all, the father let him leave. And third of all, I didn't see the father continuing to blame himself for what his son chose to do. See, he gave him a free choice. I see people all the time, they raised their kids, you're doing the very best you can. It comes to the point that you've got to let them go, and they go and do it, and then you start blaming yourself for the choices they make. I see that this man would walk in the door and every day he'd say, man, I hope my son comes back, and I'm sure it broke his heart and he loved him. But he didn't continue to get his self-worth and feelings because of what his son did, and neither can you. They get to a certain age, when they make their choices, then they've got to suffer the consequences, and you got to do what's right either way. Amen Brother James?

James Greer: 12:06 Verse 14, this is really great, he said, "And after he spent everything that came to him, and there was no food anywhere in the country. The son, he was poor and he was hungry. Guess what he did then? So he got a job. Welcome to the real world. Sometimes necessity causes you to get a job, with one of the citizens who had sent the son into the field to feed pigs., And so the son was so hungry that he wanted to eat the paws and the flesh, and he was eating, and no one gave him anything. Then he realized, how about this? Then he came to his understanding, he started to see things from his dad's perspective. See, his dad understood he had to let him go. He understood when to let him go. His Dad understood when to come back, but the son had to come to his own understanding, he understood what he was doing. He realized what he was doing and thought, man, all my father's servants, you know they have plenty of food but I, here I am, I'm almost dying of hunger. He had to come to that understanding though. I'm going to leave. I'm going to return to my father's house and say, father, I have sinned against God and have done wrong to you. See what he did is, he had to come to the point that he had done wrong, and then he had to realize it.

James Greer: 13:36 So the second half, second part is, the result of right understanding. Now the dad had the right understanding of when to let him go, when let him come back. The son now is coming to the right understanding. You know why? The hurt that the son had to go through, was worth the help. It'll hurt you, and them, but if the hurt is right, it's worth the help they get. You ready? The sooner we let them hurt, the sooner they'll get the help. Do you know how you know if the hurt is right? You know the hurt is right is when they know they've sinned against God and you. Sometimes a hurt is not right, they're just sorry they got in trouble, sometimes they just want you to bail them out of trouble. But you know the hurt is right when they say, man, I sinned against God, I’ve got to get my relationship right with God, and I sinned against you. Because in the long run, God is the only one that can sustain them. God is the only one that can provide from them. God is the only one that can guide them. God is the only one that could direct them. When you know the hurt is right, they finally come to the point they realize they sinned against God, as well as they did you. He's the only one that gives lasting provisions, not an earthly father, our job is eventually turn them to our heavenly father.

James Greer: 14:58 Only when you get your priorities right with God. And you get your position right, which when I say position, I'm talking about fellowship. You can be in the same house, and you can have four or five kids, they're all still your kids. Amen? But sometimes, one of them may act like a fool, and he might be out of fellowship with you. You still love them, but you're not in the right fellowship. You want to be in the fellowship with them, you want them to come back, you want to say that I'm sorry. You want them to say, hey, I want to be right with you. You want to love them, you want a hug them. But they're still your kid, but they're out of fellowship. And see that's what was happening, see the son he got his priorities all mixed up. He had taken his money and he was out blowing his money, and blew his money. And you can find out later on he blew it on wine and women and prostitutes and he became broke. Turn around now, he's getting his priorities right. He's going to come back to his earthly dad. what's really a picture, he's coming back to his heavenly Father. And he said, man, I sinned against you because he's getting his position right, it's really getting back into right fellowship. Because when you, are you all ready? When you get your priorities right, and you get your position right, then you have the power of God and he'll always give you the provisions you need every single time. And you're going to see it take place, even right here. The most important thing in life that you could do is get your priorities right, and get your position, or your fellowship right with God.

James Greer: 16:15 Verse 19 it says this, "I'm really no longer worried to be called your son." See, he knew, but let me be like one of your what? Servants. You know what? So the son left and he went to his father ,and while the son was still a long ways off, his father saw him See, his father didn't go get him. But see, I think every day his daddy said, man, I hope my son's coming home. Every day I think he said, I hope my son's okay. Every day he loved his son. And while he was a long ways off, his father, he saw him and he felt sorry for him, and so the father ran to him and hugged him and kissed him. See, man that father had an understanding, that father had an understanding when he had to go, and that father had an understanding when he came home. This father loved him and accepted him, this father understood him. This father understood when to let him go. This father understood when to let him come back home.

James Greer: 17:07 Verse 21, "And so the son said, father, I have sinned against..." Who? Who did he sin against? And I've done you wrong. See, the son had hurt the right way, because now he came to understand that, listen, God is his provider. If I can get back into the right fellowship with God, and I'll admit to my father that I was wrong, I'm no longer worthy to be called son. Guess what? None of us are worthy to be called God's son, but because of what Jesus Christ did, we can come into his presence, we can then be accepted, we can be loved, and be understood. Amen? It's not because we're worthy, it's because Christ is worthy. Hey, that's good.

James Greer: 17:51 Do you know what the father did? What he said, verse 22, he said, "But the father said to his servants, hurry bring the best clothes and put them on him. He also put a ring on his finger, and sandals on his feet. And he said, let's get the fatted calf, and let's kill it, and we're going to have a feast. They're going to have a celebration." What did the boy tell his father? The boy told his father, I'm not worthy anymore, I just want to be a servant. The father did what he thought was right, even though the son said he didn't deserve it. I want you to see that this father continued doing the right thing despite what the kid said. When the kid said he wanted his possession, it was a wrong thing, but the father knew that he had to let him go. When the son came back, he said, hey, I'm not worthy to be your son. He said, yeah, but you are my son. See the father kept doing what was right in spite of everything else, but then you can see the wrong response from the other son. The wrong response because he didn't understand it. See, he said, with all I did, and get understanding. But the oldest son, he didn't get it, he didn't get an understanding.

James Greer: 18:56 Because in 25 it talks about the oldest son. It said, "The oldest son, he was in the field and he came closer to the house. And he heard the sound, he heard the music, heard the dancing, and he called one of the servants and he ask them, what does this mean? And you know what he said? The servant said your brother, your brother's come back. Your father's killed a calf, because your brother came home safely." And so they all celebrated together. No, they didn't, the oldest son was very, what? Angry. Well, when you get angry, it'll rob your joy, it will cause you to do things, and say things that you wouldn't. He wouldn't even go into the feast. The father did what was right again, the father went out and begged him. Son, you're accepted, you're loved, I even understand, but would you please come in? Man, what a dad. But the older son said to his father, uh, uh. I have served you like a what? What did he serve him like? A slave. For many years, and I've always obeyed your commandments. You, never gave me even a young goat to have a feast with my friends.

James Greer: 20:14 Okay, you ready? Very important insight that you need to get. How we see our relationship with God, greatly determines how we respond to God. How we see our relationship with God, okay, affects every other relationship in our life. It affects our relationship with our wife, our kids, our parents, our friends, and our pastor. If you see yourself like a slave, if you see your relationship with God as a slave, you'll often do what you're asked, but you'll do it with resentment and bitterness and jealousy. You might come to church, but you don't really want to come to church. You might sing a praise song, but you don't really like this. You really wish you weren't here, but you're doing it because you know you're a slave to God. You know that you're supposed to do it, but you're not doing it out of joy and, that's the way the boy did. The boy had a relationship with God, I'm going to obey you, but I really don't want to be doing this. And then he had the possessions, but he didn't have the position. He had the possessions, but he didn't have the fellowship. He had the possessions, but he didn't have the joy. And there's people that come to church every single Sunday, and you're just coming out of obedience out of a slave, instead of out of a sonship. It affects you, man. Are you coming like a son and a daughter to God?

James Greer: 21:35 See, I believe both of them were his sons. I believe both can be here today. I believe both could have had a time they had an experience with God the Father. I believe both could be saved. I believe both could have called God their father. But they got out of a relationship with him. They don't have the right position anymore. They don't have the right fellowship with him anymore. So what they've done is they've got their priorities messed up, and they've gone out and done the wrong things and they've gone to the wrong places. And what happens is this, they lost their joy. See the younger boy said this, he started telling his dad, this is what really happened, dad. Maybe you don't understand. Dad. Verse 30 says, "Do you know what the younger son did?" But the other son said, you know, that he wasted all the money. He was out there with prostitutes. He comes home and you kill, and give him, a calf. Why are you doing that dad? And the father said to him, son, you're always with me, he understood, and all that I have is yours,. Man, the dad was going to do what's right, even though the older son didn't disagree. Sorry. I had to celebrate, I had to be happy because your brother was dead, now he's alive. He was lost, now he's found. You see the dad, the dad's doing what's right, despite what the sons want. He said he was lost, now he is found. The father didn't get his self-worth out of what the boys said, he got it out of what God told him to do. He did what was right in spite of that, the father wanted them both to be happy, but they had to make a choice.

James Greer: 23:20 In closing the same as true with you, and you have to come to the heavenly father. And you have to say, Father, this morning, maybe I need salvation, maybe I need help hope, happiness, fellowship, forgiveness. Maybe I've been coming to church just out of, maybe just out of obedience so long, I've lost the real joy of having the fellowship with you. Maybe, you need to come back in to the Father and ask the Father to forgive you. And maybe there's somebody you've hurt, you need to forgive. Maybe you're here today and the truth is you still got some bitterness and jealousy about maybe a brother or sister, maybe somebody you worked with, maybe a mom and dad, maybe an ex-mate, and it's robbing your joy, and today's a day you need to let it go. Maybe you've lost your joy.

James Greer: 24:14 So what I want you to do is to stand with me. I want you to know you've got a Father in heaven. Listen, you've got a Father in heaven, and he wants everybody here this morning to hear these words. You're loved, you're accepted, he understands what you're going through, and he's waiting to meet you right where you're at. Father, your such a wonderful dad, a wonderful father. God, you do the right things even when we do the wrong things. God, even when we mess up, go to the wrong places, do the wrong things. God, you want us to come back to you? The father was looking outside every day waiting, the father's here today waiting on you. He wants you to return, he wants to restore your joy. Maybe you're here today and he's not your father, maybe there's never been a time. you're sure you're inviting them into your heart through Jesus Christ, and today's the day you want to do that. Maybe you've never followed through in biblically, publicly baptized, and today is the day to do that. Maybe today's the day that you feel like you just lost your joy, and you want to come back into the fellowship with Christ. Maybe today is the day a day you just got this unbelievable problem, and you just want somebody to pray with you and pray for you, that's why we're here today. Just whatever God lays upon your heart, I pray that you'd let God have his will and his way. It's in the precious name of Jesus'. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
Read More
Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360