Participants: Michael Kontes
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000414
00:30 Hello, friends my name is Michael Kontes,
00:33 and I want to welcome you to Faith Chapel.
00:35 Today I'm going to share with you my favorite
00:38 story in the entire Bible, but first
00:41 let us have a word of prayer.
00:44 Father we come to you now,
00:45 and we thank you for the word of God that
00:48 You have preserved throughout the centuries
00:49 to give us hope and inspiration and guidance.
00:52 We ask You to be with us today and help
00:54 us to understand Your character better
00:56 and help Your Spirit guide our hearts
00:58 and our minds in Jesus name, amen.
01:02 As most of you know, I'm of Greek descent.
01:05 My parents immigrated here to America in 1967.
01:11 And the story I'm gonna share with you today
01:13 comes from my favorite Bible author Luke.
01:17 And it has nothing to do that he was of Greek
01:20 descent just the little bit, right? I'm gonna
01:24 share with you a story that has so touched me.
01:26 Many people called the story the greatest story
01:28 in the Bible about righteousness by faith.
01:31 It comes from Luke chapter 15,
01:34 Luke chapter 15, let us open up our Bibles.
01:38 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
01:41 And the younger of them said to his father,
01:44 Father, give me the portion of goods that
01:46 falleth to me. And he divided unto them his
01:50 living. And not many days after the younger
01:54 son gathered all together, and took his
01:57 journey into a far country, and there
02:02 wasted his substance with riotous living.
02:08 Friends, this story to me is absolutely
02:11 unbelievable. I want to share with you in
02:14 the opening lines of this story.
02:17 This son who is really making a proclamation
02:22 to his father is not worthy to basically ask
02:25 his Father for his inheritance.
02:29 He is ultimately telling his father, father
02:32 I know that you're alive now,
02:34 I know that it's gonna be while till you die,
02:37 but I really want my inheritance now,
02:39 so really I wish that you were dead.
02:43 Friends, can you imagine sharing that with
02:45 your parents? Dad I wish you were dead.
02:48 As a father of myself, if my, if my son said,
02:51 dad I wish you were dead, so I can collect
02:53 my inheritance from you. I might say to my
02:56 son you know, what son, you may never get
02:58 any inheritance. Now, the father did not have
03:04 to give the request that his son made,
03:09 that was being made to him, but he did, why?
03:15 Because the father loves his son.
03:19 Now, notice it goes on in verse 13 to read,
03:24 not many days after the son took his
03:28 journey into a far away country,
03:31 far away country. Now, I live in Sacramento,
03:33 California and if I wouldn't say this to my
03:36 son and following my father and followed
03:39 the context of this story, I would not go to
03:43 St. Francisco, not Los Angeles maybe
03:47 Thompsonville, Illinois might be far enough.
03:50 I wanted to go as far away as I could, why?
03:55 Because it's very, very difficult friends to sin
04:00 openly and blatantly around the people you
04:03 love. So, what takes place, Satan begins to
04:06 plant seeds in the minds of people to make
04:13 them believe, and make them think that
04:17 "When you are going to sin and going to rebellion,
04:22 you need to get away from everyone because
04:24 they're gonna hold you back from sinning."
04:27 When ultimately Satan knows,
04:30 the reason why he wants to push you away
04:33 from family? And so, that you will be in
04:36 isolation and away from the ones that love
04:39 you and ultimately will try to wield you back.
04:42 Now, another point I'd like to make in this story
04:47 is, the son had no regards for his father,
04:52 the son did not remember by choice how
04:58 his father have loved him, clothed him,
05:01 given him all of his heart and mind,
05:04 probably stayed up at nights helping,
05:07 helping him to be fed, cleaned his diapers.
05:09 In fact, the son probably
05:11 mischaracterized the father, and in fact,
05:14 the son felt home was the prison house to him.
05:18 How many people today, how many children
05:19 today are looking at their homes and looking
05:22 at it as a prison home because the world
05:25 is becoming so appealing to them?
05:27 The God of this world meaning Satan has so
05:32 corrupted the minds of our young people to
05:34 think that the place that should be our
05:37 sanctuary home is a prison house.
05:43 Now, the Greek word here for wasted his living.
05:48 The Greek word is the, the word skorpizo,
05:51 which literally means to scatter; to scatter.
05:56 Here the son took a long journey into a far
06:00 country and as he went to this country he
06:04 started walking in the street to scattering
06:06 his cash. And in fact, we could say scattering
06:11 his father's substance with no regard to what
06:16 was taking place. Now, many of you've heard
06:18 this story and know many of the details.
06:21 To me, this story is absolutely amazing
06:24 because it shows the pitiful place that we are
06:29 as a people. We get away from our heavenly
06:33 Father at times, as far as we can go,
06:37 we throw away all the gifts that he has given
06:39 us, so that we can accomplish our own selfish
06:43 desire. Here the son was scattering the money,
06:46 and I'm sure friends as he was scattering the
06:48 money he had lots of friends. Isn't it amazing
06:54 that sometimes when you become popular or
06:56 you come into some money, or you come into
06:59 a situation where you have made a lot of
07:02 money or inherited a lot of money,
07:04 that people begin to flock to you?
07:08 You know, you see this in the sports world
07:09 quite often, here you have an individual who
07:12 has come up and had come up from a real
07:15 humble, humble background and then he
07:17 signs a big NFL contract or an NBA contract,
07:21 Major League Baseball contract and family
07:24 and friends out of the wood works begin to
07:26 call up. Hey, Jack where you've been?
07:31 How is it going? Can I get free tickets or
07:34 you know I need a loan? We have a real
07:38 serious problem with selfishness friends,
07:42 real serious problem. Friends come out of the
07:46 wood works and many times because we are
07:50 so blinded by our own sin, we cannot see the
07:54 direction and ultimate waterfall that we are
07:57 heading to. Now, verse 14 in Luke read this
08:06 follows. And when he spent all, and there
08:11 arose a mightily famine in that land;
08:15 and he began to be in want. And he went
08:18 and joined himself to a citizen of that country;
08:21 and he sent him into his fields to feed the
08:26 swine. And he would fain have filled his
08:31 belly with the husks that the swine did eat
08:35 and no man gave unto him. Notice here that
08:43 his friends disappeared. No one was around
08:47 to help him, he spent his father's money so
08:50 recklessly and now he came into a time of
08:52 want. Here what it says that he went to
08:57 feed the swine. This is the symbol for a Jew
09:01 of hitting rock bottom. This young boy came
09:04 to a place where he hit rock bottom?
09:08 He had nothing, but notice in the next text,
09:13 the Luke 15:17, something begins to
09:20 remind him of the goodness of his father.
09:25 And when he came to himself, he said,
09:28 How many hired servant of my father's
09:32 have bread enough and to spare, and I perish
09:36 with hunger! I will arise and go to my father,
09:42 and I will say unto him, Father; I have sinned
09:44 against heaven, and before thee,
09:47 And am no more worthy to be called thy son:
09:50 make me as thy hired servants.
09:57 Notice the prodigal had never really spent any
10:00 time contemplating about his life during
10:03 this time, but he said he came to himself.
10:07 Now, I want to share with you something
10:08 today brothers and sisters that there are
10:11 times, many times that the Holy Spirit brings
10:16 back to our remembrance things that
10:19 will guide us back to Jesus, guide us to
10:24 understand the love that the Father has for
10:27 us. And here notice the key point that the
10:32 writer Luke is trying to tell us is that the son
10:36 remembered that the father was way more
10:40 than just even with the servants.
10:43 So, the one thing that push the son away from
10:47 the father which was the character of his
10:49 father in the beginning I need to get out of
10:51 this house, I need to be free, I need to be
10:54 on my own. My father is too restrictive;
10:57 he has too many rules and regulations.
11:00 Now, the one thing that draws him back is that,
11:03 his father's just, his father's full of mercy,
11:08 and his father's full of compassion for the
11:11 workers of his household. How much
11:13 more would he not be for his son?
11:18 Also notice it took despair to spread over
11:24 this young boy's life. And as the despair went
11:28 over his life, he began to really think what was
11:34 taking place? Once again you've heard me say it,
11:37 before and I will say it again. God uses rock
11:41 bottom opportunities. God uses gutter
11:44 opportunities to bring glory to His name.
11:53 Jeremiah 31:3 reads: The Lord hath
11:58 appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea,
12:02 I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
12:05 therefore with lovingkindness have I
12:08 drawn thee. Whimpering like a beaten
12:13 puppy, he arises to go to his father.
12:19 He made a choice, he purposed in his heart,
12:23 he resolved to say, my father is just and
12:25 merciful and full of compassion, I'm gonna
12:29 go back home to dad, I'm gonna go back
12:33 home to dad. Today, maybe there might be
12:38 some here watching and thinking,
12:40 I need to make recompent, I need to go
12:43 back and make right some things with my
12:46 father. I can share with you that has come
12:50 across in my life. When I grew up I felt
12:53 like my father didn't love me?
12:55 My father as I said earlier emigrated from
12:58 the country of Greece here to America,
13:01 and he was a very hard worker,
13:04 he was a carpet installer, a short man,
13:06 shorter than I'm, and I'm not that big,
13:08 I'm 5'7 and my father is 5'5 small man,
13:11 about 145 pounds, but I watch my father
13:14 throughout his life being a carpet seller,
13:16 carry 200 and 300 pound carpets on his
13:19 back. Everyday he'd leave the house at
13:21 7 o'clock and he'd come home at 7 in the
13:24 evening. And because he would never express
13:28 himself to me and say, Mike I love you.
13:31 Because he'd never show me some affection,
13:33 the affection that I was looking for,
13:35 I felt that my father didn't love me,
13:37 and I began to build animosity toward my
13:39 father. And to some degree I despise my
13:43 father, but it wasn't till years later till I
13:46 realize that no one had ever modeled
13:49 fathership to my dad. No one had ever
13:54 explain to him what it is to be a father?
13:57 And I realize that my father did the best
13:59 that he knew. And so, I began to tell my dad,
14:03 dad I love you and I thank you for what
14:06 you've done for me. Today there might be
14:10 some out there that might need to say that
14:11 to their fathers. Friends don't wait till maybe
14:16 your father is in the grave and have unspoken
14:19 words that you really know the Holy Spirit is
14:22 prompting you to share, to share your
14:24 heart with your father. Your father loves
14:28 you and yes, he may have not been the best,
14:30 and he may have done some things that
14:31 were even cruel, but there is not a parent
14:37 out there that does not love a child,
14:39 at least does not start off that way.
14:45 On his journey back home, I'm absolutely
14:49 confident, absolutely confident that the
14:53 accuser of the brethren followed him all
14:56 the way back home, and on his way back
14:59 home he kept on saying to him,
15:01 why are you going back home?
15:03 Your father thinks you're dead,
15:05 your father doesn't know what's going on,
15:07 your father, you took your father's money
15:08 and wasted it on prostitutes,
15:10 unrighteous living, you scattered it in the
15:12 streets. And now you have the gut to go
15:14 back home, even like a whimpering puppy
15:18 and nut and ask to even be a servant,
15:21 your dad doesn't want you to go back home.
15:25 In fact, he probably wishes you are dead.
15:29 And that is exactly what Satan always does
15:33 when we hit our lowest point.
15:35 He pushes us to a place to give up hope
15:38 and to have us embrace,
15:41 a mischaracterization of our father's
15:43 character. The Bible says, God is merciful,
15:48 compassionate, loving. Satan wanted to
15:51 believe he is a tormentor, unforgiving,
15:54 and hateful. Satan wants you to believe
15:58 that no matter what sin you're in the middle
16:01 of today that you cannot go to God,
16:05 it's not worth it you can't, don't go back he
16:08 is not gonna accept you. Friends I'm here
16:11 to share with you today that if Jesus Christ
16:14 and the Father love you today in the middle
16:17 of your sin. The same as if you're cleaned
16:24 up spotless with the robe of Christ.
16:28 And the reason being is because God's love
16:30 does not change, God's love is not defined by
16:35 our actions towards Him, God's love is defined
16:40 by Calvary. The Father's love is defined by
16:44 allowing the Son to come down to this
16:47 perishing planet and die for mankind.
16:51 The Son's love is expressed us through his
16:56 life and ministry on earth and the crucifiction
17:01 at Golgotha. And I'm thankful for that friends,
17:05 I'm thankful that God's love towards me is
17:07 set in stone. Now, as I envision Satan
17:15 pummeling him, I also envision him coming
17:19 to the borders of his dad's property,
17:26 his head hung low, maybe even embracing
17:30 the thought that yeah, maybe my dad won't
17:34 accept me, maybe my dad won't accept me.
17:41 Exactly, at that point I imagine the father
17:47 looking out from his house and seeing a
17:50 figure and saying, can it be, can it really be,
17:59 is it him? Friends I had a pastor while back
18:03 ago share something with me that's very
18:05 important. Many times Satan wants us to
18:11 be stuck on first base, second base,
18:15 or third base, but the one place it doesn't
18:17 want us to be were go to, is he doesn't
18:21 want us to come home. Sometimes in your
18:24 Christian walk you can get your base and
18:26 go to first base, and Satan will begin to
18:30 pummel you with discouragement,
18:32 and you'll get stuck at first base,
18:33 and never be able to make it home.
18:35 Other time it's a double and going to second
18:37 base and getting stuck. Other times it's
18:42 third base. He wants you to believe that you
18:48 cannot go home. And today I'm here to tell
18:51 you, you can go home, because the
18:53 scriptures reveal to us God wants you to
18:56 go home. God doesn't want you to be
18:59 abandoned and left alone. In fact,
19:01 Jesus says I'll never leave you nor forsake
19:03 you; He is always there with us.
19:06 In fact, it is we sinners who walk away from
19:16 Jesus. While He is extending His hand we
19:21 let go unclasps His hand and walk away.
19:27 God never leaves us or forsakes us.
19:30 In fact, the story says here that the father
19:32 ran to his son. Friends the Bible shows that
19:36 when Adam and Eve sinned God came to
19:39 Adam and Eve. When Cane sinned,
19:42 God came to Cane; God always comes to
19:47 us in hopes that through His unconditional
19:52 compassion and love, we will embrace Him.
19:55 Now, I'd like to read to you verses 21
19:59 through 24. And the son said unto him,
20:04 Father, I have sinned against heaven,
20:06 and in thy sight, and am no worthy to be
20:08 called thy son. But the father said to his
20:13 servants, Bring forth the best robe,
20:16 and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand,
20:19 and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the
20:22 fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat,
20:26 and be merry. This story is a epitome of God's
20:33 love for His wondering sons and daughters,
20:38 He wants all of us to go home.
20:43 Jimmy was the middle child, his brother
20:46 Johnny was an incredible athlete.
20:49 Johnny could play all sports, Jimmy was very
20:51 limited not as coordinated as his brother,
20:54 but he wanted to follow in his brother's
20:55 footsteps. Jimmy wanted to go out for the
20:59 little league team, so he did and he made
21:02 the team. They put him out in right field,
21:07 not too many balls are hit out in right field.
21:10 As opening day was soon approaching,
21:12 Jimmy was so proud, he wanted to call all
21:14 of his relatives that lived in Illinois and
21:16 Michigan, Wisconsin to converge and come
21:20 and watch him play on opening day.
21:23 Opening day came and Jimmy put on his
21:26 uniform and it was like, it was on a hanger,
21:29 Jimmy was so frail and small.
21:34 Was the bottom of the sixth Jimmy's team
21:36 was down by one run; Jimmy was the fourth
21:40 person up which meant that someone would
21:44 have to get on base probably for Jimmy to
21:47 be up. First person gets up strikes out,
21:53 everyone was praying prior to that please,
21:56 please let someone get to home run,
21:58 we don't want Jimmy to get up,
22:01 he struck out, he struck out.
22:04 Next person comes up gets a base hit,
22:10 next person goes to home play to be up
22:12 and Jimmy is in the batters box and Jimmy
22:14 is watching, Jimmy looks at this picture,
22:16 who is 6 foot 8, 250 pounds or at least that's
22:21 would it looks like to Jimmy, really he is
22:25 probably 5'10, a 130 pounds.
22:29 That person gets out as Jimmy is walking up
22:32 to home plate, everyone in the dugout
22:34 and his coach are shaking their heads,
22:35 thinking oh! My goodness, we've lost this
22:38 game, Jimmy isn't any good, why did they,
22:42 we should have put a pinch hitter in,
22:44 Jimmy walks up to the plate first pitch strike
22:48 one, second pitch strike two,
22:52 third pitch strike three. Jimmy drops his
22:58 bat and hangs his head down and walks back
23:01 into the dugout, his friends walk by or he is
23:05 so called friends and he said,
23:06 Jimmy you stink, you're terrible Jimmy.
23:11 The dugout begins to clear out,
23:13 everyone begins to leave, Jimmy hears the
23:16 pebbles coming underneath the tires in
23:18 the parking lot, dust is everywhere,
23:24 Jimmy is hanging his head down with his cap
23:26 over his eyes sobbing, and Jimmy hears a
23:30 voice and the voice says, it's not over Jimmy,
23:38 it's not over, Jimmy looks up and through
23:42 the dust he looks out in the field and on
23:45 the mount Jimmy sees his father.
23:48 Jimmy it's not over, you're up Jimmy, Jimmy
23:55 walks up the home plate and he picks up the
23:56 bat that he had left there. And Jimmy
24:01 looks out in the diamond and he sees his
24:04 brother Johnny, grandpa, Jack and Jane,
24:09 all of his family members on the diamond,
24:12 his dad pitches the ball strike one,
24:15 strike two Jimmy swinging as hard as he
24:18 can, consistent strikes, strike 15,
24:24 strike 20 and then Jimmy connects and he
24:28 hits the ball way out in left field, pow,
24:33 and Jimmy stands at home plate and he is
24:35 shocked, and Jimmy's dad begins to direct
24:36 him go to first Jimmy, go to first, and Jimmy
24:40 starts running the first base and as Jimmy is
24:42 getting the first base, his dad says Jimmy go
24:45 to second base, go to second base,
24:49 and he is looking from as he is running the
24:50 second base out in the left field then he
24:52 sees his brother Johnny pick up the ball
24:54 and, and he's gonna get ready to throw at
24:56 the second, but he turns and throws it out
24:58 in the center field and Jimmy is kind of
25:00 puzzle that he's getting the second base and
25:02 his dad goes Jimmy, Jimmy go to third base
25:05 Jimmy, go to third base, and Jimmy is turning
25:07 down around third base and he looks at
25:09 grandpa, Jack picking up the ball in center
25:11 field and he's throwing it out to his mom
25:13 out in right field. And as the ball is getting
25:17 out in right field, Jimmy is completely puzzled
25:20 and he's turning around and he is looking
25:21 out there and he sees his sis his little sister
25:24 Jenny with a diaper jammed between her
25:26 ankles running to try to get the ball.
25:28 And his dad is screaming Jimmy go home
25:31 Jimmy, go home Jimmy. And as Jimmy is
25:34 turning third base rounding third base and
25:36 coming home, he realizes that there is a
25:42 conspiracy going on. A conspiracy of love and
25:49 Jimmy is getting to home plate and dad goes
25:52 slide Jimmy, slide, slide Jimmy and Jimmy
25:55 slides and there is dust everywhere.
26:01 And Jimmy's father standing looking at him
26:04 saying, Jimmy you made at home Jimmy,
26:10 you made at home Jimmy.
26:14 Friends many of us are like the prodigal,
26:18 many of us go out into the world chasing
26:21 the allurements of the world,
26:23 chasing after sin, trying to find ourselves
26:26 worth, trying to find happiness outside of
26:31 the Father's house. Today Jesus is knocking
26:38 on the heart door of your life,
26:42 He's knocking and He's saying,
26:45 Suzy it's time to come home, Kristina it's
26:52 time to come home, Benn it's time to come
26:55 home, Mike it's time to come home.
27:00 There is no other fulfillment peace and joy
27:08 and being in the house of the father friends.
27:11 Jesus Christ wants us to be under His fold,
27:15 He wants us to realize and we don't have
27:17 to be stuck on first base, second base,
27:20 or third base. We don't have to believe the
27:23 accusations of Satan that God does not love us,
27:26 and we cannot come, we cannot come home.
27:29 Jesus Christ has shown us that we can come
27:33 home and the reason, why we can come home
27:37 is because Jesus came to us, and because
27:41 Jesus has come to us, and because Jesus
27:44 became one of us, because He became one
27:48 of us truly we have the opportunity to become
27:52 sons and daughters of God through His blood.