Watch the February 28, 2016 sermon by Rev. Brendan Prigge referencing Luke 13:6-9 NIV and learn more about how good helps us to be fruitful individuals.
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”
These are the words spoken by the prodigal son, to his father upon his return home. Remember that parable? The kid demands his inheritance early, goes and blows it all, then realizes what a stupid thing he’s done. Unfortunately, throughout history, people have emphasized the son’s role in this parable. The focus is really to be on the father, and the amazing love he displays by welcoming his son home, and throwing a party for him. Even his older brother was jealous. I’ve talked to too many people over the years who feel like they’ve done something that God is still holding against them. I’ve talked to people who feel like their past actions disqualify them from certain levels of involvement in the church. They feel as though they wear a scarlet “S” for sin that only God can see. This parable reminds us that God forgives. All He wants is His children back. It doesn’t matter if they’re battered, bruised, and dirty. He’ll take care of the cleanup. In His Word, God tells us, “I will forgive their wickedness, and remember their sin no more.” (Hebrews 8:12) Jesus died on the cross for exactly that reason, so that anyone, everyone can return to God, admit their sin, and be forgiven. God doesn’t hold grudges. He doesn’t “get even” with sinners. He took all of that out on Jesus. C’mon home.
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the emphasis is often put on the rebel son who squandered his inheritance. In reality, the great surprise in this parable is the mercy of the father who loves both of his lost children. Your heavenly Father loves you that way as well! Learn more about Luke 15:11-32 NIV this Sunday, March 6, 2016 at Victory Lutheran Church.
“A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any.”
-Luke 13:6-9 NIV
Well, that would be frustrating. It’s one thing to have a single tree in your yard as a hobby, it’s quite another if you make your livelihood harvesting produce. Jesus tells this parable about the barren fig tree to assure us of God’s patience. In the parable, the caretaker convinced the vineyard owner not to cut the tree down. He said he would give it extra care and attention over the course of the next year. Jesus is our caretaker. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are fed and nourished to produce fruit for God. Galatians 5:22-23 teach us that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self–control.” As those who receive the regular care and attention of God through Bible, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, we are to see these fruits growing in our lives. Even if you’re not a big fan of memory work, that list would be worth memorizing, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self–control. They are the fruit of the Spirit who lives in you. God has invested the blood of Jesus in your life. He’s given you the gift of faith. You are forgiven, eternal life is your possession in Christ. Now is the season for us to produce fruit so that others can see it, and glorify God for His goodness.
February 21 Sermon – Take Your Stand – Luke 13:31-35
Watch the February 21, 2016 sermon by Rev. Brendan Prigge referencing Luke 13:31-35 NIV and learn more about how God wants us to take a stand.