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Psalm 68:5
Malachi 2:10
John 5:17-18

  1. God the Father:
    1. Jesus came to give us the proper view of God.
    2. His message: GOD IS GOOD.
      1. To the rich ruler (Luke 18, Matthew 19, Mark 10): “Why do you call me good? There is one who is good!”
      2. Parables: The caller at night, the persistent widow. God will do right.
      3. Lessons from Fathers: (Luke 11:11-13)
        1. If we can be good fathers, then God is much better!

  2. The Parable of the Good Father (Luke 15):
    1. Jesus is teaching about the love of this good God – his concern for the lost.
      1. He tells of a shepherd looking for a lost sheep.
      2. He tells of a woman looking for a lost coin.
      3. But the best illustration of God is that of a loving father waiting for a wayward child.
    2. Tell the Story:
      1. A man had two sons, the younger insults the father demanding his inheritance.
      2. The son squanders his wealth so shamefully!
      3. He finally ends up feeding unclean animals.
      4. He was hungry and craved the slop. No one had compassion on this young fool!
      5. He decides to confess his sin, and submit himself to his father as a slave.

        "The Forgiving Father"
        by Frank Wesley (1923–2002)
      6. The father notices the son far off.
        1. He has compassion.
        2. He runs to his son!
        3. He kisses him!
        4. He has a banquet for his son!
      7. The elder brother is so disgusted with his father’s reaction.
        1. He never got a party!
        2. But that sinful wretch gets treated like a prince!
        3. Remember: He had sex with prostitutes! He disgraced himself! He is unclean! He has polluted his body! He wasted the money!
      8. The Father to the elder son:
        1. “You are always with me, and all I have is yours!”
        2. He is saying, “I would be just as good to you. Even if you had done what he did, I would be good to you.”
      9. But the elder son doesn’t look for goodness in his father! He wants DISCIPLINE and JUSTICE!
        1. Looking for these, the elder son missed out on his Father’s goodness.
      10. What do we expect from our Heavenly Father?
    3. Jesus says look at this father and you understand something about God:
      1. The son asks for his inheritance. An insult! But the father gives the son what he asks for. [God is gracious when he has every right to punish.]
      2. The son squanders the money and comes to his senses. He realizes how good his father was to him [God has blessed us richly.]
      3. The son humbly returns to his father. He finds his father waiting. [God is patient.]
      4. His father, disregarding the indignity, lifts the folds of his robe and runs to his son. [God has suffered shame for us.]
      5. He receives the boy back before formal apology can be given. [God is forgiving.]
      6. The father accepts the boy back graciously. [God is love.]
    4. This view of God is a challenge!
      1. What about Justice! What about Punishment! What about Trust!
        1. We can’t get soft on this foolish kid!
      2. God is Just, Holy, Disciplining, but ...
        1. Discipline without love is cruel.
        2. Holiness without goodness is vanity.
        3. Justice without mercy is compassionless.
      3. God is High, Holy, Awesome, Mighty, Exalted, Unique, Powerful ...
        1. but we are comforted by the fact that he is good!

    1. Because God is good:
      1. He doesn’t play games with people.
        1. He doesn’t cause tragedies (fire?)
        2. He doesn’t torture and punish vengefully (angered)
      2. He can work in tragedies to bring about good. (Romans 8:28)
    2. Because God is good:
      1. You can go out this week knowing that God is on your side!
      2. God is good. He is for us. Are we for him?

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 18 February 2007
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