Far From the Father

Sermon Series

Sins of the Pharisee

May 23, 2021 • Jonathan Pokluda • Luke 15:22–32

Think of the closest relationships in your life. How have they changed over time? What about your relationship with God? Has it ever drifted? As we finish our two-week series, Far from the Father, JP teaches us about the sins of the older brother and the Pharisees from Luke 15. KEY TAKEAWAYS -Do you find yourself short-tempered or frustrated when things don’t go your way? Do you find it difficult to celebrate the success of others? Do you enjoy God? -The Pharisees were the most religious people when Jesus walked the earth; and yet, throughout all the gospels, Jesus had the most issues with them and used the strongest language against them. -Jesus brilliantly puts people into stories He tells to teach them the truth they need to hear. -A telltale sign of a Pharisee is they focus on what God hasn’t done. -If you take pharisaical sins lightly they will kill you. They will destroy your life. -Anger is a sign you’ve drifted from the Father. -The opposite of the fruit of the Spirit is anger. -The foundation of most anger is arrogance. It’s thinking you know better than God. It’s what happened to and made the devil the devil. -“Worry is being fearful that God is going to get it wrong and bitterness is believing that He did.” -Tim Keller -Anger is not a personality. You must understand: your bitterness makes you a really miserable person and hard to be around. -Jesus got angry at the Pharisees. He was never mad at the prostitutes and the tax collectors. It was the religious elite. The self-righteous. -The greatest thing you can do when you feel anger toward someone is to come close to them. Pull them in. Sit them down at your table and get to know them. -Your pride will always want to tell someone how awesome you are. -Pride is a sign you’ve drifted from the Father. -God doesn’t need your help. -God came here to serve you. -Yes, use your gifts and talents to serve the church. However, make no mistake, God doesn’t need you. -Are you working for God, or are you working from the knowledge that He has given you everything? -Do you expect to get something in return from God? That’s slave (employee) talk. Not son or daughter talk. -You can’t be grateful for what you feel entitled to. -Envy is a sign you’ve drifted from the Father. -When you think you are owed something you will envy someone with it. -What do you deserve? Do you fully grasp that you have an eternal inheritance coming your way? Make no mistake, as Christ-followers, you will miss out on things here and now. -This life is like the snap of two fingers. It will be over and gone before you know it. -All relationships take work. Good marriages aren’t found, they are forged through hardships. -In your relationship with God, don’t do the same thing(s) over and over and over again expecting the same results. Change things up. Be creative. -God doesn’t move on us. He doesn’t go anywhere. We are the ones that drift. He’s always looking for you. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Luke 15:22-32; Galatians 5:22-23; Psalm 16:11; Nehemiah 8:10; Acts 17:24-25; Mark 10:45; Galatians 4:7 -Sermon: The Father’s Response to Rebellion and Repentance -Book: The Prodigal God by Tim Keller

The Father’s Response to Rebellion and Repentance

May 16, 2021 • Jonathan Pokluda • Luke 15:1–24

What do you believe about God? Who and what has contributed to that belief? Are you sure you are right? As we start a new series, Far From the Father, JP teaches us about God by examining when Jesus taught about the Father in Luke 15. KEY TAKEAWAYS -“What comes to a person’s mind when they think about God is the most important thing about them.” -AW Tozer -When the gospels talk about “sinner” they are talking about a class of people. When they talk about “tax collectors” they are talking about people who took 85% and used part of the money to oppress the very people (the Jews) they took it from. -Asking your father for your inheritance in Bible times was the equivalent of saying, “Dad, I wish you were dead.” -Sometimes when we aren’t pursuing the Lord it makes all the sense in the world that we are experiencing a storm or a famine in our lives. -When you rebel, God will let you. -God wants you to know that life can be found in Him alone. Not possessions, money, experiences, or anything else. Only Him. -Read Romans chapter 1 for a commentary of what is happening in our culture today. -Do you really want God, or do you just want His stuff? -Most of us superstitiously approach God, trying to say our prayers just right, hoping to get what we want because what we want is not Him. -If you like what you got, keep doing what you are doing. But if you keep doing what you are doing, you are not going to like what you got. -Some of the richest and most “free” people in the world are the most depressed and anxious. -The Bible is brilliant, and the way you will miss the truths it teaches is by thinking you already have them. -Do you ever plan to pray rather than pray? -Do not be deceived: God has seen everything. The darkest perversions of your heart and everything you’ve ever done. He has seen and knows it all. -When you come to ruin, God hurts with you. -God isn’t hurt by you, but He hurts with you. The Son was hurt for you. -The way the world was designed by God is that sin will always have consequences. Eternally, because of Jesus, we are free. But on this earth, sin always has consequences. -God looks at you and He embraces you. He’s not scared of your filth. -Sometimes when you hurt in relationships, it’s good and healthy to create boundaries with those people. However, you need to understand that God doesn’t do that. He radically pursues you. -The number one metaphor for heaven is a party. -When you repent, God restores you. -What someone celebrates tells you a lot about them. -What do you celebrate? If you are a parent, what do you celebrate in your kids’ lives? -What does God celebrate? He celebrates repentance. -Repentance is owning whatever you did and taking the consequences as they come. It’s turning from your sin and turning to God. MENTIONED OR RECOMMENDED RESOURCES -Suggested Scripture Study: Luke 15:1-24; Romans 1 -Book: The Prodigal God by Tim Keller