Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

The Seeking Father 3.6.2016
Dear friend,

Who is God? How have we come to know who He is?


Today's lesson is set up immediately by the first two sentences in the 15 chapter of Luke's Gospel. The outcasts were approaching Jesus to hear him, while the ruling church officials were talking against Jesus and His way of doing ministry.. To allow sinners and publicans to come to Him and worse than that, to eat with them was totally contrary to the rules and practices of the kingdom that was presided over by the Pharisees and scribes.

How does Jesus respond to them? He tells three stories which will proceed to illustrate who God is, for in these parables/stories, the heart of God toward both the sinner as well as the self righteous is revealed. For God is not who we think He is or who we think He should be. Rather He reveals Himself though His attitudes and actions as recorded in His Word.

KJV John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus came to seek and to save those who were lost; these three stories all address lostness: The lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost boys.


KJV Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.


3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

The first parable speaks to the value of one lost sheep, and of how shepherds would leave the ninety and nine, seek the lost one until it is found. When it is found, he would rejoice, and upon coming home, he would celebrate the recovery of the lost sheep with his friends and neighbors in community. The loss is community oriented and the recovery is community oriented. Furthermore, there is rejoicing in heaven before the Father. A shepherd was not something that the Pharisees and scribes would like to be associated with and to be referred to as a shepherd would have been an offense to them. Let us note that the sheep was not able to find itself. The emphasis is on the seeker.

Next Jesus...


8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

He points to the diligence of the woman, (again challenging their attitudes) who were not valued and honored in their culture, and of how she diligently seeks for the lost coin until she finds it. Again she shares her joy in community, the angels in heaven rejoice before the Father also. The coin had no ability to find itself. The emphasis is on the seeker.

Children's Lesson: Lost and Found! Show them ten coins, lose one of them and have them search for it until they find it, and watch the joy among them when they find it. The Seeking Father


Then Jesus gets to the third story.......and in this one He broadens out the story, so that now it involves both the lost and the seeker.. It is a story of two lost boys.

11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me

Here is the next challenge to the hearer. In that culture to ask for your inheritance would mean that you want your father dead, you want his stuff and want to do your own things. This is sometimes referred to as a Luke 12 moment. Unfortunately many have experienced this Luke 15:12 experience.....The expected reaction by the father of that culture would have been to beat the son for asking such a thing and order him to stop it. But what did his father do?


.15:12b And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

Luke 15:12 occurrence of leaving the Father's house. All have left the Garden of Eden but not all have grown up knowing the Father. Some have heard of the love of the Father, but have never known it, some have never even heard of it having grown up in the absence of His Word and the Christian community.

He began to be in want as he lost money, freedom and self respect in vs 14, 15, 16. Until we see our need why would we seek him? The Father's seeking won't mean anything until we begin to be in want. He was dirty, smelly and was badly in need of a bath.

His Father is watching and waiting.....for his son to turn to him in his want and need......



17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.


The pigsty turned out to be the door of opportunity for change. But not everyone is able to it in that way. Sin brings instant gratification, but provides no ultimate satisfaction. It is a broad road that leads to destruction. It is like drinking saltwater, in the end the thirst will be unquenchable. He began the journey back home, and as he approached his town, there came his father to meet him,

20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. He was seeking his return, He was watching for him, when he saw him compassion rose up in him so that against all cultural taboos he ran through the town to meet His. Sin his leaving home had been known by the town and community, the son may not have made it through the town alive if his father would not have run to the outside of the town to meet him. The kiss that is described here is one of continually kissing, not just a one time kiss. Instead of the expectation of the culture in that the son would be rejected upon his coming back, the Father received him with joy.

21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

The son's prepared speech of repentance did not get completed as it seems he was cut off from saying anymore, and His Father received him back in full sonship, demonstrating this by putting on the emblems of sonship: The best robe, the ring and the shoes. Those emblems were for sons, and not slaves. He then called for a great celebration to be held in the house because....


What about the older boy

25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

His father should have punished him according to culture expectations for his older boy humiliated him in front of his house, but His Father came out to kindly draw him into the house......

29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

The story ends here and we don't know if the older boy went into the house or not. That is not important, as this story was told by Jesus, yes for them in that culture, but He also told it for all people of all time, including you and I.

We heard of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost boys. May the Spirit of God which always points us to the seeking and waiting heart of our Father through Jesus Christ draw us towards the Father's house. There we will find Him waiting with open arms to receive us back to Himself, and there will be a great celebration of joy in the heart of the Seeker, in our individual heart, in the hearts of the community of believers, and in the realms of heaven with the angels and our Father.

May I close by placing four verses in this story that demonstrate the heart of our Father towards both of his lost boys........Let us think deeply upon these verses as we consider our attitudes and actions........

KJV Luke 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

KJV Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

KJV Luke 15:28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

KJV Luke 15:31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

KJV Luke 15:32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

In tenderness He sought me,
Weary and sick with sin;
And on His shoulders brought me
Back to His fold again.
While angels in His presence sang
Until the courts of Heaven rang.
Refrain
Oh, the love that sought me!
Oh, the blood that bought me!
Oh, the grace that brought me to the fold,
Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold.



May our meditations be blessed as we consider the seeking heart of our Father towards us and towards all.

One that was lost, but now is found! Praise God!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala



Posted on 06 Mar 2016 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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