Sermon Series: Terrific Tension

Title: Let’s Get This Party Started!

(Props-Three Characters, a Hugo Boss Suit, Birkenstock Sandals, a table for a meal, music, dancing)

Luke 15

11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons.

12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.

14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.

15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs.

16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!

18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,

19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.

21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.

22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.

23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast,

24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house,

26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on.

27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him,

29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.

30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.

32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

*The Tension Between Your Preparation and The Father’s Promise

11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons.

12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

He demanded the promise.

He demanded the blessing.

He demanded the inheritance.

He received it, and the outcome-DISASTROUS!

Why?

He wanted the promise but what he truly needed was preparation.

He wasn’t prepared for the promise.

You must be prepared for what you are asking for.

This young brother wasn’t ready.

This is the Tension Between Preparation and The Promise

How many stories have we heard of lottery winners, sport figures, artist who acquire large sums of money and fall into the trap of addiction, vice, perversion and self destruction?

Why?

Just like the prodigal son,,

They received what they wanted instead of what they needed.

The prodigal son…..

He wanted the blessing but he lacked self control!

He wanted the promise but he lacked self discipline.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, listen carefully please;,

A dream without a plan is an illusion.

Destiny without discipline is a recipe for disaster.

Here it is;

Do not ask for something you are not ready for.

Premature access to resources will do more harm than good.

Simply stated, he was not ready!

He wasn’t ready!

He wasn’t ready!

He wasn’t ready!

Yet he still wanted his inheritance.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” Mark 2:22

You may have the right anointing but if you have the wrong attitude your assignment will burst.

You may have the gift but the gift without the grace of God will result in humiliation and disaster.

Here’s the word, first lesson from this parable;

If you want it, get ready for it.

If you want it, be ready for it.

If you want it,  stay ready for it.

Get ready!

Be ready!

Stay ready!

Get ready!

Be ready!

Stay ready!

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Your character has to be ready for the calling.

Your integrity has to be ready for the influence.

Your mind has to be ready for the idea.

Your testimony has to be ready for the title!

I want to speak to all the people that took advantage of the past two years to get ready.

I want to speak to all the people who took advantage of the past two years to get ready for what’s coming.

I want to speak to all the people that know that the past two years in essence served as a time of alignment and preparation.

A time where God lined up your character to match the calling,

You integrity to match your influence,

Your mind to handle the ideas,

Your testimony to embrace the title that’s coming your way.

To all the people that did more than just binge on Netflix.

To all the people that got tired of making excuses and stand ready to make history, this message is for you.

There are promises from our Heavenly Father with your name on it,

Let me repeat that, there are promises from our heavenly father with your name on it.

Not just on the other side of eternity but on this side of eternity, promises you can now handle because by grace, you are ready!

Tell your neighbor I’m ready!

I wasn’t ready five years ago but I’m ready now.

I wasn’t ready 7 years ago but I’m ready now.

I wasn’t ready 10 years ago but I’m ready now.

My prayer life makes me ready.

The Holy Spirit makes me ready.

The word of God makes me ready.

Coming to church makes me ready.

How about this?

What I went through got me ready for what’s next. What I survived got me ready for what’s next.

In the matter of fact, even what the devil sent my way to destroy me, God used to develop me.

What the devil sent my way to destroy me God turned it around and used it to develop me.

The hell I went through got me ready for the glory that’s coming my way!

Somebody shout “I’m ready!”

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.         Romans 8:28

Somebody praise like you’re ready!

Worship like you’re ready!

Pray like you’re ready!

Shout like you’re ready!

Give like you’re ready!

Live like you are ready!

*The Tension Between Your Promise and The Father’s Presence. 

You Can’t Separate The Promise From The Presence! 

13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.

So far away……

Here it is!

The number one reason this young man failed was not because he received his inheritance ahead of schedule, it’s because he left the father’s presence.

The number one problem was not his premature access to the inheritance.

How do we know?

His older brother got it and did not end up the same way.

When did everything go wrong?

When the younger son received the promise and moved away.

He left his Father’s presence.

He left the covering.

He left his accountability.

The Psalmist said; The one thing I ask of the LORD— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. Psalm 27:4

The younger son became a prodigal not  when he asked for the promise ahead of schedule, but when he left his father’s presence.

This is what happens when you get away from our Heavenly Father’s presence.

This is what happens when you have no accountability.

This is what happens when to you, the promise is more important than the Father’s presence.

This is what happens when the blessing is more important than the Blesser!

Nothing is more important than your relationship with our Heavenly Father!

Nothing is more important than your relationship with our Heavenly Father!

Nothing is more important than your relationship with our Heavenly Father!

Why?

The promises of God and the presence of God are inseparable.

Just like the prodigal son, some people want the promise without being in the presence.

Just like the prodigal son, some people want the breakthrough without ever permitting God to break the old you.

Just like the prodigal son, there are people that want

heaven without holiness,

forgiveness without faith,

joy without the Holy Ghost,

and peace without the presence of the one who said “Peace be stil!”

You can’t separate the promise from the presence.

Jesus told his disciples to be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill the great commission.

This is the problem!

Men and women of God fail when they run away with the gift leaving the glory behind!

We cannot separate the promise of God from the presence of God.

We cannot occupy the promises unless we are first inhabited by His Spirit.

You will never possess the promised land until you are first possessed by the Promise Keeper.

Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:23

The moment you take gift away from the glory the asset becomes a liability, the blessing becomes a burden, and the promise becomes a problem.
But here’s the remedy;

Your capacity to manage the promises of God is directly proportional to the amount of time you spend in the presence of God.

The more time you spend in God’s presence, the more successful you will be in managing his promises.

But Pastor Sam, aren’t all of God’s promises yes and amen?

All of God’s promises are yes and amen but don’t stop there.

We even sing all of God‘s promises are yes and amen.

But that’s not what the Bible says.

What?

The Bible does not say all of God‘s promises are yes and amen.

Stop saying all of God’s promises are yes and amen that’s not biblically accurate.

All of God‘s promises are yes and amen in Christ Jesus.

For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. 2 Corinthians 1:19

For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20

All of God‘s promises are yes and amen IN Christ Jesus!

In Him, the promises are yes and amen.

Not in your ability but in him.

Not in your contacts but in him.

Not in your potential but in him.

In Him, there is fullness of joy.

In Him, you are blessed and highly favored.

In Him, your family will be saved.

In Him, the latter glory will be greater than the former glory.

In Him you have eternal life.

In Him you have abundant life.

In Him you have new life.

In Him your wounds are healed.

In Him your sins are forgiven.

In Him your past cannot stop you.

In Him you are anointed and appointed.

In Him you are multi generationally blessed.

In Him the old you is dead.

In Him the new you is alive.

In Him you are called and chosen.

In Him, the gates of hell will not prevail against you.

In Him, you are the head and not the tail.

In Him you go from glory to glory!

In him we live, in him we move, in him we have our being. Acts 17:28

*The Tension Between Your Hunger and The Father’s Love! 

14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.

15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs.

16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!

18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,

19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.

He was broke busted and disgusted.

He was hungry hanging around pigs, begging for food, and no one would feed him.

He hit rock bottom.

When he hit rock bottom and no one was able to help him he remembered his father.

Sometimes it requires us to hit rock bottom in order to remember that in our father’s house we never go hungry, in our father’s house there is exceedingly abundantly above all, in our father’s house there is more than enough.

No one can give you what God can only provide.

Thank God for hitting rock bottom.

Thank God for the days no one gave you anything!!

The Psalmist put it this way in the 40th Psalm…

1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.

But wait!

When the prodigal was far away, the father saw him.

When he was far away, the father saw him!

When he was far away, the father saw him.

When he was far away, the father saw him.

Why? Because the father will always recognize his child!

He may have been broken but he was still his son.

He may have been lost but he was still his son.

He may have slept with prostitutes but he was still his son.

He may have wasted his inheritance but he was still his son!

He was dirty both internally and externally but he was still his son.

Because a prodigal son is still a son.

A broken daughter is still a daughter.

A lost child is still a child.

We focus on the adjective when we should hold on to the noun.

In Christ,

Who you are will always be greater than how you are.

Who you are will always be greater than where you are.

Why?

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. John 10:29

You may be broken but you’re still a child of God.

You may be hurting but you’re still a child of God.

You may be going through a relationship break up but you’re still a child of God.

You may be walking through the valley of the shadow of death BUT YOU ARE STILL A CHILD OF GOD!

You may be going through hell but you are still a child of the living God!

He is still your father!

The father saw him coming!

He was far away but the father saw him coming.

I don’t care how far you may be from God today, he knows where you are.

You are never so far away that his grace cannot reach you.

You are never so far away that his blood cannot redeem you.

You are never beyond God’s forgiveness.

You are never beyond God’s love.

You are never beyond God’s healing.

This is OUR FATHER!

Romans 8:15 I have received the spirit of adoption whereby I am able to call out Abba father.

Our father runs.

Our father embraces.

Our father kisses the prodigal!

What did the father do?

First, what did he not do?

He did not say, NOW YOU COME BACK?

He did not chastise him, judge him, scold him, rebuke him, double down on his failures.

Why?

He did not bring up his past!

He did not bring up his past!

He did not bring up his past!

Why?

Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13

Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:9

God says, My grace is all you need! 2 Cor 12:9

(My grandfather’s testimony)

21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.[a]’

22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.

23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast,

24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

The father not only ran, embraced and kissed him.

The father made certain the prodigal received the finest robe, sandals and ate the best meal!

Wait a moment!

The younger son came back home without any money.

The younger son came back home without one penny.

The younger son came back home without the inheritance he received.

And yet he ends up wearing the finest robe jewelry, clothes, covered.

Why?

The son came back and repented.

The son came back and confessed.

The father forgives!

The father restores!

God not only forgives!

God restores.

In other words, the father is saying, as long as you are in my presence the promise is never lost.

My presence is your greatest promise!

I am your inheritance!

As long as you are in my presence the inheritance is secured.

As long as you are in my presence the future will not die.

As long as you are in my presence the calling still lives.

As long as you are in my presence what you think was lost is actually found.

What you may have a lost for a season you will discover for a lifetime.

For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. Romans 11:29

Get ready for a new robe!

Get ready for new sandals!

Get ready for the best meal!

Is there anyone here ready to get back what was lost in the lost years? 

Joel 2:25-26  

I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Jeremiah 30:17  

For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’

Psalm 51:12  

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Isaiah 61:7  

Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.

1 Peter 5:10  

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Job 42:10  

And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

The prodigal brother!

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house,

26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on.

27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him,

29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.

30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.

32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

Samuel Rodriguez

New Season-Lead Pastor
NHCLC President/CEO
Author “Persevere With Power; What Heaven Starts, Hell Cannot Stop!”
Exec. Producer “Breakthrough” and “Flamin Hot” Movies