Last Sunday's Worship Service

Failing Forward

“Coming to My Senses”

Luke 15:11-24


1.    Introduction:

     a.    Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones For ____________ (John Maxwell)

                           i.     How do we ____________ our failures?

                          ii.     How do we ____________ to our failures?

     b.    Jesus: Parable of the Prodigal Son/Loving Father (Luke 15:11-24)

                           i.     “The ____________ short story in the history of the world.” (William Barclay)

                          ii.     “The ____________ within the Gospel.” (Norval Geldenhuys)

     c.    The story is about a young man who fails miserably.

2.    ____________:

     a.    The younger son: Give me what ____________ to me!

     b.    The father: He did as the son requested, no ____________ asked.

 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.” Luke 15:13

     c.    Implications:

                          i.     He’s not coming ____________.

                         ii.     He’s getting as far away from ____________ as possible.

                         iii.     He’s going to do what ____________ wants to do!

                         iv.     “I am the master of my own destiny!”

3.    ____________:

   a.    The son ____________ all that his father had generously given him.

   b.    He was unprepared for the ____________.

“After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.” Luke 15:14

4.    ____________ Failure:

    a.    The question becomes, “What would the younger son choose to do?”

                          i.     ____________ others for his problems. (play the victim)

                         ii.     Ignore the situation and ____________ in it. (there is no hope)

                         iii.     Face up to his ____________. (I screwed up - this is all my fault)

     b.    His initial response was to take matters into his own ____________.

“So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.” Luke 15:15

                           i.     This only led to a sense of ____________.

He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. Luke 15:16

                          ii.     No one was ____________ him anything.

5.    A ____________ or A Failure:

“When he came to his senses…” Luke 15:17a

     a.    His ____________ drifted back to home.

     b.    His ____________ drifted back to his father.

“…he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!”  Luke 15:17b

     c.    He makes the most important ____________ in his life.

“I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven (God) and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So, he got up and went to his father.”  Luke 15:18-20

6.    Failing Forward:

     a.    The younger son took ____________ for his actions. (it’s my fault)

     b.    He ____________ his sin and failure to God first and then admitted his sin and failure to his father.

     c.    He put away his pride, ego, and arrogance and humbled himself before his father.

“God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5b

     d.    He was willing to accept the ____________ for his actions.

7.    ____________:

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him, and kissed him.

     a.    The father was ____________ for his son to return and runs to hug him.

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’” Luke 15:21

     b.    The son ____________ to his father.

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.   Luke 15:22-23

     c.    The father forgives and celebrates his younger sons return home.

8.    This is a Story of ____________:

     a.    The father represents ____________.

     b.    The younger son represents each of ____________.

     c.    Our Heavenly Father out of His deep love gives us the ____________ to live how we choose.

     d.    When we choose to go our way and reject God, there are ____________ for our actions.

     e.    Yet our Heavenly Father is looking and waiting for us to return to Him, confess our sin, receive God’s forgiveness and be ____________.

     f.     The younger son gets far more than he expected or ____________ when he returned to his father. 

     g.    The son was gloriously and fully restored into a right ____________ with his father, with all the blessings and benefits of a son.

     h.    He received love, mercy, joy, peace, hope, freedom, forgiveness, and ____________.

“For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:24

9.     Conclusion:

     a.    So what does this story teach us about Failing Forward?

                            i.     No failure is ____________.

                           ii.     No failure is ____________.

                           iii.     Every failure is an ____________ for us to learn and to grow.

                           iv.     God, and only God, can take our failures and bring something ____________ out of them.

“We forget that God is a specialist. He is well able to work our failures into His plans”

Erwin W. Lutzer, “Failure: The Back Door to Success”

     b.    Don’t Quit!

     c.    God is not a ____________ …he has not given up on you and me.

     d.    With Jesus Christ in our lives, we can be sure that when we fail, we will fail ____________!

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