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God Is Not Like You
 

He you ever considered what it would be like if everyone was just like you.

Looked like you. smiled like you, laughed like you, talked like you had your sense of humor, acted like you, re-acted like you

Q: What do you think of a world like that?

What if God was just like you? Acted like you? Loved like you? Forget like you?

Was merciful like you? Was unselfish like you? Gave like you?

Q: How would you like that?

Q: Would you go to church? Pray? Share about God? Read the Bible?

GOOD NEWS GOD IS NOT LIKE YOU

Q: What are some common images we have of God?

Q: Where do we get these ideas? Parents, grandparents, preachers, TV evangelists, movies

Luke 15:11-32
11 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.
12 The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
13 "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.
14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'
20 So he got up and went to his father. "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.
21 "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 "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.
23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.
24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
27 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
28 "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
29 But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
31 "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"


Called the parable of the prodigal son, but it is really about the father?

Letís look at 3 aspects of the father that are not like us

1. God gives us freedom (V II-13)

Q: How did the son want his freedom? Wanted his inheritance early, wanted to move out and take his money

Q: Do you think the father tried to talk him out of it?

Q: Could the father have stopped him? YES

Q: What did the father do? LET HIM GO!

Q: What might some of our responses be if we were in the fatherís shoes? Want to control or restrict / Dontís want people to make bad choices or get hurt / Get angry or jealous

Arenít you glad that God is not like you?

God gives us our freedom
- To do good or to do evil, to sin or not to sin
- To love your neighbor or to ignore your neighbor
- To have a great marriage or to have a mediocre marriage
- To have a great relationship with God or to ignore Him

Freedom is powerful yet frightening, because with freedom comes responsibility. Sometimes people freedom make bad choices and blow it.

Q: How did the son blow it? Squandered all his money, lived a wild and sinful life, became a pig herder, ate with the pigs, lost all his friends, humiliated.

But then something incredible happens.... verse 17.. he came to his senses.

2. God is compassionate (V 20)

Q: How was the father compassionate? Saw him from a long way off (looking for him), filled with compassion.

Ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Q: What are some ways we might respond in this situation? I told you so. You blew it. What do you want?

Q: What kind of reception would you give the son? Cold, clammy, make him grovel and beg.

Make them know how much they hurt you, what they did to you.

The son hurt the father badly, but look at how the father responded.

Q: How do YOU respond to someone who has hurt you?

Arenít you glad that God is not like you? Most of us are out of touch with what God is really like!!!!

3. God is forgiving (V21-24)

Q: How did the father treat the son after his initial greeting? Threw a party!

Q: What does this show about the fatherís heart? Thankful, overjoyed, forgiving

If you were the father is this how B21 would read...

Then the father said to his son: You are no longer worthy to be called my son

What exactly did you do over in that foreign country?

When and how are you going to pay me back?

Do you have any idea how much grief youíve caused me?

When God forgives, he forgives completely, fully, totally!

He doesnít bring it up anymore, doesnít rub your nose in it

Arenít you glad God is not like you?

Conclusion

I hope this study has helped you to get a clearer picture of God
1. Donít let pre-conceived ideas about God keep you from the truth about Him
2. Dig into the Bible to find out what God is really like
3. Be encouraged.... God is not like you!!!!