The Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church service on July 21, 2018 began with Rich Sutton welcoming everyone and making a few announcements. You are invited to a fellowship meal at the Arce residence today. Thank you to everyone who worked on the cafeteria repair and cleanup project.
Samantha (sophomore) played an introit. The congregation had a silent invocation and then sang “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”. Rich Sutton had the main prayer; the congregation responded with “Hear Our Prayer, O Lord”.
Jefferson (junior) then called for the offering. Clifton Brandt and Clayton Brandt then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the local church budget. The congregation sang the doxology, and Rich Sutton prayed for the offering.
Ginny Arce told the children a story about three children the Arce family met in Mexico recently. About five years ago, these children were found in a graveyard, abandoned by their parents. In the graveyard, the children would cover the people being buried in the graveyard. They were attracted to the Arce family by their cheerful attitude. They love going to church and memorizing Scripture. Right now they work with their adopted mom to serve food from a street cart. Pray for them.
Yzznne (sophomore) read Matthew 20:15 “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” Edwin (junior) played his bass cello for special music.
Andrew Sharon discussed the topic “That’s Outrageous”, Pedro Arce translating into Spanish. The congregation sang “Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners”. Andrew Sharon had the closing prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Andrew Sharon – works with the Laurelbrook maintenance department
Clayton Brandt – works with Laurelbrook’s heavy equipment
Clifton Brandt – works with Laurelbrook’s water, sewer, and boiler systems
Ginny Arce – wife of Pedro Arce / works with the Laurelbrook music program
Pedro Arce – works with the Laurelbrook music program
Rich Sutton – Laurelbrook president
Following are some notes on the sermon by Andrew Sharon:
English words often change meaning over time and lose their full effect. Example: the word “good”. It can mean satisfactory. But God is also “good”. Does it mean the same?
Matthew 20:1-15 “1 ¶ For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man [that is] an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, [that] shall ye receive. 8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them [their] hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9 And when they came that [were hired] about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11 And when they had received [it], they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 Saying, These last have wrought [but] one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14 Take [that] thine [is], and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?”
The householder had agree on a wage contract for the day. He gets the first batch working and decided to get more help. The first group had a specific price, the rest didn’t.
All except the first group went to work solely on the word of the householder as what the wages would be.
Those who worked one hour received a full day’s wage!
The first group had a wage contract but assumed they would going to get more. They served when things were hard. Was it fair to give them the same wages as the rest?
God is a very different kind of good, outrageously good. “Outrageous” can mean very bold, unusual, and startling. God is so “outrageously” good that it might shock you.
God’s goodness exposes the evil in our hearts, using His Law to show us the evil in our lives.
God’s character can show us the evil in our own hearts.
Luke 15:11-32 “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]. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 younger son is asking for what he was promised at his father’s death. But the father gave them his “living”.
The younger son is not being a good steward, wasting his father’s goods. He went so low that he went to feed the pigs and almost ate the pig food.
He had to go to rock bottom to think straight. Ellen White in Christ’s Object Lessons that God’s love yearns after those who choose to separate from Him and tries to influence that soul to return.
The son saw that his suffering was a result of his own sin. He determined to confess his sin.
The son has broken all the father’s rules and goes back home hoping that the father would let him be a servant.
But the father put a robe and ring on him. The ring signified his bank account. The shoes indicated his change from being a beggar to being a son again.
Ellen White says the father takes his own mantle and wraps it around his son. The son is not permitted to ask for a servant’s position. The servants were to serve him as a son, not a servant.
God’s love is “outrageous”.
The father puts on a feast for his son, the one who wasted everything. There is not taunting, no reminder of his evil course. The past is forgotten.
Isaiah 44:22 “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.”
Jeremiah 31:34 “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Isaiah 55:7 “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
Jeremiah 50:20 “In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and [there shall be] none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.”
This is “outrageous” goodness.
So far there is nothing to disturb the joyous occasion.
But the elder son saw the feast and asked a servant what was going on. He was told the father was rejoicing because of the return of the younger son. He was angry for no good reason.
Ellen White says this older son was not worried about the younger brother’s disappearance. He didn’t care. He answered with jealousy and is insulted.
But the father came out and entreated him. The older son complained he had not had a feast for him and his friends.
The older son could have had a party anytime he wanted.
He only sees the difficulty in serving his father. He has no abiding love in his father’s presence and thinks only of what he can get from his father.
He feels that the younger son was wronging him and would not have received the younger son the same way. His life was based on selfishness and the advancement of himself.
Did the older son come to see his wrong attitude and repent? We don’t know.
The parable was still being enacted.
What if we are angry because of something God has done?
We may look good on the outside but not care about those around us.
Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
THIS takes the focus away from self to others and God.
When we go on mission trips, what are we going for? Glorify God?
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”