Highlights In Today's Reading:
Read the Word of God so as not to miss His call (Luke 14:15-24). Count the true cost of discipleship (14:26-35). Together with Jesus, seek the lost (note: 15:7). Parable of the shrewd steward. No one can serve two masters (16:10-13). Rich man and Lazarus (16:19-31).
Our Lord illustrates two ways of wasting our lives. The first is that of a self-centered prodigal son who demanded freedom from his father's authority and wasted his substance (inheritance) . . . And when he had spent all. . . . And 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! (15:13-18).
The "prodigal" is a wanderer from the faith. But more importantly it also means a waster; he wasted his father's substance by living in rebellion against the Father's authority. Finally he recognized how foolish he was and returned to his father saying: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight (15: 21). After he repented, his father rejoiced and revealed the seriousness of his sin: This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found (15:24).
It is in our nature to be proud and self-suffficient — living in rebellion against the authority of God. Although God transforms lives of all who repent, He doesn't restore wasted years. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7).
Jesus also told of a rich man who never recognized that he had "wasted" his life, for he was "very successful." But, he disregarded the needs of the beggar Lazarus. The sick man died sooner than expected. In hell . . . he cried . . . I am tormented in this flame (Luke 16:23-24). Although tormented in this flame, there is no indication he had lied, cheated, or stolen during his life. He had lived to please himself rather than God.
All mankind, rich or poor, has one thing in common: It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27).
This rich man was tormented in this flame (Luke 16:24). I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him (Lazarus) to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith . . . They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them (16:27-29). Jesus' final remark about man's hard heart is true today: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead (Luke 16:31).
Thought for Today:
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
14:32 ambassage =delegation; 15:16 would fain =craved to; 16:11 unrighteous mammon =the use of your money in this world.
For Luke 16:15: See Prov. 21:2.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElvoy • Staff: Benjamin Wallace • Government Official: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY) • Country: Indonesia (211.8 million) five large and 13,662 lesser islands in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Bahasa Indonesian (modified form of Malay) and English • Growing pressure from Muslim leaders to limit advances of Christianity by not renewing many of the missionaries' permits to stay in the country • 83% Muslim; 9% Protestant; 4% Catholic; 2% Hindu; 1% Buddhist; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and thank God for all His blessings (Ps. 68:19).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:20