Read Luke 14
Read all the Word of God so as not to miss His call (Luke 14:15-24). Consider the true devotion 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 the two alternatives in life. The first choice is a self-centered son who demanded freedom from his father's authority, and then took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance (inheritance) with riotous living. . . . when he had spent all . . . he began to be in want (faced starvation) (Luke 15:13-16). In his miserable state, this prodigal son made a wise choice when he said . . . I perish (die) with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee (15:17-18).
The word "prodigal" means a waster; the young man wasted his father's substance. After he repented, his father made him aware of the seriousness of his former life as a sinner when he said: This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry and enjoy fellowship with each other (15:24).
Just as the prodigal son discovered that his father's love was far greater than he had previously realized, so too will every repentant sinner discover that the Heavenly Father is waiting with great compassion to forgive all who come to Him.
Jesus then told of a rich man who never recognized that he had "wasted" his life, even though he had become "very successful." But, in hell . . . being in torments. . . . he cried . . . I am tormented in this flame (16:23-24). It was only then he discovered that hell was eternal and that, between him and Abraham, there was a great gulf fixed (16:26). The rich man's preoccupation with success crowded out any desire to use his abilities or resources for the glory of God. The foremost purpose of our brief life on earth is to prepare for an endless eternity while using our resources, time, and talents to provide spiritual food for others.
Since the believer's true conversation (citizenship) is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), we dare not make secular goals, material gain, and physical satisfactions our priorities. Jesus made it very clear: All mankind, rich or poor, has one thing in common — physical death will open the door to either the joy of eternal life or the horrors of eternal hell. Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard. . . . How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? (Heb. 2:1,3).
Thought for Today:
Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:33).
14:26 hate not all natural affections is to be as compared with the Christian's devotedness and love for Christ. Jesus clarified this when He said: Who is My Mother? and who are My brethren? . . . the same is My brother, and sister, and mother (Matt. 12:48-50); 14:32 ambassage relegation; 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 Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Government Official: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY) • Country: France (59.1 million) in western Europe • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 80% Roman Catholic; 7% Islam; 1.22% Protestant; 1.18% Jewish; 1% Buddhist; .2% Orthodox; .2% Eastern Catholic; .2% Jehovah's Witness; 9% Other/None • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for your adversaries (Ps. 109:4).
Memory Verse for the Week: Mark 4:19