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).
The self-centered prodigal son resented his father's authority and wished to be free to do what he chose without anyone giving him orders. In short, he wanted to be his own master.
The fall of the younger son began when he claimed "his right" to take his interests from the interests of his father before he (the prodigal) went into a far (foreign) country (Luke 15:12-13). When we use the word "prodigal" perhaps we think of it as meaning one who falls into a very disorderly life. But the prodigal is a waster; and though the word is not found in the parable, it is derived from the phrase in this verse, he wasted his substance.
He began by demanding a share of his father's goods; he got it and wasted it. It is true that he wasted it in riotous living, but the emphasis is contained in his older brother's words to his father: Thy son (my brother) . . . hath devoured thy living (15:30).
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God (Ps. 14:1), but there are greater fools than he. There is the fool who says: "There is a God; but I am going to live as I please anyway."
The mark of true repentance is discernible in the shame of the prodigal. He confessed his selfish offense and desired to abide by his father's decision. This characteristic of shame is essential to true repentance. Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation (II Cor. 7:10). Another mark of repentance is the desire to be subject to the authority of God, not simply to have the past wiped out and to begin another course of self-indulgence. The prodigal desired to come back to his father in humility and submission — as one of thy hired servants (Luke 15:19).
Just as the prodigal son discovered that his father's compassion and love were far greater than he had realized, so too will every repentant sinner discover that the Heavenly Father is waiting, with love and compassion, to transform the wasted lives of all who come to Him. However, as wonderful as this is, it does not, and cannot, restore or reverse the result of wasted years. It is an inevitable and irreversible Law that whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7). Since the believer's true citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), we dare not make material gain and physical satisfactions our priority.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil (Eph. 5:15-16).
Thought for Today:
For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength (Is. 30:15).
For Luke 16:15: See Prov. 21:2.
14:26 hate not . . . all natural affections are 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? . . . For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother (Matt. 12:48-50); 14:32 ambassage delegation; 15:16 would fain craved to; 16:11 unrighteous mammon the use of your money in this world.
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Memory Verse for the Week: