In Today's Scripture Reading:
Jesus' teachings; more miracles; 12 apostles sent forth; 5,000 fed; Peter's confession; transfiguration of Christ
Jesus put the sincerity of would-be disciples to the test when a certain man said unto Him, Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head (no place to sleep) (Luke 9:57-58). The foxes illustrate the clever ones and the birds of the air illustrate the worldly. Jesus pointed out to this man that, if he chose to follow Him, he could expect hardships. Jesus was also saying that He was not attached to earthly possessions, nor could His followers expect any guarantee of earthly resources.
And another also said, Lord, I will follow Thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God (9:61-62). Our Lord did not welcome volunteers who were only willing to join Him on their own terms; serving Christ requires a lifetime commitment. Love dictates that there be no compromise in following Him. Jesus was not then, nor is He now, in the midst of a membership drive, nor is He counting converts to prove His success.
Self-seekers and compromisers are often misled, believing there will be a more convenient time when they can choose to follow the Lord. Their excuses reveal that they have divided hearts. Some lack the "single eye" of devotion to Christ where, by comparison, all else in this world is of little importance. Others fail to put Christ first in their daily decisions and, yet, all who do will discover that the satisfaction of self-denial far exceeds fleeting earthly rewards. Each of us needs to consider whether there is someone in our life or something in our heart that is keeping us from giving Christ, His Word, and His will, first place in our lives.
Jesus warned: The Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily (Truly) I say unto you. . . . Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (self-indulgence), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares (suddenly) (Luke 21:31-34).
8:44 stanched =b> stopped flowing; 9:3 staves =b> staffs, walking sticks; scrip =b> small bag for money or food; 9:29 glistering =b> shining with brilliance.
For Luke 8:10: See Isaiah 6:9.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa sponsored by Casmir & Rosemarie Zuranski • Bible Pathway Accountant: Joe Sarsfield • Government Officials: Rep. Mary Bono (CA), Gov. Mike Rounds (SD), Rep. José Serrano (NY), and Rep. Bradley Sherman (CA) • Country: Mozambique (19 million) on the eastern coast of Africa • Major language: Portuguese • Religious freedom • 40% worship of false gods, ancestral spirits, and some witchcraft; 23% Roman Catholic; 14% Protestant; 13% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Be glad in the Lord and rejoice at all times (Psalm 32:11).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:8