Highlights In Today's Reading:
There are nine parables in today's reading. Every parable reveals a spiritual principle for your welfare. It is of utmost importance that you pray for insight on them. Jesus tells us it is vital to be humble, also He tells how to avoid pride since it was the cause of man's 1st downfall. He reveals the personal cost of being a disciple (14:25-35); He tells us about the rich man and Lazarus and the dangers of self-deception and greed (16:19-31). He also uses five parables to emphasize His teachings. (1) Since we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against . . . spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12), how easy it is to miss God's blessings and grace (Luke 14:15-24). (2) The lost sheep (15:1-7), (3) the lost coin (15:8-10), and (4) the lost son (15:11-32) — they appear similar but each has a vital key. (5) You can't straddle the fence. Choose God or not (16:1-13; Matthew 12:30).
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 long before he (the prodigal) went into a far (foreign) country (15:13). 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: Thy son (my brother) hath devoured thy (my father's) living (15:30).
The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God (Psalm 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 Corinthians 7:10). Another mark of repentance is the desire to be subject to God's authority, not simply to have the past wiped out and enter on 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).
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Thought for Today:
Too many people waste the gifts that God has given them by using their talents for the world's enjoyment.
14:32 ambassage =b> delegation; 15:16 would fain =b> craved to; 16:11 unrighteous mammon =b> the use of your money in this world.
For Luke 16:15: See Proverbs 21:2.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Valerie F. Virgona • Staff: Ken Sharp • Government Official: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY) • Country: Liechtenstein (32,000) in western Europe • Major languages: German and Alemannic dialect • Religious freedom • 87% Roman Catholic; 12% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Confess your sins and ask the Lord to restore the joy of your salvation (Psa. 51:1-3,12).
Memory Verse for the Week: Luke 14:33