Highlights In Today's Reading:
Women support Jesus in missions (8:1-3). Jesus scatters the seed (8:4-15). The Lord ready to meet every need — He stills the storms (8:22-25), defeats the demons (8:26-40), and heals the sick (8:43-48). He feeds the hungry (9:12-17). Don't miss this key verse — 9:48. The cost to us (9:57-62).
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 (9:57-58). Jesus pointed out to this man that he would have to face many hardships in order to follow Him. When Jesus said the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head, He was saying that He was not attached to any earthly possessions. The foxes and birds of the air build for themselves places of protection and security; but He offered no guaranteed earthly resources such as salary, promotion, retirement, or insurance plan.
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). Jesus is emphasizing that the time to be about the Heavenly Father's business is now, with wholehearted commitment. Our Lord did not welcome volunteers who appeared to be willing to join Him at their "convenient" time. Love dictated the sternness of our Lord's words. Jesus was not counting converts to establish His popularity, but seeking true disciples who wanted only His will to be done (11:2).
The cost of discipleship keeps many from fulfilling the Lord's highest spiritual calling. They are not willing to deny themselves the pleasures or other interests that would enable them to achieve their material goals in life. But the few who are willing to truly put Christ first in their decisions will discover that true satisfaction of hearing Him say: Well done, good and faithful servant (Matt. 25:23), far exceeds fleeting earthly ambitions.
Is there someone in your life or something in your heart that keeps you from giving first place to Christ, His Word, and His will? The more carefully we read His Word and listen to the Holy Spirit, the more all worldly ambitions will fade into insignificance.
Whosoever will save (for his personal ambitions) his (temporal) life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it (Matt. 16:25).
Thought for Today:
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another (Rom. 14:19).
8:44 stanched =stopped flowing; 9:3 staves =staffs, walking sticks; scrip =small bag for money or food; 9:29 glistering =shining with brilliance.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Mary Bono Mack (CA), Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR), Gov. Mike Rounds (SD), Rep. José Serrano (NY), and Rep. Bradley Sherman (CA) • Country: Hungary (10.1 million) in east-central Europe • Major language: Hungarian • New freedom has opened the door to evangelism and Bible distribution • 61.7% Roman Catholic; 24.4% Protestant; 12.5% non-Religious/Other; .8% Jewish; .3% Orthodox; .2% Marginal; .1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for our nation, that it would truly be a Christian nation (Ps. 67:1-7).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:19