Mar. 12 – (Luke 14:7-11) The Parable of the Wedding Feast. What is this parable about?  Is it where to sit at a social or wedding reception? I think it mostly has to do with humility and pride.  Pride is expecting or announcing what we have done or accomplished. Letting others see “how great we are”.  Humility is knowing all that we are and have accomplished is only through gifts and abilities and favor God has put in us to do for His glory and not our own glory.  Humility happens when we realize we don’t have rights so much as privileges.  And they are not for our edification but for His glory to be shown.  Selah

Mar. 13 – (Luke 14:7-11) The Parable of the Wedding Feast.  Let me share an experience I always think about when I read this passage.  Many, many…many years ago, a shower was given for me.  I was very young and really didn’t know etiquette on how things were done.  I had gotten my plate of food and turned to find a place to sit.  Most seats were taken but there was a table at the front so I thought that was where I was supposed to sit.  So, I moved a few things away to sit down. Someone came over and told me that was not for eating at, it was just for decoration.  Every time I read these verses, I feel the shame and embarrassment of that moment.  It was and is a great reminder that these things are up to God.

Mar. 14 – (Luke 15:11-32) The Prodigal Son.  Some think we have misplaced the importance of this parable.  Maybe it should read: “The Perfect Father”.  Consider the father’s actions.  He does not demand the son stay at home where he can protect him.  He probably knows this will not be good for the son.  He may have even discussed the pitfalls of these actions but in the end allowed the son to make his own decision.  Did the father then “write him off” once he had left the house and went away?  Instead he waited and watched for his return.  And when he saw the son returning, he immediately made preparations for a celebration.  He did not require the “I’m sorry” before he received the son. This is so like our Heavenly Father.  He gives everyone the choice even when he knows what will follow when we don’t choose Him.  He is always “watching” for our return and will celebrate upon our return.  Selah

Mar. 15 – (Luke 15:11-32) The Prodigal Son.  Now let’s look at the eldest son.  Was he any less “prodigal” than the youngest son?   Most people would say he was the “good” son.  He stayed home and did what dad said to do.  But when the younger son came back, he got mad.  His conversation with his dad and his actions show us many things.  He was haughty, pious, unforgiving, judgmental, self-seeking, and vain just like the Pharisees!  And we know what Jesus said about them!  As I think about this older brother, I wander how many of us clean ourselves up (at least from outward appearance), and then downplay all the “poor sinners” who still don’t have their act together.  Is that watching and receiving in celebration, one who was lost and now is found? Selah

Mar. 16 – (Luke 16:1-9) The Parable of the dishonest Manager.  I must admit; this parable is one of the hardest for me to understand.  Why would the Lord even use an example of improper or deceitful actions as something we need to incorporate into our redeemed life?   As I studied it further, I began to see some things I have always missed because I was stuck at the thought of even incorporating his actions.          

                There seems to be two important lessons here: 1. The wise use of opportunities. Just like the man in the parable, we are stewards. Everything we have and are, was given to us to use for Him.  We are stewards of our time, our gifts and abilities, and the Gospel. When we stand before the judgement seat, we will be held accountable. The Bible says we will not be judged for our sins.  Jesus Christ died for them and rose again so that they are gone forever (Heb. 10:17). We will be judge on our works. This judgement will determine the reward we will receive (I Cor. 3:11-15).  Here’s the bottom line: If we put as much time, gifts and abilities into telling others about Jesus as we do into our “special interest” such as cooking or physical health or playing golf etc., when it all burns up and we stand before God, we will have rewards that cannot be destroyed!  2. The danger of covetousness. This man wanted worldly things…at all costs.  The Lord Jesus did not commend this steward for his unethical actions.  He commended him for his wise use of his opportunities. If believers would make as wise decisions as businessmen do – but with the right motives- they would accomplish more for the kingdom of God.  The Bible says to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matt. 10:16). Enough for today to ponder!

Mar. 17 – (Luke 16:1-9) The Parable of the dishonest Manager. Let’s keep in mind that the Parable of the Unjust Steward was given just after the famous Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15).  When you put the two parables together, and look at the three persons involved (the prodigal, the elder brother, and the steward), you can see three different philosophies of life.  1. The prodigal’s philosophy was to waste life.  He lived for the moment and had no thought for the future. 2. The elder brother’s philosophy was simply to spend his life. He did what he was told and hoped that the future would be better. (kind of like, “I will endure this life and do what is expected, so I can be happy in Heaven.”)  3. The steward learned there was a third philosophy, apart from wasting life and spending life.  Instead of destroying his future by living only for the present (like the prodigal), or destroying his present life by hoping for the future (like the elder brother), he could live the present in the light of the future.  He used his present opportunities to assure himself a secure future.  Just remember, Jesus did not approve the way he did it, but He commended him that he did it.  Someone said: the safest investment in not real estate, it is, if we are to go to the Book, men! Selah

Mar. 18 – (Luke 16:19-31) The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Jesus mainly spoke about common things in their environment, a field, farmers, a wedding.  But this parable takes us to the next world. Jesus put something into this story most men do not see in life until the day they know they are going to die.  It’s only in dying that we will really know what eternity will be like for the redeemed and for those who did not choose Jesus Christ as their Savior.  We don’t want to think about dying, like it is a dreadful thing.  We feel that way by the ties we have made in this world. Here’s a comparison: I try to remember that my children are on loan. They were given to us to steward with love and discipline like our heavenly Father does to us, for a time.  But eventually they need to be released into His care as we were from our parents.  Our life here as a Christian is supposed to be like that. It’s to steward what He gives us for His glory for a time…. Selah.