Scripture reading for October 31st: Luke 14-18
Key Scriptures: Luke 15:21-24 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Lets have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine who was dead is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate!”
Jesus told a parable of a lost son returning to his father after wasting an inheritance and living in a pig pen. When he returned, upon confessing to his father, he asked to be made a servant. Instead, the father brought one of the best robes and clothed him. He put his ring on his finger again and sandals on his feet. He threw a big feast and celebrated the returned son! This is a great picture of what happens to each person who comes home to Father God!
Rejoice and celebrate: ” Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “see, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.” (Zechariah 3:3-4)
Scripture reading for May 15th: Esther 8-10, Job 1-2
Key Scriptures: Ester 8:16-17 “For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. In every province and in every city, wherever the edict of the king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many peoples of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.”
God had given Queen Esther and the Jews a great victory by turning the heart of the king to spare the Jews. As the news went out by fast horses, joy broke out in every city of the land of Persia. Many people became Jews because of the fear of the king’s edict and joined the feasting and celebration!
Rejoice, feast, and celebrate: God the Father has decreed forgiveness and eternal life for all who repent and receive His Son! “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.” . . .”Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19:7-9)
Scripture reading for March 24th: Luke 15
Jesus loved to tell stories that had practical basis in everyday life but spoke to the spiritual life of individuals as well. We call these ‘parables’. Luke 15 contains three ‘lost and found’ parables that Jesus used to respond to the religious leaders who mocked Him for spending time eating with ‘sinners’.
The first story Jesus told was about a shepherd with 100 sheep. One sheep was lost, so the shepherd left the 99 and searched until he found the lost sheep. He carried the sheep back and called his friends for a celebration! “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who don’t need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)
The next story involved a woman who had ten silver coins and lost one in her house. She searches for the lost coin until it is located and calls her neighbors for a celebration! “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)
The last story involved a man with two sons. The younger son asked his father for his share of the inheritance and left home to end up wasting the money. The older son stayed home and worked. When all was lost, the younger son repented and decided to return to his father and ask for mercy. The father saw the boy coming, and was filled with compassion and ran to meet him. His son confessed his sin and asked for mercy. The father restored the boy and called for a feast. “For this son of mine was dead and is now alive again; he was lost and now is found.” (Luke 15:24)