Wednesday, September 26, 2018


LUKE 15:20-24

Susie: This is part 2 of 3 on the parable of the “Prodigal Son” and his “Forgiving Father.” It is the third parable Jesus told about the Father’s eagerness to forgive repentant sinners. As with the son in the story, to be outside the family (in our case, God’s family) is to feel intense loneliness, completely without help.

The IVP New Testament Commentary Series

The parable is Jesus' final defense of the offer of good news in the face of official criticism of his association with sinners.

Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

Susie: The son followed through with the plan we saw in the last lesson. He returned home intending to beg for a job as his father’s servant.

Susan: His father had been praying and pining, longing for his son and watched the road each day, pregnant with expectation.

Susie: Since the father was checking the horizon for the figure of his son, he saw him while he was still a distance from home. He must have looked pitifully poor because even from that distance, his appearance provoked compassion from his father.

Susan: The father abandoned all cultural protocol, picked up his long garment and ran with joyful abandon to embrace his son. He gave his son the greatest expression of tender endearment, a kiss on the cheek.

Susie: Our heavenly Father is ready to receive us with joy when we realize our inability to approach Him on our own merit because of our sinful nature.

MacArthur Study Bible

From Gen. 3:8 to Rev. 22:17, from the fall to the consummation, God has been and will be seeking to save sinners, and rejoicing each time one repents and is converted.

Luke 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

Susie: The son begins his rehearsed speech of repentance by admitting that his sin is both against God and in the sight of his father. He proclaims the truth that he has forfeited any right to claim sonship in his father’s household.

Susan: While the son proceeds to give his well-practiced, humble speech, the father abruptly interrupts.

Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
Susan: The father was eager to get to the restoration celebration. He turned to the servants and gave three commands.

Susie: The father treated the son as an honored guest rather than an ornery, rebellious teenager by telling the servants to adorn him with the best robe.

Susan: The robe may symbolize that God the Father replaces the swiss cheese of the sinner’s filthy rags with the righteousness of Christ.

Susie: Like the son in the story, we do not deserve the best robe. We have earned our rags with sinful living; but when we turn to Him in humility, the Lord God imputes the righteousness of His own Son to us, covering our sin.

Susan: We do not deserve to wear the robe of Jesus’s righteousness. It is a free gift given to us when, like the prodigal son, we come to our senses and realize our lostness, our sinfulness, our unworthiness, and our complete separation from the Father, the source of our salvation.

Susie: The father did not rebuke the son or call for him to be punished in any way. Instead, he immediately implemented steps to restore him to his rights as a son.

Susan: The ring, probably a signet ring, restored his authority as a family member.

The ring represents: authority and total restoration. It was like the family credit card.

Susan: Like a Sam’s™ or Costco™ card, one had to be member of a family to wear the signet ring that allowed him to make transactions on the family’s behalf.

Susie: The father also instructed the slaves to bring his son a pair of sandals. Slaves or servants did not wear shoes. Therefore, sandals represented his restoration to sonship as well. The armor of the Lord written about by the Apostle Paul included shoes:

Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace . . .

Luke 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

Susie: The choicest calf that had been fattened up would be reserved for a sacrifice or an exceptionally special celebration feast.

Susan: In Texas speak, the father says, “Y’all bring me the prime rib. I’m throwin’ a banquet for my boy!”

Susie: Once again, Jesus tells of a celebration of a joy that must be shared.

Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Susan: What exactly were they celebrating? The father had no idea where his son had traveled and no way to communicate that he was safe, so it was as if he were dead.

Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Susie: The father is elated to have his son home safe and sound once more.

Susan: I think the father may have been telling the family all along that he knew his son and believed he would come to his senses and return home again. He hoped against all hope, and eagerly anticipated the return of his son.

Susie: Therefore, following the father’s lead, they all began to celebrate. That is, all but one as we shall see in the next lesson.

Ponder this and Apply it: Are you resting secure in the knowledge that the Lord has adopted you into His forever family and will never let go of you (John 10:27-29)? Or are you still in a “far country,” living as you please but feeling empty and devoid of love? If you find yourself at rock bottom, look up. Return humbly to your Creator and surrender to His mercy and Grace. God will clothe you in the righteousness of Jesus, seal you with His Holy Spirit, and put the sandals of His peace upon your weary feet.

Monday, September 24, 2018


LUKE 15:11-19

Luke 15:11-12 And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

Susie: Jesus had told the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. Now He paints a scenario of a son so lost that he turns his back on his own family.

Susan: The younger son in essence was saying, “I wish you were dead so that I could live.” From his perspective, while his father was living, he was only existing and not having the opportunity live life as he saw fit.

Susie: The son may have felt suppressed by his father’s rules as many young sons to, not realizing that they are boundaries for their protection. Rather than appreciating his father’s provision for him while living in the father’s home, the son dishonors his dad by asking for his inheritance in order to leave home. He breaks the fifth commandment:

Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Susan: The father granted his son’s request and even divided the property between the two sons.  I had never noticed before that the older son was given his portion as well. The father may have done it out of an indulgent love for the younger son. Or he may have, in genuine love, wanted his son to learn life lessons he did not yet understand by letting him try to make it on his own.

Susie: I believe the father anticipated the younger son’s failure and planned all along to receive him back into his home, a better son for having experienced the harsh realities of life outside his father’s home. Perhaps he also knew the character of his older son, that he would make the wiser choice and stay with his father.

Luke 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous811 living.

Susie: The son liquidated his assets, packed his bags, and moved far away from his father’s house and most likely, his father’s rules. He began blowing his money on indulgence.

Susan: According to The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, a synonym for riotous is “dissolute.” This is not a word we use often, so we looked it up in our favorite dictionary:

American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828:

DISSOLUTE, adjective [Latin]

1. Loose in behavior and morals; given to vice and dissipation; wanton; lewd; luxurious; debauched; not under the restraints of law; as a dissolute man; dissolute company.

2. Vicious; wanton; devoted to pleasure and dissipation; as a dissolute life.

Susan: Not realizing how fast wealth is depleted, the young son felt like he had all the money in the world. He didn’t think he needed to watch his pennies or seek a way to earn a living. He spent like he had his own personal money tree. He threw away his money on carousing, drinking, wasteful, indulgent things. He raced through town spending full-throttle on partying with bad companions. My granddad would quote:

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NASB) Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

Luke 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

Susan: I find it ironic that the famine did not occur until the young man had forfeited all of his inheritance. Perhaps the Lord was making sure he felt the consequences of his foolishness and disobedience with all his senses.

Susie: “Began to be in want” seems to be an understatement. He is in a foreign land, no family nearby and no true friends, just drinking buddies, and now he has no means of support.

Luke 15:15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

Susan: He had to stoop to working the absolutely most despicable, unpleasant job for Jew—tending pigs. Pigs were considered “unclean.” A Jew did not eat pigs or even touch them and would consider them completely repugnant and repulsive.

Luke 15:16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

Susie: The fact that he is feeding pigs reminds us that he is no longer among fellow Jews. He was desperate enough to want to pull up to the feeding trough and eat alongside these pigs.

Susan: He was willing to eat the pigs’ leftovers! Gross!

Susie: He was definitely not in Israel anymore. The Jewish law required people to make provision for those who were poor (Leviticus 23:22; 25:35 & 39), but this country had no such law or tradition. No one offered the prodigal son assistance of any kind.

Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Susan: Finally, he came to his senses!

Susie: Whereas, as a rash young man he may have thought of his father as a strict and harsh disciplinarian, he now remembers his father as a kind man who provides well for his servants.

Susan: He reviews and reassesses his father’s care in light of his experiences in the world. He realizes his father’s servants are far better off than he.

Luke 15:18-19 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

Susie: Having tried his hand at living out in the world, the young man now realizes he would be better off at his father’s house even as a hired hand rather than a son.

Susan: He realizes the boundaries of his father’s home and rules are not as bad as he once thought. He determines to go home and on bended knee, beg for a position as a servant in his father’s house because at least they never go hungry and have a roof over their heads.

Susie: He is ready to admit that he is unworthy to be called a son. He has come through the experience as a humble man rather than a haughty child.

Susan: A person is born or legally adopted into sonship, and it is an esteemed position. He realizes he has been foolish in disregarding the value of sonship.

Susie: Now his highest hope is to be a hired hand. He does not dare to expect the privilege of sonship.

Ponder this and Apply it: We are God’s creation, but in our natural state, we dare not assume the privilege of being His children. We are incapable of perfect obedience to God’s law. However, like the prodigal son, we need to humble ourselves and realize our complete need. Then we can approach the Lord in honesty. Has the Lord brought you to a place where you realize that Jesus is your only hope? If so, you can ask the Lord to forgive you and enable you to turn from sin by filling you with the power of the Holy Spirit. Pour out your heart to the Father.  He will hear your humble prayer.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

We've had a couple of setbacks this week, so we are not ready to put a post up tonight. We should have the first part of the parable of the prodigal son up sometime tomorrow afternoon. Thank you for understanding! May God bless you. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


LUKE 15:8-10

Luke 15:8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

Susan: The parable of the lost sheep would be meaningful to men. Now Jesus tells a similar parable that women would relate to—launching into spring cleaning to find a lost coin.

Susie: This wasn’t a case of a penny falling and rolling across the floor. The coin was important to her for sentimental reasons as well as for its value.

In the “lost coin” parable, the ten silver coins refers to a piece of jewelry with ten silver coins on it worn by brides. This was the equivalent of a wedding ring in modern times.

Susie: I once lost the diamond setting off my engagement ring in a large warehouse where I worked. I was interviewing candidates for temporary positions and was giving a tour to about ten of them when I noticed the loss. We all got down on our hands and knees and meticulously searched the dusty floor until it was found. We hired all ten of them! I can definitely relate to this parable. LOL!

Luke 15:9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice4796 with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.

Susie: Today this woman would have posted a pic of the recovered coin on Facebook and created an “event” for the celebration. Not having FB or a phone, she must have stepped outside and rounded up friends and neighbors.

Susan: The Greek word translated “rejoice” implies she felt a joy that must be shared with others.

The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

4796 sugchairō – sympathize in gladness, congratulate – rejoice in (with)

Susan: People are up for a good party at any time for any reason, and I’m sure these friends and neighbors were excited to share in her joy. If a person doesn’t enjoy the feeling of rejoicing with someone, they need to be ministered to and introduced to the source of all joy, Jesus!

Susie: The Apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in Rome, encouraged them to “Rejoice with them that do rejoice” (Romans 12:15a). We had that experience last Saturday as forty-one of our friends rejoiced with us at our housewarming party!

Susan: It was a glorious, joyful day as they helped us celebrate the Lord’s goodness to us!

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Susie: Who is seated in the presence of the angels?

Susan: God Almighty, surrounded by angels,  is the host of the party celebrating a lost soul coming to salvation through trust in Jesus Christ, entering the fold of God’s forever family.

Susie: God the Father calls together His angels to rejoice with Him. I’m sure they erupt in songs of praise as they share the Father’s joy.

Ponder this and Apply it: If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, heaven threw a party to celebrate your adoption into God’s family. Do you celebrate with joy the fact that you are forgiven, free, and a joint-heir with Jesus? Do you invite others to know this joy (to know Jesus) and join in the celebration? What’s stopping you? Let’s have a party!

Sunday, September 16, 2018


LUKE 15:1-10
(see also Matthew 18:11-14)

Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.

Susan: Chapter 14 ended with Jesus admonishing the crowd to listen closely to Him. The Pharisees and scribes did not heed this advice, but the publicans (Jewish tax-collectors who worked for the Romans) and sinners (notorious sinners such as prostitutes) flocked to hear Him.

Susie: Before we think that Jesus was stuck with the leftovers of society while the religious elite turned their backs on Him, read what Paul wrote in his first letter to the church at Corinth.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Susan: God purposely chose sinners and tax-collectors. His glory would be splendidly displayed as He worked in and through them by the grace and power of Jesus’s death and resurrection.

Susie: The Pharisees and scribes thought themselves to be more righteous than others and not in need of forgiveness and grace. The very people they thought not worthy of God, were the ones who were humble enough to see their own need and listen to Jesus.

Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

Susie: This murmuring was not under their breath. The Pharisees and scribes were trying to discredit Jesus to anyone within earshot.

Susan: The Pharisees and scribes jumped at any opportunity to engage in assassinated Jesus’s character with a proverbial megaphone in hand. They would delineate the perceived shortcomings of Jesus in their eyes.

Luke 15:3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

Susie: Jesus responded to these murmurings by telling the following three parables. The point of each of them is the joy of God when even one sinner is saved by His grace.

Susan: The first of these illustrations involves a shepherd who has realized one of his flock of 100 sheep is missing.

Luke 15:4-5 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

Susie: The lost lamb is not seeking the shepherd. The shepherd pursues and seeks the sheep.

Psalm 119:176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

Susan: We saw a meme on Facebook the other day that said it seems illogical to leave 99 sheep to look for just one, unless you are that one sheep in need of the Good Shepherd.

Susie: Sheep are not known for their smarts. The sheep was just grazing along not even realizing he had strayed from the flock. Before the Holy Spirit begins to draw us, to seek us, we have no clue that we even need the Good Shepherd. We just go about our day not realizing what we are missing. The shepherd was the one who knew the peril a single sheep faced alone in the wild—not finding water, injury, attack by wolves—and so was desperate to find the lost sheep.

Susan: Praise the Lord that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, has sheep radar and cares enough to pursue us when we don’t even know to look for Him. We have no idea what dangers we face and joy we may miss until the Holy Spirit unfolds the word of God for us.

Luke 15:6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

Susan: The shepherd comes home from his relentless quest and throws a party because 100% of his flock are now safe in the sheepfold. Jesus is our Good Shepherd, and there is a party in Heaven every time He brings a lost sheep into the safety of God’s forever family.

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Susie: Our Shepherd not only risked His life to find us when we went astray, He actually laid it down and died in our place! When we place our faith in the Shepherd who sought us and bought us with His blood shed on the cross, we can rest on His shoulders until that day He carries us to the home He has prepared for us in His Father’s kingdom.

Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Susie: Heaven rejoices each time a sinner— anyone who falls short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)—humbly places his or her trust in Jesus and is gloriously transformed into a child of God.

Susan: The just persons refers to the self-righteous people who think they are holy, but in reality, their “holiness” is so full of holes that it resembles swiss cheese. Holes so big one could drive a fleet of semis through them. They are blinded by their false righteousness which is only an outward façade.

Susie: Elsewhere Jesus described this type of person and the Pharisees in particular as “whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27). EVERYONE needs repentance, but the Pharisees and scribes did not see themselves as such.

Ponder this and Apply it: Sheep are basically clueless creatures who do not realize their dependence upon the shepherd until he is not there to provide for and protect them. “All we like sheep have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6a) and our Good Shepherd seeks to bring us home. We need to be humble enough to realize we cannot find our way into the Kingdom of God, let alone earn it. We must place our dependence totally upon the Good Shepherd Jesus. When He calls us, all we must do is surrender ourselves to Him and be carried home. Is your trust in anything other than Jesus? Are you striving to be “good enough”? Give up that struggle and cry out to the One who will rejoice to bring you into His fold.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

LUKE 14:34-35 BE SALTY

LUKE 14:34-35

Luke 14:34-35 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Mark 9:50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Susan: Matthew 5-7 is the passage we call “The Sermon on the Mount.” Verse 13 falls immediately after “The Beatitudes.”

Susie: Jesus was speaking to those following Him, not just the twelve, but a large crowd. Christ’s followers are the salt of the earth.

Susan: Believers bring the savor to the world, and serve the purpose of preserving people by witnessing to them that they, too, may receive Jesus as Savior. He is the only one that can save them completely to live eternally with Him.

Susie: John MacArthur helps us understand the concept of salt losing its saltiness.

MacArthur Study Bible

Matthew 5:13 if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? Salt is both a preservative and a flavor enhancer. No doubt its use as a preservative is what Jesus had mostly in view here. Pure salt cannot lose its flavor or effectiveness, but the salt that is common in the Dead Sea area is contaminated with gypsum and other minerals and may have a flat taste or be ineffective as a preservative. Such mineral salts were useful for little more than keeping footpaths free of vegetation.

Susie: There is a good but brief article on salt as a preservative and purifier here:

Susie: Here is a brief statement from the article:

Salt was required in every sacrifice burned on the altar. Besides its preserving factor, it also has a purifying affect on what it comes in contact with.

Susan: We as Christians are to have a purifying effect in our communities.

Susie: We are to stand for what is right and ethical and help to keep evil at bay. Edmond Burke said:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Susan: Our lives, our witness, should be an illustration of the scripture:

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Susie: How do we lose our saltiness?

Susan: When we are no longer on fire for the Lord, not red hot, we lose our saltiness. As He purifies us, dross (useless stuff) is removed from our lives as impurities are removed from silver in the refiner’s fire. The waste is removed and all that is left is living, vital, and salty. BTW, y’all, I love salt!

Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Malachi 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:

Susie: When we stray from the path God has placed us on, when we are disobedient, our saltiness is reduced. We are ineffective as the purifying and preserving agents of the Lord. A true believer cannot completely lose his/her saltiness because it is given us by grace from which we cannot fall. However, there are those who profess to trust Christ but have never truly known Him. There is no savor of the Savior in them nor in their influence on the world. They are therefore cast out.

Susan: Jesus ends with the words, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” which is His way of saying, “Wake up and pay attention. This is crucially important!” The information He had just shared with them could not be obtained from a “Cliff’s Notes” version. We must soak in, digest, obey, and live the teaching of Jesus.

Susie: I believe this refers back to the entire passage regarding humility, service, and effectiveness.

Ponder this and Apply it: Are you salty? Are you a positive influence? Do your words and actions make a difference in your family, with your friends, and in your community? Have you placed your life in the hands of Jesus? Is His Holy Spirit flowing through you? If not, trust Him now. If so, consciously live so as to be salt in your environment—seasoning, purifying, and preserving the world around you.

Sunday, September 9, 2018


LUKE 14:31-33

Luke 14:31-32 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

Susie: In commentaries, there seem to be two views of this example Jesus gave. One is that we as believers must wage war against sin, the flesh, and the Devil. The cost would be giving up our pet sins and lusts. However, to me this idea falls apart because a) the Devil is more powerful than we humans but not more-so than God, and b) we do NOT make peace with Satan.

Susan: Matthew Henry and The IVP New Testament Commentary Series both view God as the King whose army far outnumbers our own resources to withstand His wrath. Resisting God is futile. It would be asinine for the creation to wage war with its Creator, the design battling the designer. How crazy is that?!

Susie: When faced with an army far greater than your own, the prudent thing to do is seek peace, to send an ambassador to negotiate with the foe.  Praise the Lord that He has already sent us His terms of peace. They are nothing short of total surrender! In order to have peace with the all-powerful God who would rightly condemn us to death, we must surrender ourselves completely and plead the fact that His Son died in our place. His terms are generous indeed because in exchange for our complete surrender of our worthless, sin-filled selves, the Lord places upon us the robe of Jesus’s righteousness and places within us His Holy Spirit to guide us, ultimately taking us into His own home to live with Him forever.

Susan: Once we surrender to God and align ourselves with Him, we are no longer His enemies of God and slaves to sin, for Jesus then calls us friends and even co-heirs.

John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Romans 8:16-18 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Susan: We are then given His armor to fight against sin, the flesh, and Satan. He fights our battles for us while we remain in this fallen world.

Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Susan: Jesus intended to weed out those who were emotionally enthusiastic but not vitally engaged.

Susie: The people who tagged along only hoping to see miracles or be miraculously fed were not prepared to face the realities of Jesus’s cross and persecution of those who placed their lives in His hands.

Susan: Does forsaking all mean that we must give away everything we own and take a vow of poverty? Not at all:

Expositor's Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): New Testament

This is clearly a crucial verse. But does it mean that it is impossible to retain any possessions at all if one wants to be a true disciple? In contrast to the cares of the rich young ruler (18:22), Jesus does not say a disciple should sell all his possessions and give everything away. His thought probably is that of a continual abandonment of things, yielding up the right of ownership or the desire to cling to things, rather than outright disposal of them. The disciple of Jesus may be given the use of things in trust, as a stewardship, but they are no longer his or her own. This understanding is therefore consistent with the command to use our possessions wisely (cf. 16:1-12).

Susie: When a person or nation surrendered to an earthly king, in essence they became his possession. As believers, God is our Master: He owns us. Therefore, in reality, we do not own anything. We belong to Him, and all we own is His as well. We have the use of it but must hold it loosely, giving God free reign to use it as He sees fit for the glory of His kingdom.

Philippians 3:7-8 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Susie: Moses enjoyed all the rights and riches of a prince of Egypt, but he gave it all up in order to identify with the one true God and His chosen people.

Hebrews 11:24-26 (CJB) By trusting, Moshe (Moses), after he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose being mistreated along with God’s people rather than enjoying the passing pleasures of sin. He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he kept his eyes fixed on the reward.

Susan: The point Jesus is making is that we must not love things or even people more than we love Him. Loving the things of this world more intently than loving Jesus is the beginning of destruction and separation from Him.

Susie: If someone is clinging to the things of this world, they have not truly surrendered their lives to the Lord. They are not His disciples.

1 John 2:15-16 (VOICE) Don’t fall in love with this corrupt world or worship the things it can offer. Those who love its corrupt ways don’t have the Father’s love living within them. All the things the world can offer to you—the allure of pleasure, the passion to have things, and the pompous sense of superiority—do not come from the Father. These are the rotten fruits of this world.

Ponder this and Apply it: When surrendering to a king, one hopes for mercy, that the punishment that is deserved will not be applied or in the least will be lessened. When we surrender to the King of kings, we are met not only with mercy to forgive our sins but with His marvelous grace to bestow on us gifts we could never earn or deserve. If you are a believer, take a moment to count the blessings you have received from your gracious King and say thank You! If you have not yet surrendered your life to Jesus, place yourself in His powerful but gracious hands, knowing He will forgive you and usher into His family as a child of the King.