Daily Reading & Meditation

 Friday (October 23): Heed the warning signs before it is too late to act

Scripture:  Luke 12:54-59

54 He also said to the multitudes, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, `A shower is coming'; and so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat'; and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? 57 "And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper."

Meditation: How good are you at reading warning signs? Jesus expects his disciples to accurately read the signs of the times! Seafarers and farmers know the importance of spotting weather conditions for safe travel and planting. A lot of effort is made today, with the help of science and technology, to discern potential natural dangers, such as tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earth quakes, and erupting volcanoes, so that people can be warned to take shelter before disaster hits.

Don't miss God's kingdom and power to transform your life
Our need for accurately discerning the spiritual condition and moral climate around us is vital if we want to avert spiritual crisis and moral disaster. The Lord is ready to transform our lives by offering us his kingdom of righteousness (moral goodness), peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). - But we can miss it if we allow a permissive attitude that takes sin lightly or puts off repairing wrongdoing before it is too late to get reconciled with God.

Jesus used a very vivid illustration of a threatening lawsuit to show the urgency of settling a bad case outside of court before a worse sentence could passed against us. Why did the neighbor in Jesus' story make an effort to come to an agreement with his adversary before the matter was sent to court for judgment? The accused knew that he had a bad case which would likely go against him in court. He quickly tried to come to an agreement with his adversary to avoid receiving a worse sentence of being thrown into prison and given a costly fine as well.

Jesus will set us free and fill us with the Holy Spirit
We all stand in need of God's mercy, grace, and protection. The Lord Jesus is our physician and healer and he is ready to set us free from any sinful patterns of thinking, acting, and speaking. If we give our lives over to him he will fill us with his Holy Spirit and give us a new heart and a transformed mind that is filled with his truth, love, and goodness. If you want lasting peace and joy with God, then allow the Lord Jesus to transform every area of your life, your home, your work, your relationships, and possessions so that he may truly be the Lord and Giver of abundant life. Are you ready to surrender all to him - and to receive all from him?

"Lord Jesus, flood my heart with your love and free me from all that would keep me from doing your will. Transform my mind that I may discern what is right and choose what is good and pleasing to you."

Psalm 119:66,68,76-77,93-94

66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.
68 You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.
76 Let your steadfast love be ready to comfort me according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.
93 I will never forget your precepts; for by them you have given me life.
94 I am yours, save me; for I have sought your precepts.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Signs from the Law point to the dawn of the Mystery of Christ, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)

"People focus their attention on things of this kind. From long observation and practice they tell beforehand when rain will fall or violent winds will blow. One especially sees that sailors are very skillful in this matter. He says that it would be suitable for those who can calculate things of this sort and may foretell storms that are about to happen to focus the penetrating eyes of the mind also on important matters. What are these? The law showed beforehand the mystery of Christ, that he would shine out in the last ages of the world on the inhabitants of the earth and submit to be a sacrifice for the salvation of all. It even commanded a lamb to be sacrificed as a type of him who died towards evening and at lighting of lamps (Exodus 12:6).
    "We might now understand that when, like the day, this world was declining to its close, the great, precious and truly saving passion would be fulfilled. The door of salvation would be thrown wide open to those who believe in him, and abundant happiness be their share. In the Song of Songs, we also find Christ calling to the bride described there. The bride personally represents the church, in these words, 'Arise, come, my neighbor, my beautiful dove. Look, the winter is past, and the rain is gone. It has passed away. The flowers appear on the ground. The time of the pruning has come' (Song 2:10-12). As I said, a certain springlike calm was about to arise for those who believe in him." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 95)

Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use, please cite credits: 
copyright (c) 2015 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.

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