Morning Reading for August 19

Luke 15:1-10
Suggested further reading: Philippians 2:5-8

Our Lord's enemies criticized him for welcoming sinners (vv. 1-2). Our Lord took up their reproach and showed by his parables that he was emphatically the sinner's Friend.

Our Lord's three parables are all meant to illustrate one and the same truth. They all throw strong light on Christ's willingness to save sinners. Christ's love is an active, working love. Just as the shepherd did not sit still bewailing his lost sheep, and the woman did not sit bewailing her lost money, so our blessed Lord did not sit still in heaven pitying sinners. He left the glory which he had with the Father, and humbled himself to be made in the likeness of man. He came down to the world to seek and save that which was lost. He never rested till he had made atonement for transgressions, brought in everlasting righteousness, provided eternal redemption and opened a door of life to all who are willing to be saved.

Christ's love is a self-denying love. The shepherd brought his lost sheep home on his shoulders rather than leave it in the wilderness. The woman lit a candle, swept the house, searched diligently and spared no pains till she found her lost money. And just so Christ did not spare himself when he undertook to save sinners (John 15:13; Heb. 12:2).

Christ's love is a deep and mighty love. Just as the shepherd rejoiced to find his sheep and the woman to find her money, so does the Lord Jesus rejoice to save sinners. It is a real pleasure to him to pluck them from the burning. His whole life was devoted to this end. It is still his delight to show mercy.

What encouragement our Lord holds out to repentance! (v. 10). However wicked a man may have been, in the day that he really turns from his wickedness and comes to God by Christ, God is well pleased. God has no pleasure in the death of him that dies, and God has pleasure in true repentance. An open door is set before the sinner. A free pardon awaits him (1 John 1:9).

For meditation: Christ loves sinners before they repent. It is not repentance that causes him to love, but love that causes men to repent.

These readings (ISBN: 0 85234 420 1) are copyrighted and made available with permission by
Evangelical Press; 12 Wooler St., Darlington, Co, Durham, England, DL1 1RQ