The Redeemed Life

a Christian blog cultivating spiritual growth

23 October

Luke 14:12-24 – Thanks God, But No Thanks…

Luke 14:7-11 – Listen

12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

Redeemed Mind – Learn

While dining with the Pharisees, Jesus takes the opportunity to teach his hearers about the coming Kingdom of God.  While the Jews He was eating with envisioned the Kingdom of God being a feast where only the super-saints were invited, Jesus rocks their long-standing view of God’s Kingdom by telling a parable that showed the exact opposite.

Those who were originally invited (the people of Israel) continually declined God’s gracious invitation to share in His Kingdom, so God extended the invitation to the “outcasts and outsiders.”  The problem was not with God’s invitation, but the hearts of those who were originally invited.  In God’s Kingdom, the least, the weak, and the meek, were those who were celebrated and honored.  Those who were originally invited rejected that heavenly reality and instead created their own vision on heaven where only the “super saints” would be in attendance.  Jesus (thankfully!) reveals the error of in their thinking.

Redeemed Heart – Worship

In the parable, those who were invited to the King’s feast presented a whole host of lame excuses for not being able to make the feast.  They had allowed the busyness of everyday life choke out their active participation in the Kingdom Jesus offered.  Their actions reveal the sad nature of their hearts: they rejected the claims of God and substituted the things of this world in its stead.  The parable labels these people the “unworthy.”  They will not share in God’s Kingdom and its blessings because they have turned their eyes on the things of this world.  In the truest sense possible, they crowded God out of their lives for worldly (note well: not evil) things.

Redeemed Life – Grow

Has the daily grind of life choked out the priority you once gave God?  Have your mind and heart wondered away from the God who

once captivated every fiber of your being?  Do you, like the invited guests, politely tell God “no thank you!  I’m a little busy for your right now… Maybe next time!”?

Jesus words were meant to rouse a sleeping world that had forgotten about God.  His words continue to challenge us today as we face more distractions than every… each thing competing with God for our time and energy.

What are you willing to do to make God your priority today?  What needs to come off your schedule in order to make room for God?  What it really boils down to is: do you believe its really important to make God a priority?  Your actions will most definitely speak louder than your words.

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