God, give me new revelation of Your love and in that, a renewed desire to share that love.
Read LUKE 14:12–24
 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.  But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”  When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”  Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.  At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’  “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’  “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’  “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’  “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’  “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’  “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.  I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is distracting us?
We enjoy having a circle of friends—we share meals, enjoy common experiences, support and encourage one another. All that is good. But if we are not careful, what we get out of it becomes the key thing. It seems that Jesus’ host may have been a bit like that. Jesus’ story suggests that he may have had a hidden agenda. The Jewish leaders believed that they were the ones who were accepted by God and would be welcome in his kingdom. They looked down on other nations and “less acceptable” Jewish people. They were worshipping God, not because God was worth it, but for what they got out of it. For Jesus that is not good enough. God is looking for true obedience. And if we ignore his invitation we shall find that the places at the table are taken by others. If we assume that we are OK because we are regular at church, lead a group or made “a decision” to follow Christ some years back, we may be trusting in the wrong things. But if we trust God’s redemption, are serious about following Jesus and if we listen to what he says and do it, then we can be sure that there will be a place for us.
Evaluate what may be causing distraction from your pursuit of God’s kingdom.
Search my heart, Lord. I want to follow You with a true devotion.
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