Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 08-31-22

Intro: Even though the world may be filled with sin and challenges, God has wonderful things in store for us as his children. Great supernatural things! In fact, God has things beyond our ability to understand or even comprehend (Isaiah 64:4; 1 Cor 2:9). Boldly, based on the Word of God, I will declare God wants something higher and better for you than you want for yourself. Most of the time we are afraid to ask for something great from God, because we either do not feel worthy or we are afraid of being disappointed. If you think God’s goodness toward you is based on whether or not you deserve to receive something extraordinary, then you have not really understood the Good News: the agape [sacrificial love of God] or his grace [undeserved favor in Christ]. “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Jesus invites the sinful and unworthy [the humble and poor or empty—absent of resources] to come to his Kingdom feast and partake in his righteous salvation that makes one filled and whole.

In our passage today in Luke, Jesus offers a parable to further explain how he views the Jew’s reaction to his generous invitation to partake of God’s Kingdom Feast.   The very people Jesus first invited to his Kingdom feast—God’s chosen covenant people—either rejected his offer or made excuses as to why they could not come.  Keep in mind, God’s covenant guests had already accepted the invitation through Moses long before, but when the servant (Jesus) was sent to say the meal was ready they had lost their burning desire to attend the feast.  They were not thirsty or hungry, anymore. The world had taken dominion over them. The meal was ready, but they were wrapped in the business of life.  The meal was ready, but they had other priorities.  The meal was ready, but they were focused on pleasure.  

So, in the parable, Jesus says the host decides to invite the outcasts.  Everyone listening to Jesus knew this was a direct connection to the Gentiles; those whom the Jews felt were unworthy of receiving the blessings and favor of God.  Luke, a Gentile, probably writes the story with a smile in his heart about the goodness of God!  If Jesus invites us to the banquet feast of his goodness, we need to run with open arms to receive the blessings of extravagant love and grace from God.  Stop to think about the fact that God calls us to the feast table, because we need a great deal of help!  Repent and Receive the Righteous Resources Christ provided for you!

Luke 14:15-24 NLT Parable of the Great Feast

15 Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!”

16 Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. 17 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ 18 But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ 23 So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. 24 For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for inviting every heart to enjoy your goodness and salvation.  You never show preference of one person over another.  You simply ask us to come and allow you to do in our lives what makes us whole—to eat from the feast of your amazing Kingdom table.  Fill your children today as we gather to receive.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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