Daily Reflection – 11/7/2023
One of those at table with Jesus said to him, “Blessed is the one who will dine in the kingdom of God.” He replied to him, “A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many. When the time for the dinner came, he dispatched his servant to say to those invited, ‘Come, everything is now ready.’ But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves. The first said to him, ‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it; I ask you, consider me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen and am on my way to evaluate them; I ask you, consider me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have just married a woman, and therefore I cannot come.’ The servant went and reported this to his master. Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ The servant reported, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out and still there is room.’ The master then ordered the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows and make people come in that my home may be filled. For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.”( Luke 14:15-24)
What if there was one ticket that gave you access to your favorite concert? musician? comedian? movie? Trip? Whatever it is, you can have all of them. Now that’s a ticket that would be worth buying!
But there is still another ticket – even better than that. It’s your ticket to be joined with the Lord in eternity. We, in fact, have been invited to the most important banquet of all!
The last book in the Bible ends with an invitation to the wedding feast of the Lamb and his Bride, the church: The Spirit and the Bride say, Come! (Revelations 22:17). The ‘Lamb of God’ is the Lord Jesus Christ, and his bride is the people he has redeemed by his own precious blood which was shed upon the cross for our salvation.
But it does come with a price. The price is living the Gospel each day. Most of us try every day but often there are excuses. In our scripture today, Jesus probes the reasons why people make excuses to God’s great invitation to “eat bread” with him at his banquet table.
The first excuse allows the claims of one’s personal business or work to take precedence over God’s claim. Do you allow any task or endeavor to absorb you so much that it keeps you from the thought of God? The second excuse allows our possessions to come before God. Do you allow the media and other diversions to crowd out time for God in daily prayer and worship? The third excuse puts home and family ahead of God. God never meant for our home and relationships to be used selfishly. We serve God best when we invite him into our work, our homes, and our personal lives and when we share our possessions with others.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who died for his faith under the Nazi persecution of Jews and Christians, contrasted cheap grace and costly grace: “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves… the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance… grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate… Costly grace is the Gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ
May I repeat that? “It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”
That is not hyperbole. It is as it is. When we enter into a relationship with Christ, we know we will asked to take up his cross. But we also know that we gain the very thing Christ died for . . . forgiveness of sin and eternal life with our heavenly father. We must strive to live as Christians in a very un-Christian world. We can’t truly call ourselves Christian if we all do is remain on the guest list and don’t enter into a living relationship with Christ.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, you withhold no good thing from us, and you lavish us with the treasures of heaven. Help me to seek your kingdom first and to lay aside anything that might hinder me from doing your will.”
Isn’t it amazing how many people profess to be willing and ready to go to heaven, who say they love God as much as anyone else and yet they continue to turn a deaf ear to the pleading of the Lord to “come and dine.” God is prepared to bless them — to have fellowship with them — to open the windows of heaven for them and yet despite what they say about loving God and wanting to go to heaven they make excuses and go on their way as if they will always have the opportunity to accept His invitation.