If you are a follower of Christ, you know that before you came to him, you were a wretch. You were poor, crippled, blind, and lame. Oh, but now! Now you have been invited by the King of kings to a feast!
“Jesus replied with this story: ‘A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 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’” (Luke 14:16-21).
What freedom we now possess!
“May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins” (Colossians 1:11-14).
Once you taste of the goodness of God, what on earth could ever compare?
“And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Peter 1:4).
As we grow in the knowledge of Christ, we realize that nothing we have is our own, it all belongs to him. We are merely managers of it for him. Why would we grieve at the thought of “losing” any of it? Paul writes,
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8 NLT).
What we have we are meant to share. Remember where you came from, and the mercy God showed at pulling you out of the pit. That same mercy is what we are to now show to others.
“Then he turned to his host. ‘When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,’ he said, ‘don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you'” (Luke 14:12-14).
There is a reward waiting for those who are willing to bless others without expecting any kind of return in this life, a sort of “Golden Credit!”
Compassion for others spans anything from giving clothing or food to the poor to sharing the reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15). There’s plenty to go around!
Why should we be so ready to share what we’ve been given? Because our Lord and Master did so for us. He gave up everything so that we could one day receive it all.
“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).
If we are his followers and servants, we are called to choose the same path of obedience.
“I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master” (John 13:16).
“So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own” (Luke 14:33).
“And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).
What happens to us when we choose obedience?
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it“ (Matthew 16:24-25).
“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them“ (John 14:21-22).
We have a heavenly feast and inheritance ready and waiting for us that far outweighs anything we could ever own or achieve here on earth — don’t pass it up, my friend!
Luke 14 for December 14
Luke 14 ends with a mention of salt. Read Are You Worth Your Salt? for thoughts from a visit to a salt mine!