Your Invitation Awaits

Luke 14:15-24 (NIV)

The Parable of the Great Banquet

15 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.”
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “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.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “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.’
22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “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. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

What is the excuse you’ve given for not surrendering your life fully to Jesus?  In the parable of the great banquet, people made excuses about why they couldn’t attend this man’s banquet.  One said that he had to go check out a field he had just purchased.  Another said that he had to try out his new teams of oxen.  Another had just gotten married and was unavailable to attend.  The man who was throwing the banquet was angry because those who were invited made excuses.  It was a big deal to be invited to a feast in those days.  To not attend was an insult to the one throwing the party!  So the man who had prepared the feast tells his servant to go out and invite everyone in town.  It didn’t matter who they were or what they were dealing with, they were invited.  This was one big hall because after inviting everyone in, there was still room for more!  So the master sent the servant out into the countryside to invite everyone he met to the feast.
Jesus has invited everyone to His great banquet.  Many will make excuses as to why they can’t (or won’t) attend.  Some will be distracted by the things of this world.  Some will use work as an excuse.  Some will be more devoted to their earthly relationships.  Is there anything wrong with having things?  No.  But when our hearts are more devoted to our things than Jesus, then we may miss the banquet.  Is there anything wrong with working hard?  No.  But when we focus more on working at our jobs than working for God’s Kingdom, we are in danger of missing the banquet.  Is there anything wrong with loving your spouse, children or parents?  Not at all!  But when anything takes priority over Jesus, we will be in danger of missing the banquet.
Following Jesus is about surrendering everything to Him.  Those who thought that they were a shoo-in for the banquet missed the One who invited them to attend it.  So those on whom they looked down were the surprise guests who were welcomed, unworthy as they may have believed themselves to be.  God has opened His banquet up to everyone!  Will you accept the invitation?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I want to fully give my life to You. Help me to surrender everything to You today. Whatever You ask me to do, I want to do. Whatever You ask me to give, I want to give. I ask for Your forgiveness when I withhold things from You. Amen.

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