Vol. 8, No. 12
Priscilla's Page *Editor's Note*
~ Page 16 ~
From time to time we read in newspapers or magazines, or we see on the news that someone has died from starvation. What makes this a newsworthy event is the person died rich! Often times, hundreds or sometimes thousands and thousands of dollars are discovered where they lived and in their bank accounts.
With people dying all around the world from starvation, we naturally wonder how anyone would allow himself to die in such a way when it was all so unnecessary! We have questions such as, "Were they mentally ill?" "Were they being forced to live that way against their will?" "Were they gripped by some fear of ending up in object poverty?" Whatever their "reason," sometimes it still leaves us wondering about their rationale.
When God brought the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage, he gave them commandments, instructions, guidelines, rules and laws to govern their lives and behavior. In Deuteronomy Chapter Four, Moses gives them a summary of God's covenant. "Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess" (Deuteronomy 4:5). "And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day? Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and grandchildren" (Deuteronomy 4:8-9).
Jesus speaks the parables of the invited guest to a wedding feast and of a certain man who gave a great supper and invited many in Luke 14:7-24. "So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: 'When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him'" (Luke 14:7-8).
Jesus states if you have taken a seat of importance, you may be asked to move to another seat when one of more prominence is given your seat, "and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place" (Luke 14:9b). Jesus further states "For whoever exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
Then Jesus also said to him who had invited him, when he gave a feast not to ask his friends, his brothers, his relatives, or rich neighbors, only to be repaid with an invitation from them. Jesus said, "But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just" (Luke 14:13-14).
One of those sitting at the table when he heard Jesus say this said, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" (Luke 14:15). We are eating the best when we are eating from the table of feasting God has prepared for us! He wants us to eat to the full! Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).
Are you "picking" at the feast God has prepared for you? Are you a finicky spiritual eater? Is God asking you, "Why aren't you eating from this bounty I have prepared for you? "What is wrong--are you sick?" Yes, God has invited us, the table is spread before us, the table is filled to running over with everything we need to get and stay spiritually healthy.
However, there is one thing we must understand; he will not force-feed us! In verses 17-24, we have the account of the invitation to the great supper that was sent out and the excuses that were given as to why they could not attend. They had no reasons for not being in attendance! An excuse is a skin of a reason stuffed with a lie. Excuse making can fatally compromise our integrity.
The master of the house becomes angry when he is told his invitation has been rejected and commands that the poor, maimed, lame and blind be invited. "And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room" (Luke 14:22). Then the master told the servant to invite those from anywhere and everywhere, to do all he could to persuade them to come in, that his house might be filled. "For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper" (Luke 14:24).
In Acts Chapter 13, Paul and Barnabas were preaching to the Gentiles and the Jews were filled with envy, and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. "Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, 'It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:46).
Have you decided it is not worth the effort to read, study and mediate on God's Word? Have you decided that you cannot invest the time it will take to attend Bible classes? Have you decided that growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ is optional? On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, where do you rank your spiritual appetite?