One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully… He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” But he said to him,“A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’” Luke 14:1, 12-24 ESV
Jesus is inviting me to…
Give up some time to gather
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Luke 11:23 ESV
Gather to me my faithful ones. Psalm 50:5 ESV
I cannot believe I have given Jesus all of my life if I won’t give him part of my weekends
Give attention to the need of inviting others
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Matthew 9:36-38 NLT
Give financially to help get people into the kingdom
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:13-14 ESV
“Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” Mark 10:29-31 NLT
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Personal Reflection Guide
Find a place where you can be alone with the Lord. Maybe go for a walk or find a quiet room somewhere where you won’t be interrupted. Take a moment to quiet your head and heart before the Lord. And ask the Lord to bless your time together.
When you’re ready, begin a conversation with the Lord about your participation in the weekend service. Ask him some questions like, “Lord, what motivates me to go to church? How do I view others around me while at church? What’s my attitude toward the music, message and offering? What do I hope to get out of it? What am I willing to contribute to it?”
All these perspectives you hold are important. They give you insight to the way you think and feel about church. And they impact how you share church with others. Finally, spend a few moments talking with the Lord about your willingness to invite others.
What did you sense the Lord impress upon you? What is he inviting you to do as a result of your prayer time with him? When you’re done, close your time by thanking the Lord for your time together. Who will you share with about this prayer time?
- When was the last time you were invited to give something (your time, your skills, etc.) and what happened as a result?
- Read Psalm 50:5 What are some of the specific things that you give up or sacrifice so you can gather with other believers on the weekend (or in group) and what makes that worth it to you?
- Read Luke 14:12-14. Why do you think Jesus makes a distinction between giving to those who can and can’t repay us?
- In what specific ways have you been blessed by giving to those who can’t pay you back?
- Read Luke 14:15-20. What excuses have you had to overcome to give intentionally to the church? What excuses do you still need to overcome and what is your first step?
- Read Matthew 9:36-38. Who has God uniquely positioned you to invite to church or group this week and when can you invite them?