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May 17 | Luke 14:15-24


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Enjoying the Feast

by David Thompson

The passage for today tells another parable given to many in today's world. The passage opens with a man sitting at a table envisioning the glory of God's kingdom, but not knowing how he could take part in it.


It reminds me of a time when I was involved in a witnessing program called Evangelism Explosion. For those who have never heard of this program, it was a systematic way to present the Good News of Jesus to the lost. As I would go out on visitation night, I would have fasted all day and prayed for those we were going to meet that evening. Upon arriving at the home, we would begin with some small talk, but at some point we would bring the conversation to Jesus. The first question of the program was "What would you say at the gate of Heaven if asked 'Why should I let you into my Heaven?'" Depending on the answer it would lead into discussing God's grace and ultimately to the question whether there was any thing stopping the person from accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? I was surprised after all the lead up that often there was a reason or two why the person was not ready.


This is much like verses 18-20 of our passage where the king invites the chosen guests to come to the banquet. The passage reads, “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.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’" The reaction of the owner was understandable. He became angry and directed his servant to go and invite others. There was still room so he told his servants to go and compel others to come. The end result was that the hall was filled and the original guest ran out of time to respond.

It bothers me sometimes (I didn't get angry) when I think about what was going to happen to those who were visited on those Evangelism Explosion visits. Perhaps the presentation planted the seeds, someone else might water the seeds and others were there for the harvest. But the nagging feeling was always present. What if that presentation of the Gospel was the only one that that person ever had. What if the Holy Spirit moved on and they never responded to the Good News. It made me sad to consider all of those things. I was glad there were positive responses. It was a joy to see new Christians get involved with the church and grow in their spiritual development.


PRAYER

God, we have come a long way since those days of Evangelism Explosion. I pray right now for those who did respond and for those who didn't. I pray that your Holy Spirit, at some point, convinced them to give their lives to you. You are a loving, but just God. Thank you for all of the grace you have shown me and bless the readers of this devotional. Amen.



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