Open Table

Do you ever wonder if God is using you? If you’re supposed to be doing something different as a Christian to help Him out? We can find answers to these questions as we finish reading through Luke 14 in our series, Open Table.

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.’ After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.

–Luke 14:16-24 NLT

It seems like Jesus is describing three different groups of people that get invited.

First: the privileged

This group of people are too busy. Some of them have a new enterprise are are busy with work. Some have a new project so they’re busy at home. Others are focused on new relationships that seem to be occupying their schedule.

Second: the powerless

These people are willing to attend because they are in need. Some of them are poor and blind while others are crippled and lame. They are not used to getting the invitation because they are typically excluded and left on the outside.

Third: the planet

In the final invitation, any and everyone is invited to fill the house because there is room for all people.

The big idea in this story is that God needs people who will go out and invite other people in. 

Jesus traveled among all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, announcing the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples, “The size of the harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers.”

–Matthew 9:35-37 CEB

God wants you to be inspired by your relationship with him and to live out your faith. He wants you to invite your friends, your neighbors and the world to the table. It starts by inviting them to church, sending the link for them to watch with you online and being brave enough to talk about your faith in conversations.

Look at your faith this way: have you ever eaten on a TV tray? They are convenient, comfortable and for our personal use. That’s how a lot of us see and use our faith, but it isn’t what God is calling us to. Instead, we should shift to a charcuterie board type faith that invites people to come around and invites them in.

The good news is that God has given us power when we feel insecure or inadequate. And God has also given us responsibility to use that power.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

–Acts of the Apostles 1:8 NLT

Jesus is challenging us to go out into our neighborhoods and all the nations. Let’s move past our individual faith that keeps the good news of Jesus to ourselves. Your faith is a personal conversion but it’s not for your personal consumption. Who can you invite to come to God’s table today?

You can watch or listen to the entire message from Pastor Naeem and learn about more about tithing to the church with this resource.

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