Half of Selling is Showing Up
Dear Lord, as we turn our thoughts to You, please help us to focus on you and leave the cares of life in your hands while we learn from your word. We need the daily bread that You offer us. Amen.
Read: Matthew 22:9-10, NIV
“ ‘So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”
This passage is one of a series of parables that foretell how God’s people would soon be chosen not by bloodline, but by the sincerity of their submission to Him. But for our devotion today we want to focus on the “servants”. These servants could also be called slaves, because in the ancient world, the terms are almost interchangeable. These people could not just give a notice to their master and move on to a new job with higher pay. They were indebted to their master and obliged to follow his orders. In this parable the king instructs the servants to go out into the city and invite anyone they find to the wedding feast. A previous group of servants had been killed when they went to tell the invited guest that the feast was prepared. Nonetheless, the servants went out and did as commanded.
These servants can be considered an advance guard doing as their master commanded and finding anyone who was willing to come and be blessed by their master’s generous provisions for the feast.
The time that Jesus prophesized about in this parable is now here. The doors to the wedding feast are still open, and God is still looking for servants to go out into the streets of our cities and towns to invite people to come and partake in the blessed feast of the Lamb. It has fallen upon us as God’s servants to do His bidding. Since God has paid such a high price for your freedom from the penalty your sins deserve, you must feel an obligation borne of your indebtedness.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20, NIV)
Years ago I was working on a New England dairy farm in January. The barn was warm from the heat of the animals even when it was below zero outside. On a daily basis, the cows were let out for a short time for exercise and fresh air. On one particular day a young cow that had just started to be a part of the milking herd, a first-calf heifer, was spooked in the barn yard, and we could not get her to go back into the barn. The farmer finally sent out an old cow to encourage the heifer to come back into the barn. The old cow walked out into the cold barnyard and over to the heifer. She walked around the heifer and then made her way slowly back into the barn. The heifer, seeing the calmness of the old cow allowed her natural herd instinct to take over and followed that old cow back into warmth of the barn. I have thought many times about that day in the cold barnyard. I realized that like the farmer sending out the cow away from her comfort zone, we have been sent out to live and work in our community. The manner in which we live and the testimony that we offer about the reality that we experience should attract people to the God we serve. We are to bring as many people as possible home with us into the vaulted halls of Heaven to bask in the warm glow of God’s love. There we can share the provisions that the king has prepared for us as an eternal blessing.
God help me to balance the responsibilities that I have to my family, my job and even my church with my responsibility to You. Help me not to miss the opportunities that come my way to share what I know about You with people that I come into contact with that do not know You. Help me to have the courage to speak up, and may the Holy Spirit guide my words so that they are the good seed that falls on good soil.