Plot Twist: Week 8 - Day 1

Opening Prayer: 

Dear Lord, thank you for making a way for me to spend eternity with you through the gift of your Son, Jesus. Thank you for extending this invitation to me to know the power of your forgiveness and resurrection. I pray that you will use me to be a “living invitation” to all who don’t know you so that your banquet table in heaven will be full.

 

Read: Luke 14:16-17, NIV

16 "Jesus replied, ‘A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, Come, for everything is now ready.’”

 

Reflect:   

Have you ever seen a “State Dinner” portrayed in a movie, on a TV show, or perhaps on the news? Everything is laid out with such perfection. The silverware and dishes are set with precision. The napkins of fine linen are folded so elegantly. Those who are in attendance are dressed to the hilt. It has the feeling of luxury, honor, royalty. This all seems very ornate, aristocratic and exclusive, reserved for the few chosen to be there. The great banquet Jesus is describing here in Luke will be an even greater event than any ever held or portrayed in history. It will be the banquet for the ages.

This parable provides one of the most vivid pictures of God’s unmerited grace. Regardless of who you are or where you are from, everyone is invited to this banquet. You do not have to qualify or compete through several rounds of competition…Jesus provided our invitation through his death, burial and resurrection on the cross. How amazing it is that we all can be given a gift, no matter how bad or how good we are, simply because God extended it to us. In our world of ‘self-initiative’ and ‘hard work’ that gets rewarded, it is so very difficult to fathom that we cannot “earn” our place at the banquet table. Romans 5:8 (NIV) says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This “invitation” is God’s gift to us that we can all have if we simply “accept” it. In fact, this is the only way we can get into the banquet.

 

 Apply: 

Do you want to be seated at the Great Banquet in eternity one day? Romans 3:23 (NIV) says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, NIV). If you have never asked Jesus into your heart, take a moment right now and surrender your life to him. Acknowledge you are a sinner and need God’s grace. Then ask Jesus into your heart to transform you into his image and make him savior and lord of your life! Be sure to seek out a campus pastor or someone who has been in the faith a while to help you on your next steps for a walk of discipleship.

 

Closing Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that I am nothing apart from you and I surrender my life whole-heartedly to you. Help me along the path of discipleship in my life, renewing my love and commitment to follow you no matter what, every day. Let me be your messenger, extending the invitation to your heavenly banquet to lost and hurting people every opportunity I get. Amen.

Terry Schneider