Plot Twist: Week 8 - Day 4

Opening Prayer: 

Father, I consider an old hymn today that reminds me of your limitless love…”Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus; deeper than the mighty rolling sea.” No matter how limited my capacity to love is…yours is matchless, reminding me that “God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son; that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life!” (John 3:16, NIV)

 

Read: Luke 14:22, NIV

22 "’Sir’, the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’”

 

Reflect:   

In the passage today, the invitation has gone out. Those who received it in the mail have read it. They have torn it in half, have tossed it in the junk mail pile or simply ignored it. Yesterday we discussed the excuses used to tell the man, “we are too busy.” Today, as the servants come back to their master, with heads sulking as they share their report, they indicate that there is still room. So many who had been invited had their priorities out of order. Scores of others missed the magnitude of the opportunity. Much like the parable of the ten virgins who miss the return of Christ, many are “missing” out on the greatest banquet of all eternity. And for what? For things of this earth that appeal to our flesh? In I John 2:15-16, NIV, we read: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. if anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him. For everything in the world, the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the flesh and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the father, but from the world.”

Then the servants are asked to go out and invite those who are poor, crippled, the outcasts of society who we have all been turned away…and asks them to come to the banquet. People who are hurting, neglected and shunned by the world (including religious people like us) are in a perfect position to accept the invitation. They have nothing left in this world. They see no downside to leaving a life of misery and coming to a table of plenty. What is amazing is that even when ‘everyone imaginable’ seemingly has been invited…there is still room.

When I read those words, “there is still room,” I hear the heart of God saying, “I don’t want anyone to miss out on my gift of eternity!” Anyone who would jump in and say, ‘well, God’s elect or chosen ones are there and he’s done”…is missing the importance of the end of this verse…”there is STILL room!” God is not done extending the invitation because he sees all the people still lost and he has made provision for them! II Peter 3:9, NIV says, “The Lord is not slow to keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

 

Apply: 

As you ponder the fact that ‘there is still room’ in the family of God, consider how you can still make a difference. There is a surprise ending for us here…wait for it…“We” are the servants of God who are called to extend that invitation to the world and see that the great banquet is full. Who do we know that has turned away from the invitation so far? Who may seem beyond reaching that God is preparing for an ‘acceptance’ into his kingdom and the great banquet? Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to someone. Begin to pray for them and ask God to give you that opportunity to invite them to church or share the gospel message. I promise, that as you seek the Holy Spirit’s help in reaching those who have not yet accepted the “invitation,” more will be added to the kingdom because, there is still room!!

 

Closing Prayer: 

Thank you, God, for your provision for those who accept your invitation to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Thank you for never giving up on those whose hearts are turned against you, because we never know when a sinner may be saved. Teach me to do my part, extending your love and invitation to build the kingdom and family of God!

Terry Schneider