Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Invitation

There was an interesting story on the news tonight.
A man walked into a gas station. The cashier invited him to buy the last roll down lottery ticket.
He hedged …. She coaxed him to buy it….It was only ten dollars!
He didn’t have enough change - didn’t want to bother pulling out a credit card.. They bantered back and forth about the ticket and finally he walked out jokingly saying, “That is probably the winning ticket and I’ll hear about it!”
The cashier, a single mom by the name of Kristina Schneider, happened to find ten dollars and thought, “Why not!” and bought the ticket herself.
It was the winning ticket worth one million dollars!!!
She said she planned on setting up a college fund for her daughter, pay off her maxed-out nine credit cards and pay off an $8,500.00 school loan.
I think about how the man will be painfully regretting his decision to turn down the invitation to buy the ticket... I’m sure he will be sorry the rest of his life…. his excuses cost him the once-in-a-lifetime prize!

It reminded me of a parable that Jesus told…..

There was once a certain man who planned a wonderful banquet. He sent out the invitations to his long guest list.
When the feast was ready a servant went out to call in the invited guests.
But one by one they all began to make excuses!
One said, “Oh, I have just bought some property and I must go see it- please excuse me.”
Another said, “ I just bought five oxen and I have to try them out – please excuse me!”
Still another said, “Oh, I’m on my honeymoon – I can’t come!”
When the servant informed his master that the invited guests were all too busy to come, the master became angry and said, “Then go out into the streets and lanes of town and bring in the poor and the lame and the blind. Anyone who is willing to come, bring them in to enjoy my banquet!”
The servant went out, brought in all those he could find but still the banqueting table was not full.
The master said, “Go down the least travelled roads and look behind hedges… anyone you see - beg them, don’t take no for an answer… and bring them in. I want my house to be full! None of those who were originally invited shall taste of my supper!”

I sometimes think of the masses of people in our world who are too busy to accept their invitation to God’s banquet.
I think of the Jews, God’s own people, who did not recognize their Messiah.
But I think that even we , who are Christians, sometimes allow ‘things’ to become more important than accepting the Lord’s invitation to spend time at His table.
I'm afraid the enemy has found the perfect tactic for keeping people outside God’s banquet hall.
Keep them too busy with the pleasurable activities the world offers.
Do you watch more TV than you know you should?
What are you addicted to? If you have free time what do you choose to do with it?
Do you know more about sports heroes or movie stars than you do about Bible characters or heroes of the faith?
Do you reach for a magazine rather than the bible?

Have we forgotten that we are called to ‘ be separate’ from the world’? Have we forgotten the words of the beloved disciple of Jesus, “Do not love this world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world , the love of the Father is not in him, for all that is in the world… the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.” (I John 2:15,16)

Those are sobering words that cut to the quick, but to be about God’s business is infinitely more satisfying than the temporary pleasures this world offers.
Not only is there joy in doing His will but He invites us daily to come sit at His banqueting table with Him; His eyes and attention all our own at an intimate table set for two.

Will He sit alone today, or you have time to join Him?

"He brought me to the banqueting house and His banner over me is love."
(Song of Solomon 2:4)


Lovella said...

Ooh dear, you've hit a nerve.

My time is such a valuable commodity and yet I waste it so freely.

Funny how we are on the same gene pool thought waves again today, my take is different but it all boils down to time well spent.

Demara said...

Hi Julie,

I just did a huge comment but then Mozilla crashed! Aw let's see the point of what I said was: Life is precious and I've been working on spending my time more wisely and you know IT IS GREAT!!!

I love you friend~

charlotte said...

i thankyou for your daily inspirations. i have "borrowed" a few of your thoughts to use on my talk in the prayer retreat. you truly have been annointed and i feel the "busyness" even doing what looks like good God honouring things are one of the biggests stresses we have as women. we are to busy to listen, really listen to God's gentle voice. It is sometimes difficult to eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may speak. i'm always looking for the balance. bless you

Lovella said...

Hey Julie, I've tagged you.

Kind of funny after our discussion yesterday.