If you get invited to a party, will you go? What if it was a party for someone famous or powerful and you received a personal invite, would you accept and go? What it it was the party of the century and you got a personal invite to attend? What would it take to make up your mind to go? What would keep you from accepting such an incredible offer? Would you let anything keep you from such an incredible event? Doubt? Fear? Curiousity? Wonder? Amazement? Status? Worry?
What if the invite was to get to spend eternity with God in heaven? Imagine that party!
The offer is out there…Have you accepted it? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? Have you decided to have Jesus be your Lord and Savior? What’s keeping you from receiving this incredible invite?
You won’t want to miss out! The lavish hospitality! The love! Accept the invitation today! Be ready to attend! Don’t come up with lame excuses! Don’t pretend like there is anything more important that you would miss out! Don’t be absurd or irrational in making this most crucial decision! Consider the cost! Estimate the value of going vs missing out! What is the cost to missing it? What is the cost of not attending? What will be the impact on the rest of eternity? Will you not make Jesus your #1 priority?
It’s a Party! — Day 102: Bible In One Year 2017
Devotional, Psalm 44:13-26, Luke 14:15-35, Deuteronomy 16:21-22, Deuteronomy 17, Deuteronomy 18
1. Cry out to God as King … Psalm 44:13-26
13You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us. 14You have made us a byword among the nations; the peoples shake their heads at us. 15I live in disgrace all day long, and my face is covered with shame 16at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge. 17All this came upon us, though we had not forgotten you; we had not been false to your covenant. 18Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path. 19But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals; you covered us over with deep darkness. 20If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, 21would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? 22Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. 23Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. 24Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? 25We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. 2635Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
–from Psalm 44
Suffering…can be caused by disobedience and obedience. It could be the consequence of being disobedient! It could be it makes others feel bad or out of place because of your obedience and they try to take that out on you! Opposition…similarly can be caused by disobedience and obedience. It could be to try to get you back on track! It could be that others are trying to keep you from completing the work God has given you to do!
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
–from Romans 8
2. Accept the invitation of the King … Luke 14:15-35
15When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
16Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 “ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ ”
The Cost of Being a Disciple
25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
–from Luke 14
Today’s devotional speaks to all of this as follows…
It is worth remembering the cost of following Jesus is nothing compared to:
What you receive
God has prepared a party for you, a feast, which nothing else on this earth can match.
The cost of not following Jesus
Jesus said those who made excuses will not get ‘a taste of my banquet’ (v.24). There could be no higher cost than missing out on all the blessings that God has prepared for you.
What it cost him to make it possible
Jesus calls you to carry your cross (v.27). But the small cross you carry is nothing in comparison to the cross Jesus carried for you.
Don’t miss out on all that Jesus has made possible for you. Accept his invitation to the party of the kingdom of God. And invite others to it as well as you respond to Jesus’ command to ‘go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame’ (v.21).
3. Worship Jesus as your God and King … Deuteronomy 16:21-18:22
21Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the Lord your God, 22and do not erect a sacred stone, for these the Lord your God hates. –from Deuteronomy 16
1Do not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable to him.
2If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the Lord gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God in violation of his covenant, 3and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky, 4and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, 5take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death. 6On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. 7The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you.
8If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge—whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults—take them to the place the Lord your God will choose. 9Go to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict. 10You must act according to the decisions they give you at the place the Lord will choose. Be careful to do everything they instruct you to do. 11Act according to whatever they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left. 12Anyone who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the Lord your God is to be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel. 13All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.
14When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. 16The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
18When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel. –from Deuteronomy 17
Offerings for Priests and Levites
1The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance. 2They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them.
3This is the share due the priests from the people who sacrifice a bull or a sheep: the shoulder, the internal organs and the meat from the head. 4You are to give them the firstfruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep, 5for the Lord your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the Lord’s name always.
6If a Levite moves from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he is living, and comes in all earnestness to the place the Lord will choose, 7he may minister in the name of the Lord his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the Lord. 8He is to share equally in their benefits, even though he has received money from the sale of family possessions.
9When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. 13You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
14The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so. 15The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. 16For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
17The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. 18I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. 20But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”
21You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” 22If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. –from Deuteronomy 18
7Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. –from Isaiah 9
21Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22For Moses said, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. –from Acts 3
37″This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’ –from Acts 7