Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Heart That Is Grateful

Luke 14:16-24
A Heart That Is Grateful

     But Jesus said to him, “A certain man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, Come for everything is ready now. But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, I have bought a piece of land and I need to go and look at it; please consider me excused. And another one said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused. And another one said, I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come. And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame. And the slave said, Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room. And the master said to the slave, Go out to the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For
I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.”
     I would like to talk about what it means to compel men into the banquet that our Lord has prepared, but first we must take some time to consider why there were empty seats at this banquet to begin with. Jesus says that there was a guest list for which the banquet was originally prepared, not strangers, but people who knew the gentleman who had prepared the dinner. Why did they decline to attend the banquet at the last minute when everything was finally ready for them? Let us examine their excuses. 1. I have bought land and want to go and look at it. This man’s life was caught up in the excitement of being the proud owner of a new piece of property and he was much to excited about going to see it that he couldn’t possibly make it to the banquet. 2. I have bought five yoke of oxen and am going to try them out. This man has just invested a lot of money in his business venture and is anxious to get to work and make some money. Buying five teams of oxen would have been very expensive, but they would be capable of covering many acres at a time, thus able to earn more money. This man refused because he was more excited about his business plans than he was about the banquet. 3. I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come. Oh how love makes one blind! He was to busy with his new marriage and establishing his new home to possibly have time to attend the banquet to which his neighbor had gone to so much trouble over.
     These three examples have a couple of things in common. First and foremost is a lack of gratefulness for the one who had gone to such great lengths to prepare the feast. The second was being so caught up in there own pursuits that they would not let go of them in order to attend. How many times does Jesus ask us to stop what we are doing and spend time with Him and instead we find ourselves to busy with our work, our pleasure, or something just coming up. How many of us consider that in Isaiah 58:13-14 God tells us to turn our foot from doing our own pleasure on the Sabbath and to spend time with Him calling the day our delight, the Holy day of the Lord and that He will bless us mightily for doing so. And that Keeping the Sabbath Holy is one of the Ten Commandments. How many things do we do on the Sabbath that are not spending time with Him. How many things do we do on that day that are for our own pleasure or earthly gain? The Devil works overtime to keep us from truly honoring God’s Holy day. He makes all the sporting events to be on that day. He makes it the day to wash the car. He makes it the day to catch up on our sleep or our cleaning. He does everything but let our hearts be truly focused on God in a serious way. However, in Deuteronomy God promises that if the people will truly honor His Holy day than He Himself will make sure that their children love Him and grow up partaking of His righteous blessings.
     Why don’t we give our whole heart to God especially on the Sabbath? It is because we have not understood and appreciated the banquet that even now our Heavenly Father is preparing for us. Jesus gives us a word of warning here, saying that just because we were originally on the guest list does not mean that we will taste of the dinner He has prepared. He wants Hearts that desire Him and Hearts that are grateful as we see further on. The ones that He says to compel into the dinner have no other pursuits. They are the blind and lame and crippled. Theirs is a grateful heart. God very often needs to shake us up and give us a lameness in our body just so that we will be able to attend the feast without the worldly pursuits being able to keep us from coming. God has to pry our hearts off of this world so that we might be saved. In His mercy He is willing to do this for us, for who can let go of the pursuits of this world without His help?
     So I want to encourage each of us today. Let go of the world. Hold on to Jesus. Love Him with your whole heart! Do not hold any of it back or reserve it for some other love. A good illustration is when the Philistines captured the Ark and brought it into the temple of their god and in the morning their god was on its face before the Ark. So they stood it back up and the next morning it was in pieces before the Ark. If you have brought God into your heart be prepared for your idols to fall before Him and if you put them back up be prepared for them to be smashed in pieces!
     We all try to include God with our other pursuits and they are continually being thwarted and broken. Put God first and let Him fill your temple with every good thing that He Himself will provide. It is God and God, there will be nothing else! I have tried to put my idols up many times and each time I do they are harder to put back together until I finally give up because of the futility of battling with what He has brought down.

     Our God is an Awesome God!  He is the Only Way, the Truth, and the Life! All He does is amazing! Let us give Him all of our heart and hold nothing back!     - God bless!


28 comments:

  1. Dear Seth, wonderful to hear from you again. I was eagerly awaiting this session. Again, preparedness, preparation and accepting the plan of salvation through JESUS. Following are the words from a song I learned a long time ago "If you only see the Blessing that Salvation gives, you would never stay away. If you only see the table spread with lovely things, you would come to the feast today. When the door is opened wide and the SAVIOR bids you come, there is nothing you have to pay. Be wise and step in side and do not be like some, who have thrown their only chance away" For a while now I have been considering returning to college for a masters and the story goes on. At present I want to be closer to my LORD. I am enjoying your Bible Study and I am hoping to share with others. The sessions have brought on much excitement in my soul. Wow!! something else came to mind. Could this be applicable to JESUS coming to HIS own (Jewish) and most rejected HIM. The door to salvation was then opened to the others (Gentiles). Those out of the Jewish Lineage. And could this be the reason for more room. Let me know if I ask correctly. Thanks again.
    GOD's Blessings,
    Sophia, CT

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  2. Yes, Sophia, I definitely think this, on a larger plane, could be about the rejection of the Jews so that the message of Christ would go out to the Gentiles. However, I have always heard that the Bible can be read on three levels so that there are always richer, more broad and subtle meanings. Thus, Seth's exhortation that we OURSELVES should not miss the banquet for the cares and concerns of this world is also very REAL and VALID! Seth, I especially liked your analysis of the land--pride; the oxen--money and investments; the wife--relationships here on earth that do not have God as the center and focus of them. These were new ideas to me and very interesting and fascinating! These really are the ways that mankind gets "caught up" and distracted from God. Great writing, Seth!! Loved it!! Aunt Sue

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    1. Dear Aunt Sue, Thanks very much for your response and it's clarity. I appreciate very much. I am grateful to our LORD for allowing me a mind opened to understanding and heart ready for the receiving of HIS word.
      GOD's mighty Blessings.
      Sophia, CT

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  3. My day of rest (Sabbath) is the same day God commands of us in the 10 commandments -Exodus 20

    I'll never forget the time I "surrendered" to this commandment and acknowledged it for what it really was - A holy day of Rest on the 7th day. It was a time when I made most of my income working on weekends. I remember struggling in my mind with God. I said , "You want me to stop working completely on Saturdays...on a day I make lots of money...to Rest ...And trust in YOU for the money I would normally be making on Saturdays". I had to make a decision; Was I going to obey His commandment and do some serious relying on Him OR continue working on the his Sabbath. I chose to surrender (I use this word because it feels like a surrendering ).
    I believe only after one surrenders to the Sabbath, does he or she feel it's holiness. Claudette CT

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  4. Well. I think that our religion is personal. And Ibelieve that there is ONE God. JANE. CT

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    1. A wonderful Thanksgiving!
      Hi Jane, I wanted to add to your comments.
      There is one GOD b/cause the BIBLE, WORD of GOD says so. The BIBLE states GOD's mind and heart to us. Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God , the Lord is one" Moses was encouraging the Israelites then, but these words are applicable to us today. Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before me" a directive from GOD to the Israelites then; us now. This came through Moses. Now, gods can be any thing that takes the priority in our life to distract us from the relationship with GOD thru JESUS. In the days of the Israelites there were idols. The BIBLE mentions this. Idols today can be the things we place as priority; other than JESUS' invitation to the banquet. I am continuing to learn the WORD of GOD. At first I never understood, but I have been in a BIBLE study for a while now and I'm learning more each day. My relationship will be personal with GOD. It's my accountability to GOD, the Most High. It's my personal interest and time that I give to HIM. Seth's last Bible Study about the Faithful Steward, Accountability. Each of us is responsible, accountable for keeping our appointment with the LORD. JESUS paid it all, HE shed HIS blood and now we are invited to sit at a table with HIM.
      I love when others, my friends invite me to places. It makes me feel special. When I get the chance to invite someone out and the person accepts, I am happy. GOD wants us to have a relationship with HIM. HE loves us. JESUS is the way to the relationship. John 14:6 JESUS says "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me". HE is the host to the banquet. We all are important to GOD and that allows each of us to receive the same invitation with golden trim and special stamp... from the LORD JESUS himself. I have accepted to be a part of this gathering.
      We all receive the special invitation, gold trim and special stamp. But do we keep the appointment? will we be like those in Seth's reference who turned down the invitation last minute or will we be like the lame, the blind the crippled; others who accepted, having no other distractions.

      Please remember, this is meant to add to your comment.

      With GOD's Love,
      Sophia, CT

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  5. I believe a lot of people are afriad to speak about God and religion these days and its a shame. More people should open their heart to the Lord and stop worrying so much about technology and money and spend more time to appreciate what God has done for us. he is the maker of life and I feel like he is easily forgotten by most people. Id like to see more people have faith and embrace it. RACHAEL. CT

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  6. First of all God said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and His righteousness and allthese things I w will add unto you". Jesus used this parable to show how people get caught up in tHe creation instead of The Creator. The devil's job is to kill, steal, and destroy. He first wants to steal the Word ,then he can destroy us.People get caught up in things and forget God.So this scripture is simply explainning how the lost can receive the kingdom of heaven.
    Minister Willie Bridgeport, CT

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  7. I agree with you Rachael that theres not enough God in peoples lives instead the tecnology took over. When I was praying to the Lord this morning I said that everthing that we see or have on earth is temporal but his word will never pass away we have that garuantee that its eternal.

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    1. This is from my understanding. Technology allows for somethings to happen, like us communicating without seeing each other. That's a good thing. But I think that we who are Christians/Believers should be more empowered to use this tool to share with others the WORD of GOD. I use some christian music from youtube; Also, when we become more concerned about the cares of this world we miss our invitation to "the feast" GOD must be first priority in our lives. In reference to Matthew 3:19-21 JESUS speaks " Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth......for where your treasure is there your heart will be also" This is meant for sharing. GOD's blessings.
      Sophia, CT

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  8. SANDY LOVES GOD.....November 22, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Suffering brings our prioritys in order.It cancels our agenda. in our suffering our minds become clearer,focusing on what is truely important...the Lord.We realize our need in him every day, every hour.We are humbled, we begin to seek him,pray and our hearts are tender to his word..open to receive what he would say to us.Our hearts are softened,repented.We become focused again
    on Jesus,our heavenly father who wants all of us.I am still learning every day to be truely thankful in all things. the good , bad and the ugly, because it all works out for my good .Philip.4v19...or the good of someone around me,
    This week my jeep almost ran out of oil.As i was stuck in shop rite;s parking lot,i became upset,now what?, I said, but then i started to praise God that I got stuck there, and not on the highwayor back roads. A man came along and helped me and I said thank-you soooooo much, you are my angel today.I told him I always pray before I go any where,He said he would like to think someone would help his wife if she were stuck too,I said we are all on this earth to help each other,and I THANK HIM AGAIN,AND SAID GOD BLESS YOU.
    SANDY LOVES GOD CT.

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    1. HI Sandy. You talk of suffering and how it brings us closer to the Lord, but what about people who are not in any pain or people whose lives are running nice and smooth. How would you relate them to Seth's message?

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    2. Sandy as to your comments on suffering it can be two fold so that either yout closer to the Lord or you withdraw further away from Him. My hope is that we become closer then ever. Jesus is waiting for us to become more and more depending on Him and He said that there would be suffering in this world be He has overcome the world.

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    3. Sandy loves God..Ct.November 25, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Jesus invitation is open to all of us.Jesus is no respector of persons.We are all his beloved children.His desire s for all of his children to trust and rely on him,his plan of salvation, and redeeming grace of his abundant love.There will always be those who reject him, and those who have religon but dont truely know the saviour.But the word says we will have troubles in this world
      ,All of us will encounter something sometime. Question is who
      will you run to?What is truely your founationthat you stand on because if it isn;t jesus then something else is.Thats why we need to tell and show the love of Jesus.A everyday walk in prayer, faith.
      with action and in hope to others in the time of their need because troubles do come to all,for christians it is a time of testing,and charater bulding. Sandy loves God Ct.

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    4. Thanks Sandy for the reply. And yes I do have problems I do come accross...and Yes, I thank God I got Jesus to turn to.

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  9. Its true that we sould always have a day of rest for the lord. We should have our hearts open to him. Never think god isn't with us. Because he see, he's just seeing how strong we are. He's seeing how much we have learned. Just take some time out an thank our lord for all he does. Just not on Sunday but every day . Blue Moon CT

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    1. The Lord doesn't want us to use excuses because He doesn't tolerate any from us . So in Lk.14-16-24 talks about when they were invited to a to a great supper and everone made an excuse and said they had something to do so the master became angry and said go out into the street and invite them to come and into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in that my house may be filled. The Lord gives us every opportunity so we have no excuse to say no to him.

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  10. I now see very clearly that the Master's main purpose for the banquest was to spend time with these people. He really , just wanted to be with them. It wasn't really to feed them. So, if this master is representing Jesus and He wants to spend time with me,
    I'm going to tell Him something right now.
    ....Jesus, I love you and I am sorry for the times I do things without including You. I really do want to spend time with . I Love you. Claudette CT

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    1. Dear Claudette, Beautiful prayer!! Our Father GOD is very delighted when we say these words,and most of all when we act on them.
      He loves us dearly; HE is a loving father who wants us to return to HIS care. Our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS, brought us back this relationship with HIS BLOOD. It is only through JESUS that we have returned to our relationship with the MOST HIGH GOD.
      Our love for JESUS and our acceptance to His invitation allow us into the Kingdom of GOD (feast). I love the name of JESUS. One song says "I love the name of JESUS. He's my rock, He's my fortress, He's my deliverer and in HIM will I trust. Should we walk side by side with JESUS, we will all have a prepared place in GOD's Kingdom. Praise GOD. I'm becoming excited as I am writing. I, too, did self investigation to see if I was walking with JESUS as HE wants me to. Thank GOD for Seth and his encouragement through this BIBLE study. I have laid down somethings that became hindrance to me. Things I thought I couldn't lay down. I am thinking of the Apostles that when JESUS asked them to follow HIM, they stopped from their previous activities to follow JESUS. If we could only physically see ahead of us the BLESSINGS of salvation. None of us would hold back:) Nothing would stop us. Thank GOD because this feast is opened to the rich and poor, weak and strong. JESUS is hosting this feast. I'm glad I accepted His invitation to the feast and everyday I'm praying that the LORD will renew my strength in HIM.
      GOD's Blessings,
      Sophia, CT

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    2. Thank you for your words. God bless. Claudette CT

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  11. GOD IS EVERYWHERE WE NEEDTO BE AWARE WE NEEDTO SHOW OUR LOVE FOR GOD WE NEED TO LIVEOUR LIFE IN THE LIGHT OF GOD
    BOB CT

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  12. I agree with the whole everything .. It shows some people don't appreciate God. But He is there for everyone. Mark ct

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  13. I thought this was a great article. I agree we need to volunteeringly give ourselves to God. It is a free will decision. Steve CT

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  14. This is an "Ezra" question-Chapter 1:1-10. God is telling King of Persia to build a temple for Him at Jerusalem.(verse 2). He tells King Cyrus to also bring into this temple articles Nebuchadnezzar carried away from his temple.(Verse 7). Are these articles the orginal articles from the temple Solomon made for God and are they just keep moving from one temple to another ? .......Also, do you see these kings as "good" guys or "bad" guys in the bible?.....I WOULD HIGHLY APPRECIATE ANSWERS BACKED UP WITH QUOTED SCRIPTURE. Give me quotes. Thank you..... P.S. I am one who has read the bible cover to cover and love reading BOTH New and Old Testament - The complete bible. I always have questions and isn't a bible study a place to get answers? ........

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  15. Hi! In a short form I hope this answers your question and please do remember that studding the Bible and reading it is not the same thing. God also said that vessels that ware taken would be returned in Jeremiah 27:21-22. In Jeremiah 28: 3, that the vessels of the Lord would be returned. Cyrus conquered Babylon, 2 Chron. 36:22-23. He was anointed by God to free the Jews from captivity. The prophets frequently foretold the coming of Cyrus. , Isa 44:28 and 45:1. If he was anointed by God and God called him his shepherd you can make your own decision if he was a good or bad Guy. I read some place that Isaiah had mentioned Cyrus two hundred years before Cyrus was born.

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  16. Hi Friend Of Sandy.
    Neeeeeetooooh. (I love your references). I see through your reference of Jeremiah, he too prophesies about these ariticles. He also refers to first Nebuchadnezzar gets them and then Cyrus takes them from him. So I'm gathering you agree that these articles are being moved in time from one temple to another . However, You have not mentioned if you think they are the original articles from King Solomon's temple. If you do think they are from Solomon's temple, do you think they can go back in time even further to THE TABERNACLE in Moses's days? I am beginning to think they can !!!! Where are those articles now, and will we hear of them again? I think so.
    GOD BLESS.
    Claudette in CT

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  17. Hi! If you read 1 Kings chapters 7,8:1-14 you will find the construction of the house of God that Solomon build and the moving of the ark and more. So yes you are right that they moved thing from the mobile Tabernacle to the house of God plus other thing they did and the offering of David. About the future of the vessels and other things that were in the house of God I do not think they have them, but I am very sure that they will make new ones. They do not need the ark because they will have Jesus Christ that is better than the ark. Now remember that we will not be here to see this because the coming of Jesus for the believers is first. Don’t get me worn you do not neeeeetooooh, but if you wish to learn and I am seeing you do studying is the way to go. God bless you

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    1. Hi Friend of Sandy. Thanks for your reply and I did reread the chapters you quoted. Your reply highly appreciated.
      God bless. Claudette CT

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