Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 25 - Invite Anyone You Find

Today's Reading:
Ezekiel 45:13-46:24
Matthew 22:1-33
Proverbs 18:17-19:2

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Focus Verses:
Matthew 22:8-10
"Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a wedding feast where everyone is invited. The invitation is sent to palace dwellers and street people, to the good and the bad alike. The invitation is not given on the basis of merit or status; it springs from the king's heart to celebrate and honor his son.

There are several ways to disrespect the king's invitation. The first is to be too busy (Mt. 22:5) to accept the invitation—to not consider the invitation important enough for your time and attention. The second is to have utter contempt (Mt. 22:6) for the king and his invitation—to just rob and abuse his messengers. The third disrespectful response is to accept the invitation, but refuse to do what is expected (Mt. 22:11) of the king's guests—refusing to wear the special white wedding clothes the king provides.

Response & Action:
I want to accept God's invitation to celebrate and honor his son, Jesus. I realize that I do not deserve to be invited to such a celebration; I consider it an awesome privilege. Nothing in my life is more important than my wholehearted response to this invitation. As I accept the invitation to join in the Kingdom, I will also accept the King's expectations for those he has welcomed. I want to be transformed, to put on Christ, to be renewed and clothed in the righteousness the King offers me.

Thank You, O God, for inviting me to the party! Thank you for your gracious invitation to everyone. Help me to celebrate and honor your son, Jesus. By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, clothe me in the new garments of Christ's righteousness. Lead, teach, transform, shape, and strengthen me, that I might delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Revelation 19:6-9
6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God."

Kingdom of God Is a Party
by Tony Campolo

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