Is everyone we invite to our parties and events just like us? Do you ever get convicted that God wants more from us? I do.
There is a passage of scripture that convicts me when I am hanging around with other Christians ALL THE TIME. When I am not spending time with those who need the truth and love of Jesus, with those who are lonely or hurting, with those in need of salvation, Luke 14 tugs at my heart. In verses 12-14 Jesus says,
“When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Basically when we just invite friends and family over we immediately receive our reward when they return the favor and invite us to a football party, holiday meal, or group hangout. In a way we are going about blessing ourselves when we only invite those who can pay us back and those who look, act, and think like us. In such cases we have received our reward on this side of heaven. I think another challenge from Jesus in Luke 6:32 teaches on these points. He said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” It is easy for us to love those who like us, to love those who return the favor. But what if they didn’t look, act, and think like us, and what if they could not return the favor?
God calls us to show His love by inviting the poor, the outcasted, and those with ailments to our hangouts. For these cannot repay us. Therefore it will be known to them and to the world that we loved them for their own sakes and not for what they had to offer us. It is when we genuinely love with this type of love that believers will be rewarded in heaven. For this type of love is selfless, this type of love shows God’s heart for His people.
You see at one time we believers were the poor ones. We were absolutely desperate with nothing to offer God when Christ came to rescue us. We were the outcasts. We were on the outside looking in before God chose to graciously save us and adopt us into His loving family. We were the ailing ones. Some physically, but all spiritually. We were dead in our sins when the great physician Jesus Christ healed us and forgave us.
So when we throw parties we should pray over the guest list and consider inviting the poor, the outcasted, and the ailing. For as believers, when we were in such a condition God reached out to us. May we share this amazing grace and love with others. It may be uncomfortable at times, but let’s do it for God’s glory and for the good of our neighbors. Grace and peace!
– Dave Zablocki