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The Great Banquet

Song of Solomon 2:4, "He brought me to the banquet room, his banner over me is love."

Revelation 9:19, "And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who have been invited to the wedding meal of the Lamb!” And the angel said, “These are the true words of God.”

There's nothing more fun than having a party, right? Especially going to one where there's going to be good food. Planning a party can be fun too, as much as it is hectic, but, as you put the menu together, plan the activities and decorations, it starts to get exciting. Then you begin the invitation list. Who should you invite, how many should come and oh, how fun it will be talking and laughing with them creating fun memories? As you send the RSVP’s out you eagerly await the “yeses” in reply. Even if they all don't reply you know they're sure to come so that's okay, the invitations are more like a save the date and a lot of your invites already said they’d mark their calendars.

What happens once the day arrives, and your turn out becomes a no show or only a few friends show up. All that planning, all that excitement and buildup and then a fizzle. It's rather a sad feeling and a big disappointment. Especially when you find out your invites had plans like cleaning their yard, or they were just too tired from work, maybe they had family plans they made, worst yet they forgot. How do you react?

Well, you could do what the master did in Luke 14. Go to the streets and invite anyone and everyone who is willing to come, poor or rich, neighbors or strangers, invite them and have a grand party.

I tell this scenario because the point Jesus was making with His parable, that God is like the master of the house. He has been busy preparing a place for us for eternity and He has already sent out the invitations for us to join His great banquet- Revelation 13:29.

The question now is, are we already making the same mistakes as the friends in the parable? They all had excuses when the time came for the party and didn't or “couldn't" go. Oh, no, we're nothing like that. We make time for Jesus and we're ready for His banquet.

Yes, you're probably right, but what excuse do you have for missing church or Bible study? What excuse do you have for not reaching out to someone with the good news of Jesus? What keeps you from quiet times of prayer with God or studying the Bible?

Do you skip church because family is in town? Or maybe it's been a long work week, skip church. How many times do we sit in the evenings and watch TV rather than study our Bibles because it was a long hard day?

Fingers point my way just the same as everyone else. We've all been there. Life keeps us busy and can wear us down, but what happens when life keeps us too busy for God's invitation? Like the master in the parable, Jesus will reach out to anyone who will listen and accept the invitation.

This parable reminds us to celebrate what God offers us. Time with Jesus needs to be bookmarked in our busy lives daily because an invitation like this is a gift and a blessing. There is a banquet being prepared for us and the invitations have been sent. Jesus paid the price so we all could fill the seats at God's banquet.

The day will come when the banquet is ready and if we use excuses now it could mean a missed seat forever. Many are called but few are chosen- Matthew 22:14, why, because even though God's invitation is to everyone, we can be too busy with life to respond.

Let's stop the excuses and say ‘yes’ to God's invitation and RSVP to the offer of salvation. Then go out and invite anyone and everyone to God's banquet by sharing the good news of Jesus.

I hope you have been able to join me as we have been studying through many books of the Bible and have found many new blessings, maybe some new insights, and that your walk with Jesus has become stronger. I understand it is hard to find time in the day to spend more than a quick devotion here and there but I can share with you from my own personal experience that since I have been making time a few more minutes each day in the scriptures and have been trying to deepen my walk with God, I have felt a shift in my personal life and my faith, hope and trust in our Savior has become stronger. I am learning more and more of Jesus as my Friend and I can see how He answers my prayers, my family and friends prayers and how He is in control of our hectic lives in this upside down world. I still struggle at times to find the time daily, but I try and that's all the Lord asks of us. So as we now move into our new study I hope you find a few extra minutes in your day to spend a few more minutes with Jesus and dig a little deeper into the scriptures and watch how amazing Jesus is in your life and the lives around you. Let's begin with

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

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