Last month we talked about going straight to God when problems arise in our lives. Today we can use that idea to respond to a powerful passage in Luke 14. Take a moment and ask God to reveal His heart to you through His Word.
Luke 14:12-14 (ESV)
12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “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.
13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
What are your initial thoughts on this passage? Feel free to read it again. Write down any questions you have. For extra context, read the whole chapter. For even more depth, read the entire Gospel of Luke.
In the Gospels, Jesus speaks a lot about having mercy on the poor, orphaned, widowed, disabled, and outcasts. He constantly heals them, forgives them, and commends their faith.
In one sense, we are all broken, alone, and crippled in some way, devastated by sin and in no way able to save ourselves. We all must recognize our need for Christ, repent of our selfish ways, and ask Him for mercy.
In another sense, we are all blessed in ways that we often don’t recognize or appreciate. God blesses us, however, so that we might bless others and show them His character.
How can we think about both of these at once? One way – often the best way to respond to anything – is prayer. We can pray to God asking for both mercy on ourselves and guidance in showing mercy to others.
1. In what ways do you feel crippled in life right now? Spend five minutes telling God about your current struggle and ask Him to show and help you see His mercy and love in your life.
2. Who are the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and the outcasts in your life? Ask God to give you His eyes and heart for others. Ask Him how to reach out to those people; when He places an action on your mind, take a step in faith that He will work through you. Pray for boldness and opportunities to be a conduit of His love.