2019 Advent Devo: Kingdom Decision-Making

We all have choices to make.  We have priorities and are often faced with numerous opportunities to decide how to spend our time.  These decisions can be tough, especially when trying to remove the “me” factor. It’s terribly hard not to just end up deciding based entirely on how I perceive it will affect me.  Will I consider it fun? Is there an opportunity for me to meet someone important who can help me with something I desire? Will it benefit me financially? Will it help my children?  Tougher decisions typically require a weighting of pros and cons in order to come to the right decision.

In Luke 14, Jesus proposes a different approach.  It is full of a lot of very hard teaching and in trying to take a thousand-foot view of the chapter, it seems to me that part of what he’s doing here is challenging folks to expand the center of their universe a bit – showing them that it doesn’t revolve around them.  Over and over he challenges their thinking. They challenge the notion of healing on the Sabbath, but he points out that they wouldn’t think twice about breaking the rules if it was a benefit to them or a loved one. He challenges their desire to be self-important and rub shoulders with the elite and encourages them to invite the unimportant and the outcast to dinner rather than those that will benefit them.  And in his typical kingdom-twist parable style, he seems to assert that his own kingdom dinner invitation is not regarded by the self-important as something all that terribly desirable. Perhaps that hanging out with Jesus is not something that will help you get ahead in this life. They each have better offers – business transactions, family matters and the like – so he ends up gathering those considered unimportant in the eyes of the world (and perhaps their own eyes).  He offers dignity and fellowship and belonging – where the least is the greatest and the greatest the least – concluding this discourse with the stinging words I say to you all, the one who receives an invitation to feast with me and makes excuses will never enjoy my banquet.” (v.24 TPT)

And from there it just gets downright uncomfortable.  He pulls out the “D” word (disciple) and says you must be willing to give up all to follow him – whether things or relationships – whatever is holding you back.  In fact, those things you think you own …nope! Not if you want to follow Jesus.  It all becomes his. Most importantly, YOU become his.  And your decisions become less about what you want or what benefits you and all about what honors him and reflects living in his kingdom.

The invitation to feast with him is open to us every day.  And I notice that when I’m faithful to respond to the invitation and make myself present to Jesus, something changes in me and I see things through his perspective just a little bit more. Joy and contentment are found in ways that are not available anywhere else.  So make the choice to be present to him and to feast together with him – each and every day – and his words from v 14 will become more and more real all the time Then you will experience a great blessing in this life, and at the resurrection of the godly you will receive a full reward.” (TPT)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP3CsHfU7dc

You are loved!
Kevin Henegar


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