Luke 14:15-24 NKJV
“Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.”
-In this 21st century, we sometimes experienced an extra ordinary busyness as we engage diverse activities. Some of us are busy with work and business, others with school and other related activities, many are busy with politics, and a number with family and social functions. Sometimes we become so busy until we forget matters of God. Matters that build our spirituality, and edify others in the kingdom of God. We get so engaged especially during this last quarter of the year where social functions and holidays dominate our calendars. The parable of the great supper details how the master called his friends to a celebration. One mentioned that he had recently bought five yoke of oxen and he excused himself citing that they needed to be tested. The other had married a wife and could not make it, possibly they were in their honeymoon season. The other one stated that he had recently bought a parcel of land and he needed to go and see it. These people angered the master and he sent for the lame, maimed, blind and the poor. He also invited people from the highways and byways. As the Lord was angry at one generation of people who hardened their hearts and did not enter into the promised land but went round for forty years and died in the wilderness, so was the master angry at the said groups (Hebrew 3:7-15). They lost their chance to enter into the kingdom of God and dine with Him. We are reminded to draw near to God and He will draw near us. To wash our hands from sin and cleanse our hearts from double mindedness (James 4:8). God calls us into His kingdom as we accept Him into our hearts, and seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all other things will be added unto us.
Lord we thank You and glorify Your holy name. Thank You for this new week and new month, we praise You for giving us the gift of life. May You give us the wisdom to seek first Your kingdom and righteousness, and all other things You will add unto us. May You open many boundaries for us and bless the work of our hands dear Jesus. May You guide us and shield us from every plan of the enemy. Your steadfast love never cease, Your mercies never come to an end they are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness. Great is Your faithfulness Oh Lord my God. You are worthy to be praised and adored, blessed be Your name Lord. May Your grace and mercy be upon our lives, families, nation and all the nations of the world. May You guide us as we draw near to You as You draw near us. We humbly beseech You dear Jesus Christ to forgive us all our trespasses and wash us with Your precious blood. Forgive for the times we have been too busy for You Lord. Forgive us for the times You have called us to take up a particular assignment but we have given excuses. May You cleanse us for every sin of omission and commission dear Jesus. May You shepherd us in every area of our lives. May You give comfort to those who are mourning the death of their loved ones in our nation Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia and many parts of the world. You are our great I AM Lord, we praise Your holy name. May You help us to be partakers of Your revival Abba Father for the glory and honor of Your name. May You grant all Your people the gift of salvation dear Jesus. We love You Lord and exult Your holy name now and forever. Amen
Further reading: Romans 14:17, Luke 13:23-29
Ecclesiastes 2:18-26 WYC
“Again I cursed all my busyness, by which I travailed most studiously under [the] sun; and I shall have an heir after me, whom I know not, whether he shall be wise either a fool; and he shall be lord in my travails, for which I sweated greatly, and was busy; and is there anything so vain? (whom I know not, whether he shall be wise or a fool; but he shall be the lord of all my works, for which I was so busy, and greatly sweated over; is there anything so empty and futile as this?) Wherefore I ceased, and mine heart forsook for to travail further under [the] sun. (And so I ceased to study, and my heart did not desire to labour any more under the sun.) For why when another man travaileth in wisdom, and teaching, and busyness, he leaveth things gotten to an idle man; and therefore this is vanity, and great evil. (For though a person laboureth over something with wisdom, and knowledge, and diligence, he must leave all that he hath gotten to someone else, who did not labour over it; and so this is empty and futile, and a great evil.)”
-In the hustles and bustles of life we earn a living. Some among us toil hard in the busyness of our labor, and at times succeed and other times fail. Psalms 127:2 says that, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat for he grants sleep to those he loves.” King Solomon associates labor to vanity possibly due to the fact that it originated from the curse of Adam. Adam and Eve in the beginning were at a position of rest until they went astray and labor was associated with pain, whether child labor or labor to earn a living. Hard-work is a part of life that can never be ignored. Proverbs 13:22 reminds us that, “a good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous”. It is prudent to leave an inheritance for your generations, even though king Solomon calls it vanity since when one passes on, he/she has no control of how the wealth will be spent. Proverbs 19:21 reveals that, “many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails”. We know that God’s will prevails over all and in all our business let us always remember to consult God.
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. Lord You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You are the King over our lives. You are our Savior and our Father. We thank You for this far that You have brought us and the far that You are taking us. We thank You for Your goodness, care and love. Lord You grant sleep to those You love, may You always grant us sleep at the right time and rest in our labor for the glory and honor of Your name. May You bless the work of our hands and make us prosperous in all that we do. May You bless our economy and continue to shower us with Your peace and blessings. May You bless our children and our generations that they may fear You and follow Your statutes. May You give us wisdom, knowledge and understanding that we may consult You in every area of our lives. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever more. Amen .
Further reading: Ecclesiastes 9:11-18
Luke 10:40-42 NKJV
“But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
-When Jesus comes to Bethany, Martha demonstrates hospitality by welcoming Him into the home she shares with her sister Mary. She then busies herself with the tasks of serving their guest (diakonian). Although we are not told precisely what those tasks are, a good guess is that she began preparing a meal. Meanwhile her sister Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, listening to his words. Rather than assuming the role expected of women in her culture, she takes her place at the feet of Jesus. She assumes the posture of a student learning at the feet of a rabbi, a role traditionally reserved for men. This pleasant story takes a sharp turn when Martha, distracted by her many tasks, asked Jesus why He was not concerned by Mary who was not helping her. Jesus’ words to Martha may be seen as an invitation rather than a rebuke. Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. The one thing needed is for Martha to receive the gracious presence of Jesus, to listen to his words, to know that she is valued not for what she does or how well she does it, but for who she is as a child of God. Many among us are distracted by many things and miss an encounter with God. We are reminded to spare sometime to fast, pray and if possible go for a prayer retreat where we take sometime to disconnected with the world and connect more intimately with God.
O Lord my God, how I search for You. How I thirst for You in this parched and weary land where there is no water. How I long to find You. How I wish I could go into Your sanctuary to see Your strength and glory, for Your love and kindness are better to me than life itself. How I praise You. I will bless You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer. At last I shall be fully satisfied; I will praise You with great joy. I lie awake at night thinking of You; of how much You have helped me and how I rejoice through the night beneath the protecting shadow of Your wings. I follow close behind You, protected by Your strong right arm. Thank You for protecting us and preserve us from every harm. Thank You for Your provision and sustenance. You are our Good God, we lift up our banners in all the earth to declare Your goodness. May You teach us to set time for fellowship with You. May You help us to have a more intimate relationship with You. You are able Lord and nothing is too difficult for You. May You grant us our hearts desires and make all our plans succeed. May You give us the dew of heaven and earth’s richness, an abundance of grain and new wine according to Your promise. May You open up our economy and bless our leaders and all citizens. May Your purpose for our lives come to pass according to Your unending love for us. May we always be found at Your feet dear Jesus. We pray this believing and trusting in Jesus mighty name. Amen
Further reading: Matthew 6:6, Psalms 63:1-8
1 Kings 20:38-43 NKJV
“Then the prophet departed and waited for the king by the road, and disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes. Now as the king passed by, he cried out to the king and said, “Your servant went out into the midst of the battle; and there, a man came over and brought a man to me, and said, ‘Guard this man; if by any means he is missing, your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.’ While your servant was busy here and there, he was gone.” Then the king of Israel said to him, “So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it.” And he hastened to take the bandage away from his eyes; and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets. Then he said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you have let slip out of your hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.’ ” So the king of Israel went to his house sullen and displeased, and came to Samaria.”
–The son of the prophet, who was also a prophet, made-up story when he let a prisoner loose after being entrusted by king Ahab. He inflicted upon himself injury after requesting the first man to hit him but he refused and upon his command the man was mauled by a lion. He requested another one to punch him and he bandaged his face, possibly to make his narration real. He got busy with other things and the prisoner slipped out of his hand which displeased king Ahab. His story seems fictional but it is real in the life of many, especially many ministers of the Gospel. If a man/woman is called to preach the Word, and becomes busy over a hundred things other than that of his central work, and so loses the opportunity to preach, his failure is complete. That which is our God-appointed work, we must do. If we fail in that, the fact that we have been ‘busy here and there,’ doing all sorts of other things, is of no avail. In the Christan life we also need to arrest every opportunity to perform the task for which God has called us to do and to spread the gospel in whatever capacity. Jonah was such a man who was called to go and preach in the land of Nineveh but he disobeyed, and he was swallowed by a giant fish, and eventually he submitted to the call. Matthew 28:19 reminds us of our Christian call to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Lord Almighty Father we appreciate You for You are Awesome in every way. You are merciful and loving, we bless Your holy name. We come to Your throne of grace that we may obtain grace and mercy to help us during our time of need. We need Your grace to enable us execute the mandate for which You have called us. We need Your grace to encourage us in the ministry work for which You have called us for the benefit of Your kingdom. May You help us to be strong and courageous as we go into the world to preach the gospel in the way that You will enable us. May You bless our pastors, priests, bishops and all the men and women who You have chosen to do the work of ministry that they may always be encouraged to put You first. May You bless Your church all over the world that Your True Word may be preach and many will come to You. May You destroy every demonic altars in our lives, families, churches, nation and all nations of the world. We look to You Lord Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. We thank You and magnify Your holy name, now and forever. Amen
Further reading: Mark 16:15
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty”.
-Unmanaged haste comes with accelerated speeds that may jeopardize one’s livelihood. In the quest to gain wealth and affluence, many have pierced themselves with many grieves and have wondered from the faith due to the love of money. Some end up bearing false witness, causing deceitful words and actions to gain wealth that is neither satisfactory nor durable, but occurs like a wind, chaff or smoke, that leads to death (Proverbs 21:6). Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21). God has a will and a plan for each one of our lives, and He guides our steps through His word, dreams, visions etc. God is our provider and sustainer and reminds us to wait upon Him even in our work, and shun away from anxiety in life, about what you will eat or what you will drink, or what you will put on, for life more than food, and the body more essential than clothing (Matthew 6:25).
The word busyness means to be in the state or condition of having a great deal to do. It is vital to realize that it very easy for someone to get caught up in the busyness of life. King Solomon noticed that it is vanity to travail in the busyness of life in labor under the sun, especially for a wise person who leaves his inheritance to an idle man which is a great evil (Ecclesiastes 2:18-26). As much as we are instructed to leave an inheritance to our children’s children, it is important to seek the wisdom of God in such matters for our benefit and those who take over after us. A diligent man therefore knows that plowing his field day after day will yield results (Proverbs 12:11). Through diligence, a man plans his career, training, life, efforts, savings, time, schedule, and other factors to accomplish wise goals, and he obtains success. But a lazy man, is too impatient to pursue success the godly way by hard and intelligent effort and can only think about shortcuts, which end up cutting him short. 1 Kings 20:38-43 details a narration of a prophet who was entrusted a certain prisoner by king Ahab but he was not diligent. In his busyness he forgot about the assignment and go sloppy in action which led to dire consequences and the king was displeased. Further, Jesus reminds us through the story of Mary and Martha that we should put Him first in everything. While Martha was busy and distracted with matters of hospitality, Mary was in a position of rest, at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:40-42). When she complained to Jesus; He responded, “Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” We are reminded to take time to read the Bible, pray, worship the Lord, fellowship with other, go for a prayer and fasting retreat and seek God in other speres for while everything fades away, the word of God will remain. Like the parable of the great banquet where many were called but made excuses why they should not share a meal with the king, we are reminded to look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, and respond to His call. While those who were prioritized gave stories why they were not available, the poor, maimed and lame accepted Jesus’ call, and ate with Him bread in the kingdom of God (Luke 14:15-24). Jesus is calling you to deny yourself, take up your cross as the main business and follow Him.
Lord Your word is Light that shuns away all darkness. Your word is True and Right and it gives wisdom to the simple. Thank Your Word Oh Lord. Thank You for Your love and mercy upon us. Lord You have reminded us that whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. May You teach us to follow Your word faithfully. Lord You are the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, except through You. May You allow us, our families and the whole world to seek You with all our hearts and find You. May You grant us, our president and all other leaders wisdom that we may hear Your voice and follow You. May You bless us Lord and keep us. May You make Your face to shine upon us and be gracious to us. May You lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. We pray this believing and trusting in Jesus mighty name. Amen
Further reading: Proverbs 28:19, Matthew 16:24-26