"But when you are invited, go and recline a the lowest place, so that when your host comes in, he may say to you, ' Friend, go up higher'. (Luke 14:10)
So I continued with the the scheduled reading in our email study today - ( Luke 13-16) and there is much in the reading today that causes me to reevaluate my own heart.
Humility seems to be at the core of pleasing Jesus, and I often think that is where I am until I read what that humility looks like in some of these passages! I am reminded that Jesus does not mind stepping on our toes if it brings about our awareness to what really matters and pleases Him.
Many of the parables He shares "pinch" those of us in this current day and culture. Scarily, I admit to you that find myself reading something He has said, feeling convicted by it, and then telling myself what it must not mean, as if to alleviate the pressure of what He said. And then I am scared by my own willingness to do that!
Passages that teach us not only to not expect repayment for things we give, but to seek to give to those who can't repay rather than friends or family, or statements that remind us we should not seek our comforts in this lifetime and miss the ones in the coming life, - these conflict with the wants of my flesh heart. I am at times the jealous older brother, the Pharisee who misses the importance of people for the "rules", or the invited
wedding guest with something better to do for the night.
But equally, we have a consistent view in these same passages of a generous Father who is trustworthy. He is the one who rejoices at our return from the ridiculous journeys we take in our heart and mind, and life. He is so able to be trusted when we feel insecure about fully obeying and listening to Him, especially when that takes us out of our comfort zone or the security we are used to providing for ourselves. It is amazing how in love He will keep taking us further and further into that journey of fixing
our eyes on Him and stepping out of our boat in belief of Him, no matter what it may end up looking like it will cost us.
For those of you reading the same passages today, I imagine His words will touch each of us differently. I'm praying for what your Spirit will uniquely hear from His today - and that
you will rejoice in His goodness of sharing it with you!