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Does God Care More About How We Feast or How We Fast?
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place." - Luke 14:8-9, ESV
“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." - Luke 14:12, ESV
Are there areas of our life that God cares more about than others? Sometimes we might be tempted to think that God cares more about our religious duties than about our ordinary daily lives. In this view, God would care more about how we fast, since it is a religious activity, than about our feasting, which seems more worldly and less spiritual.
Yet Jesus taught more about feasting than fasting. The reason why our feasting matters as much as our fasting is that both reveal our hearts, though in different ways.
Consider what Jesus says in today's passage about feasting:
1. If you're invited to a feast, take the lowest place and not the highest. Why does such a thing matter to God? It reveals whether we think humbly or proudly of ourselves. "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
2. When you give a feast, don't invite your rich friends and relatives, but invite the poor and needy. Why? Because you should be focused on blessing others and not on whether or not you're going to get re-paid.
3. When God invited you to His feast - His kingdom - don't make any excuses but just come. Why? Well, what could really be more important than responding to God's invitation?
So, what parts of our lives matter to God? Only those parts that reveal whether we're humble or proud, whether we're selfish or serving and whether we're responding to God or making excuses. So which parts of life are those? Every part, of course!
Every aspect of our lives is lived from the heart and is either done in a way that pleases God or in a way that pleases ourselves. We are continually either living for the Lord or being our own gods.
Prayer Based on Psalm 125:
Those who trust in You, Lord, are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so You, Lord, surrounds Your people,
from this time forth and forevermore.
Do not let the scepter of wickedness rest
on the land allotted to the righteous,
lest the righteous stretch out
their hands to do wrong.
Do good, O Lord, to those who are good,
and to those who are upright in their hearts!
Let us not turn aside to crooked ways,
lest you lead us away with evildoers!
May Your peace be upon Your people!
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