Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrificesGod is pleased.
Our lives are to be overflowing with love, hospitality, purity, morality, contentment, and confidence.Because our lives themselves become a continuous source of praise to God, we naturally become aconduit of the good that we can share with others. We cannot capture God; we cannot recreate him in our image. We cannot be a source of love and compassion and hope for others, until we are connected to thesource of all good things. When we try to be the source of good things we become like leaky cisterns, but if we are connected to the true source of living water, then we become like rivers, filled tooverflowing, not because we are the source, but because we are the conduit, the connection, to the truesource.In
Luke 14:1, 7-14
, Jesus put it this way…
One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefullywatched.
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:
“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person moredistinguished than you may have been invited.
If so, the host who invited both of you will come and sayto you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.
But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you,‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.
For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so youwill be repaid.
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of therighteous.”
I’ve said it before and here we see it again, the whole of scripture is all about the heart. Jesus says thatwhen we are too proud to serve, we no longer have the heart of God. Jeremiah said the same thing, whenwe think so much of ourselves that we think we can reshape God in our image, our heart is lost. We seethis all the time, how often do we see people of faith who are attempting to make scripture say what theythink it should say, rather than believing what it really says? My personal feeling can be described thisway, when we are interpreting difficult or controversial passages of scripture, often times there is asimple and a complex way of interpreting it. More often than not, the simplest way is correct. Theharder you have to work to explain why the Bible doesn’t really say what it seems to be saying, the morelikely you are to be wrong. God calls us to be conformed to scripture, to be transformed into his likeness,not to explain why God really supports all the things that
to support.Jesus talks about hosting a dinner or a luncheon and not inviting your friends or your relatives. This sortof thing was exactly what happened regularly under the Roman system of patronage. It was normal, andexpected, for people to host lavish dinners so that they could invite their friends, relatives, rich neighbors3