If you have been reading the Deep Roots Devotional, thank you so much. I am awed (and I mean totally awed) at the responses to the posts in terms of reading statistics, shares, and overall support! You are the best!
Today’s post is inspired by something I discovered on Monday, the 7th, during Bible Study. As I said in our first post this year, I am currently following a 365-day Bible plan. However, I started another Bible Plan called “Less of Me, More of Him: A Fasting Devotional by Jentezen Franklin”. He encouraged us to read Matthew 22 and focus on verse 37. Somehow, I found myself reading verses 1-14 over and again.
It is about the parable of the Great Feast as spoken by Jesus. Jesus “illustrated the Kingdom of Heaven by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son” (verse 2 NLT). This king invited particular people, but they refused to come. Then he instructed another set of servants to tell them, “The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet” (I mean, who does not want some of that smoked jollof rice and peppered beef!). But alas, they ignored the servants again. Some of the invited even insulted and killed the servants.
Now what? The king was furious. Long story short, he told the servants to go out to the street corners and invite everyone they see. The servants did as they were told and the banquet hall was filled! This is where I am going: The king came in to meet his guests, and the Bible says, “he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding” (verse 11 NLT). Do you know what the king did? First, he asked his guest why, and the guest had no reply. Then, he said to his servants, ” ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth…For many are called and few are chosen.’ ”
Then I saw it!
For the first time, I questioned: “What/Who determines the chosen?” “Is it the one who chooses?” “Or the one who is chosen?” I had all of these questions in my head and in my study journal. If you are like me, you were first made to understand this verse as a way to show that God chooses us based on preference. I mean, people say “Many are called, but few are chosen” in that pity, sorry-if-you-are-not-chosen tone. But if you read and re-read the context of this verse in Matthew 22 with the help of the Holy Spirit, you will realize that the one who is chosen is the one who determines his status.
The king called everyone. The Bible says, “the good and bad alike” and that is a clear example of our God of mercy and our God who shows no favoritism (Acts 10:34-35). However, the king stepped into the banquet hall, and there is someone who stands out to him – the man who was not prepared. As I type this, I remember the one time my parents left me at home because I was not ready in time to go to church. I mean, church is for everybody yeah? But I was not “prepared” and they would not allow me delay them, so bye girl!
Royalty, we are all called, but are we all ready? This post is speaking to me as much as it is to you. In fact, I have not stopped thinking about it since Monday. Are all of our hearts available? It is the availability and preparedness of our hearts that determines whether we will be chosen or not. In essence, our choice determines His choice. For better understanding, try to see this through the perspective of job interviews and the one who is eventually employed. The employer sees “something” in the applicant that makes him/her say, “You got the job!”
What does God see in you? A heart that is available? Even if you think you do not have it altogether…if he has called you, it means you are a candidate for His choice. Matthew 22:14 in the TPT version says, “For everyone is invited to enter in, but few respond in excellence.” I am still lost for words by this discovery (even if I have typed so much lol), but you get what I mean.
This is my resolve in 2019 – to respond in excellence to God’s plans for my life. I prayed, “Lord, help me to respond in excellence to your plans for my life in Jesus’ name.” He knows we do not have it altogether, and sometimes, we do not even feel half-ready for the things He has called us to do. But without an available, ready-to-be-ready heart, we run the risk of losing it all. As I typed this post, I heard Him say, “There is no difference between the ones who ignored the invitation and the ones who were not prepared for the feast.”
Okay Royalty, my two cents delivered. I want to see you break barriers in 2019, so we can all write a testimony at the end of the year! Leave a comment…at least, try. I know you like to be a ghost reader, but it’s all I am asking for on this post. I really want to know your thoughts. Use an undercover name if you will e.g Prepared Wedding Guest, but leave a comment.
With Overflowing Love,