Sunday School Material 1-19-14: Enlarging Your Circle

(Luke 14:7-18a, 21-24; 1/19/14)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is Jesus teaches about humility, charity, and priorities. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on our humility, charity, and priorities.

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Body:

Read Luke 14:7-11

I. Choosing a Place. Jesus sees how people are positioning for seats of honor. He teaches the people with a parable.

The point of the parable is to be humbly trusting of God to exalt you, in due season, instead of exalting yourself.

 

Applications -

- Teachable moments. Notice in vs. 7 of our Sunday School material that Jesus responds to a teachable moment with parables. First, as believers, we should be sensitive to teachable moments.

As in the text, there is a great deal of teaching that takes place outside the classroom. There is teaching that can take place at the dinner table, on the bus, over coffee with a friend, and so much more.

Second, we should be open to using comparisons. Sometimes the people we are talking to don’t understand church talk, so we have to be able to make comparisons to what they do understand, as in the text.

Using comparisons call for our interacting with people and finding out what they are familiar with. Let’s work on being sensitive to teachable moments and using comparisons. 

- Humility. Notice in vss. 8-11 of the Sunday School material the importance of being humble instead of self-exalted. Something to help us with our humility is the fact that all that we have is a gift from God.

If God ever takes His stuff away, we would have nothing. We are not better than others; we just have more of God’s blessings than others.

Let’s work on being humble, instead of exalting ourselves. Think about ways to be humble in the situations that you find yourself in (e.g., family, work, community, church, etc.).

Read Luke 14:12-14

II. Enlarging Your Circle. Jesus turns His attention to the host of the meal that He is at. He talks to the host about whom to invite to the meals. Instead of inviting those who can pay you back.

Jesus urges the inviting of those who cannot repay. The repayment will come at the resurrection of the righteous.

Applications -

- Charitable hospitality. Notice in vss. 12-14 of our Sunday School material that there are times we should focus on being more charitable than strategic with our hospitality.

First, especially in the world of business, there are times when believers should be strategic with their hospitality and other ways of positioning for mutually beneficial relationships.

Many business deals have been nurtured over business lunches and dinners.

Second, however, there are times when hospitality is just hospitality. There ought to be some times when our giving is done with not expectation of return from those we gave to.

Third, we can trust God to take care of those who faithful obey His word and will. In other words, if we obey God in being charitable to those who cannot repay because we trust God, we can count on God to take care of us.

Let’s work on trusting God with charitable hospitality.

Read Luke 14:15-18a, 21-24

III. Snubbing the Supper. In our Sunday School material someone at the table mentions the blessing of sitting at the feast, in the kingdom of God. Jesus presents another parable.

A servant is sent to gather guest for a meal, but the guests make excuses for why they cannot come. The owner with anger invites all of the crippled and compels others to come. The original invitees will be excluded.

Applications -

- God’s invitation. Notice in vss. 16-18a, 21 that an excuse to the servant of the king was an excuse to the king. In like manner, an excuse to God’s servant is an excuse to God.

There are too many people who make excuses with the Pastor and others in the church, without an apparent regard for making such excuses ultimately to God.

Think about the excuses that people come up with for not coming to prayer meeting, Bible study, and Sunday School. 

Think about the excuses that people make for not stepping up to take on responsibilities around the church. Furthermore, notice that God gets angry about excuse making.

Our lives are challenging enough without God getting angry with us. Let’s work on treating the invitations from God’s servants as invitations from the God who sends them.

- A full house. Notice in vss. 21-24 of our Sunday School material that God wants a full house. First, there are too many who could care less about the church being half empty.

God wants His house filled with people who are saved and growing in the Lord. Consequently, we should want God’s house full of people who are saved and growing in the Lord.

Second, when God doesn’t get want He wants from one person, He is known for moving to someone else. No one person stops God’s program. Thus, we should obey God, now, before He moves on.

Third, we should be thankful that God moved to plan B. All of us non-Jews are God’s plan B. Let’s work on filling God’s house with saved and growing people. We can do this by being faithful in the “Each Reach One” Ministry.

Conclusion: Let’s work on our humility, charity, and priorities. God has much for those who obey His will.

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