Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 37 : Bring In the Poor | Day 257

Seek Out Your Dinner Guests!

While eating dinner at the home of a Pharisee, Jesus gave a parable about a man who was hosting a great feast. When everything was ready, the host sent his servants out to invite the guests. However, all those who were invited gave reasons why they could not come to the banquet. One person had just purchased some land and had to go see it; another person had purchased a new team of oxen that he had to try out; another person had just gotten married and needed to be home with his wife.

When the host heard these excuses, he became extremely upset and instructed his servants to go quickly into the streets and lanes and invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind. Even after this was done there was still room at the banquet table. Wanting his house to be full of guests, the host told his servants to go back out again to the highways and hedges and compel the poor and disabled to come to his feast. (See Luke 14:16-24.)

God's offer of salvation has been extended to each of us even though we are spiritually poor and "disabled," because He wants His home in heaven to be filled.

This parable illustrates God's heart toward the world. He has given us instructions to go out and tell as many people as we can about His invitation of salvation so that His house may be full. We can begin by viewing our neighborhoods and cities as our mission fields and by seeking out the poor and disabled and inviting them to our homes for special meals. As we converse and they sense our genuine love and concern for them, they will probably be more open to hearing the Gospel and accepting God's invitation of salvation.

Jesus's command to bring in the poor and disabled emphasizes the importance of having right motives. We are to give to others expecting nothing in return. “... When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee” (Luke 14:12).

Significant investments of time and money often will be required to minister to specific needs of the poor and disabled. This may include offering to provide transportation or other types of assistance in order to make them feel welcomed as our guests. However, we must not think of ministry in terms of the earthly return on our investments but rather as eternal investments with lasting rewards.

“He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again” (Proverbs 19:17).

When we have an eternal perspective, we can see opportunities to minister to those who cannot repay us as opportunities to invest directly into eternity. Not only will we have the privilege of serving the Lord through serving others, but we will also have the privilege of sharing the Gospel with our guests and discipling them in the commands of Christ. Let's develop this eternal perspective and make a special effort to seek out those who are poor and disabled.

“But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:13–14).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard