A teaching by Rev. Barbara Williams, President of the Ministry of the Watchman International

Week of September 18-22, 2023

A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, “Come, for all things are now ready.”
Luke 14:16-17

This is a generous offer. This rich and important man has made a supper and invited many guests. This is not just a meal; this is a covenant meal. This meal is offered to special guests. There is plenty of the best foods for all to eat. It is similar to a marriage supper. It is a special time for this important man. He has something to celebrate, and he wants as many as possible to share in his joy. This is a picture of our call into God’s kingdom. HE HAS MUCH TO OFFER US. He wants us to come in and dine with Him. We get to eat the King’s food. We are elevated to a higher status. God sends out servants to invite us in to His Kingdom. There is an opportune time of the invitation when all things are made ready for us. The problem is this: will we be ready for God when He is ready for us?

If you are in need of healing, there is good news! Proverbs 4:20-22 SAYS:

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

So there is life and health in God’s word. Since God’s word is medicine, we must take it like we would a prescription. I suggest three times a day, like you would your food. Remember, healing is the children’s bread. Consider this your “dose” for today. Remember, read, and meditate three times a day the following:

Rx: Mark 11:22-25 ~ Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15

If you’ve never studied the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, we invite you to join us as we read through the Bible in a year. Read and meditate on these chapters this week:

September 18: 2 Samuel 14, 2 Corinthians 7, Ezekiel 21, Psalms 68
September 19: 2 Samuel 15, 2 Corinthians 8, Ezekiel 22, Psalms 69
September 20: 2 Samuel 16, 2 Corinthians 9, Ezekiel 23, Psalms 70-71
September 21: 2 Samuel 17, 2 Corinthians 10, Ezekiel 24, Psalms 72
September 22: 2 Samuel 18, 2 Corinthians 11, Ezekiel 25, Psalms 73
September 23: 2 Samuel 19, 2 Corinthians 12, Ezekiel 26, Psalms 74
September 24: 2 Samuel 20, 2 Corinthians 13, Ezekiel 27, Psalms 75-76

But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.”
Luke 14:18

Everybody begins to make excuses. This is not a good time for them. But the supper is ready. The food is getting cold. All things are in order for the meal to be consumed. Why will these people not respond to this invitation? The first person is concerned about where he will live. He has bought land and needs to see what kind of land it is. He is focused on the very things that Jesus tells us to take no thought for. The Father knows we have need of these things, and has already provided for the safekeeping and security of our housing. When He gives us an invitation to come and dine with Him, it is because we need this kind of contact with Him at this time. He has spread out a table of spiritual meat for us. He wants communion and fellowship with us when He gives the invitation. It is all for our benefit anyway. He is doing the preparation, giving and serving. He merely wants us to take time from our normal routine and come apart with Him. We will benefit greatly from it.

And another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.” Still another said, “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”
Luke 14:19-20

The next two persons give excuses related to the other areas that Jesus says we should take no thought for. The oxen relate to livelihood-what we will eat. This man has just purchased these oxen, which is a blessing from God, yet he puts God off in order to spend time admiring the blessing he has received. God warned Israel that when they have prospered, they would forget Him. This is very true. During times of prosperity we tend to forget that it is God who gives us the power to get wealth.

The next person, likewise, has a blessing in his life and wants to stop and enjoy that blessing. As you can see, God calls at a time that is inconvenient for us from our point of view, but it is essential that we learn to respond to God’s call at the time that He calls. It is the most opportune time for us from the spiritual standpoint. What is inconvenient in the natural is most timely in the spirit. We must learn to put the things of the spirit first.

So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.”
Luke 14:21

When the servant comes in, he tells the Master that all the guests have declined the invitation. How many times have we erroneously assumed that the call of God could be put off? What do we think that it cost us in terms of blessings for ourselves as well as others? Do we really think that we can put God off and not be the poorer for it? Do we think that the call of God comes merely to flatter us, so that we can feel good saying no? I think there is a penalty to pay when we decline God’s gracious invitation. How many of us had Christians witness to us, but we refused to give our lives to Christ? We weren’t ready, or life was going too well for us. We were just like these persons. We were having too much fun with the carnal life to stop and respond to God’s gracious, loving invitation. How do we think God felt?

He was angry. He soon got over it, though, and began to invite others to the supper. As people decline and refuse God’s offer for fellowship, the list of invitees gets longer and broader.

And the servant said, “Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.” Then the master said to the servant, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.”
Luke 14:22-24

The servant begins to invite everybody from everywhere. He goes out into the highways and hedges and flags them down. There is still room in the Father’s house. This is a great big banquet. It is big enough for the guests who declined the invitation and all the others who were later invited. The Father has a time limit on His invitation.

He will not hold your place at the supper forever. Your place will be given to another if your final answer is “no.” This is a picture of the invitation to salvation. Because these persons have refused the invitation and that is their final answer, they will not receive the invitation again. That invitation to sit and dine with the Father will not be offered again. Perhaps this has happened to you. Perhaps you have erroneously assumed that you could put off forever the things that God has called you to do. The call is still there, but the taste of the call will be different for you now.

There will not be the joy in the call that there could have been, or the type of reward you will receive will be altered because you did not heed the invitation at the time it was given. For some, it will mean eternal judgment if we do not answer the call to repentance so that we can dine with the Father. God always comes at an inconvenient time. This can be a clue to us to respond promptly and graciously when God calls.