Summary: A common everyday item. Every house has one. A simple table or a meeting place. Perhaps a classroom. Could it be that a simple table is really a blank canvas?

The Table

Pt. 3 - Dinner Dates

I. Introduction

In week one, we learned that the table is set. From the beginning moments of time God has been working on the table so that we might join Him there in fellowship and communion. He was so determined to have us as dinner guests that He sent His own son to pay the dinner dues. Then last week we talked about table manners. Getting to the table isn't enough we must also learn how to behave and conduct ourselves once we get to the table. Remember our meals should heal. We must get a nose fix. We must keep our elbows to ourselves and we must invite those who can't pay us back.

Last week we examined the first 14 verses of Luke 14. I want us to revisit Luke 14 and see what else Jesus said about the table and in particular what He says about Dinner Dates!

II. Text

Luke 14:15-24 (after dealing with table manners someone tries to cut tension.)

15That triggered a response from one of the guests: "How fortunate the one who gets to eat dinner in God's kingdom!"

16 But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; 17 and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’ 19 Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ 20 Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ 21 And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.’”

III. Dinner Dates

A. Excuses can get you excused.

We have a dinner date! We have received an invitation to come and dine with the master of the universe! And yet many of us rather than being filled with a sense of gratitude are filled with excuses! Reasons we can't commune or why we are disqualified from communion!

Excuses are the cradle ... that Satan rocks men off to sleep in. - D. L. Moody

Is it sin or schedule that gets us removed from table? Or could it be that our schedule is a sin? The folks invited were so busy that they missed God!

I also want you to notice the nature of their excuses . . . 2 of their excuses were ridiculous. The first says, "I bought a piece of property sight unseen and I need to go see it." Really when was the last time you bought a piece of property unseen? The 2nd says that he has bought a team of oxen and needs to go try them out. Really, would you buy a combine without trying it out first? Would you buy a car without test driving it? Crazy, absurd reasons! Then the last person gives what sounds like a reasonable excuse... just got married. And yet even that excuse was cast aside. Two thoughts here . . . we make some crazy excuses and act like they are reasonable and second even our good excuses are ridiculous in light or fact that we throw away an invitation from the King of Kings, God of the universe to do things that pale in comparison! I can't go to church I need to go to the lake. Crazy! I can't worship today I am had a fight with my kids. Crazy! I can't serve I stay up too late on Saturday. I can't witness I am too busy. I can't lead us to some very painful YOU CANT'S!

We let us off the hook easier than God does. This isn't an average, normal invitation! It is the greatest honor and privilege we have ever or ever will receive!

I think the real issue is that some of us take the meal for granted. We have eaten so often and so well that we ignore the incredible privilege that we have to even be at the table!

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