Lately in my personal reading I've been going through the book of Luke. It has been a long time since I've read through this Gospel, and although all the stories are familiar, it is amazing how fresh the Scriptures are every time you read them, no matter how much you "think" you know the passage.
The video posted here is a preaching opportunity I had recently. It is in Kultwanong, a township about 15 minutes from Welkom. Another Christian organization here in town reaches out to preschool aged children that are HIV+. Once per month they host a support meeting for the caregivers (mothers, grandmothers, etc...) of these children. At these meetings they hear a gospel message, receive training on caring for their children, and encouragement to know that they are not in this trial alone.
I chose to speak on Luke 14:15-24, where Jesus tells the parable of a rich man who hosted a feast and sent many invitations to various members of the community. When the time for the feast came, everyone had developed some lame excuse for why they wouldn't come. Take a look at the excuses given and you tell me whether they are poor or not.
Because these people rejected the invitation, Jesus explains that the servants of this man were sent everywhere, compelling people to come and join the feast. Maybe in the US we've lost touch of what something like this means, what with the unnecessary busy-ness of our lives. Here in SA, especially in a township, culture is much more similar to what Jesus' audience would have experienced. The rejection of God's invitation seems so much more poignant here - really, who would turn down an invitation to a free feast? But that's what these people have done. The fact that the master 3 times sent out his servants illustrates God's desire to see people come to the knowledge of the truth. John MacArthur puts it this way "God is more willing to save sinners than sinners are to be saved."
My question to you is the same as my question to these people here: Are you rejecting God's free invitation? Who in their right mind does this? Yet thousands - millions even - are constantly telling God "no thanks", "I've got too much going on", "I don't want to give up things that I think I would have to give up", "I will come on my own terms", or "I will get to heaven based on my own good works". What kind of sense does this make? Are you the one starving who is still rejecting God's free invitation to His feast? If so, come to Him today. Put aside the lame excuses that you know don't cut it. Put your faith in Jesus Christ today.