Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/3/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Lexington First UMC
Gateway District
Eddyville Grace UMC
Miller, NE UMC
Oconto UMC
Gateway District
Minden UMC
Gateway District
Greeley, NE UMC
North Loup UMC
Scotia First UMC
Gateway District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 14:12-14 

He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Today's Devotional

The surface lesson of this passage is an important one on its own. This is in essence a definition of charity. Someone who needs something that they cannot get on their own is given by grace what they need by someone who doesn’t ask anything in return. What little faith we can find in humanity we find in cheerful givers. I believe this is the essence of what Matthew says concerning treasure (Matthew 6:19-21). We store for ourselves treasure in heaven by cheerful giving, be it of money, effort, or time. When we do for others in charity, our treasure is stored in heaven, and we will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
To clarify, I am not saying we are given laud or reward in heaven, or even granted admittance to heaven by our works, charitable or otherwise. Moses didn’t finish what Jesus started but just the opposite, and therefore we are saved by the cross and the amazing grace of God, not by our works or adherence to some list of laws. What I am saying is that when we do for others without any expectation of anything in return, we are emulating the very nature of what Jesus has done for us all.

We are all invited to something far greater than a banquet. We are invited to heaven to live eternally with our Lord. It is a gift extended to everyone, especially to the poorest, weakest, and least among us. It was given to us by Jesus when he died on the cross for the sins of the world, even though we were still sinning. It is a gift we have zero chance or ability to ever repay. It is a gift that can be yours by simply believing it (John 3: 15, 18).
-Trent Tatman
Coffeyville: Trinity UMC
*Devotion originally published 5/4/2019

Prayer for Reflection

Our Father in Heaven, help us to invite the world to join us at Your banquet. Give us innumerous opportunities to pass along the limitless gift of salvation, which was paid for on the cross with the life of Jesus, Your only begotten son, in whose awesome name we pray. AMEN.


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