Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

The Other Jesus, Part 3, Week 3, Day 2

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MATTHEW 22:4-5

Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’  But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business.

These verses are poignant to first century ears. “Again he sent servants” and they issue a second summons. “Please come!” No eastern monarch would react to guests who refused his invitation with anything but fury and reprisals. No one rejects a king and gets away with it, for such attitude would undermine the social structure itself and humiliate the ruler. Yet now the king pleads, re-invites, describes the feast, and endures a second rejection. This parable becomes a mini-theology of the OT. God seeks his rebellious people, endearing their apostasy and seeking again and again to restore the relationship.

PRAYER

Gracious God, you are a rejected lover, a determined seeker even when we are wayward or unfaithful. We turn our backs on your will and ways, we forget to pray, and we live as if you were a stranger. Forgive us. Restore us. We ask in the name of Jesus who came to seek and save the lost. Amen.

 

 

Posted by David Joynt with
Tags: faith, loyalty

The Other Jesus, Part 3, Week 2, Day 6

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MARK 3:31-35

 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Nothing is more beautiful than a close family! But family loyalty comes second to loyalty to Christ. When family discourages or inhibits faith, then it cannot dictate the shape of a believer’s life. This was often traumatic in the first century. Families in the pagan world practiced a domestic cult, where often an entire family would together honor their household gods with libations and prayers. When a Christ follower opted out of pagan rites, conflict ensued, just as it did for followers who didn’t want to sacrifice in the cult of the emperors. Faith, ultimately, is an individual decision, and it requires a loyalty above every other.

 PRAYER

Gracious God, help me honor parents and children and relatives in real and concrete ways, by acts of support and kindness. Help me also to have a primary loyalty to you that orders and shapes all my other relationships. Do not let other obligations inhibit my growth in Christ. Where I must choose, grant me courage. Amen.

 

Posted by David Joynt with
Tags: faith, loyalty

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