In the last post, I highlighted some key points from one of Dr. Evans’ sermon series titled #Second: Rekindling a Heart for Others—Ministering to the Least. In this one, I’ll continue with another key passage he outlined…
The Ideal Dinner Party
Once Jesus was invited to eat with some of the Pharisees (the big religious leaders at that time). As they were keeping a close eye on Him, Jesus took note of their own actions. He had some particular advice about the way they were conducting themselves that we can take away as well…
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Jesus is not saying, don’t have a dinner party with your friends and family. He’s saying, don’t have a dinner party with your friends and family—and expect a Heavenly reward from it. That’s your “comfortable crew” as Dr. Evans puts it.
The kind of situation that God really takes note of is when you invite people who are in a tough situation where they can’t even invite you back. They might be those who you would otherwise not want to associate with in the first place. They could be people who truly need your friendship or hospitality, even though they offer nothing of value to you in exchange.
In other words, it’s not a good idea to only associate with those in your “comfortable crew” or those who reward you on Earth by repaying the favor.
The Forgotten Missionary
Henry Morrison was a missionary in Africa. He devoted over forty years of his life doing the Lord’s work, until he finally decided to return to America and retire.
During the return trip with his wife, they found themselves on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt—who was gloriously welcomed back to shore from his recent hunting excursion by a large crowd holding banners and signs and shouting praises. As one of the last to disembark, Morrison received less than a celebratory parade in comparison. In fact, there was no one who recognized the efforts of such a man returning from such an important ministry. Not a single handshake, smile or nod was given.
According to the reports, this affected him so much that in the weeks ahead, he began to sink into a depression. His wife tried to console him, but to no avail. To Morrison, that moment seemed like all there was. And that no one cared much, despite him serving the Lord faithfully for all these years.
“This is wrong, God. The President comes back from a hunting party and everyone throws a party. We have spent forty years in missionary service and no one seems to care.”
Then, in the quietness of that moment, Henry heard a small voice speak as the Holy Spirit hit him with an epiphany…
“But, my son. You are not home yet.”
The words reminded him of his Heavenly reward. One could only imagine that when Morrison finally met that day, there could have been thousands of people applauding, whose lives had been touched directly from his ministry. And behind that could’ve been thousands more applauding, whose lives had been touched by the people he had touched.
“You may not get all of the applause you deserve right now. But if you touch lives, for good, in His name, without expecting a repay, He records it and there will be a welcoming committee for you on that day. “
If we demand the recognition for our services now in history, that will be the only reward. So therefore, Dr. Evans encourages us to expect and demand nothing, knowing that our true payday will arrive in eternity. Some of us may get small glimpses of it now, but the majority of it will come later, provided you use your life in a visible way for God to take note of.
Good luck and godspeed my friends. Today is a great day to make a difference.