Family Worship Guides April 3-8

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 Day 1

Theme
There are no good excuses for skipping out on God's banquet.

Scripture
Luke 14:17-21, "But they all alike began to make excuses...Then the master of the house became angry"

Discussion
In Jesus's parable, none of the invitees to the banquet would attend; they all had an excuse. Some excuses might seem reasonable, but Matthew's account of this same parable describes the host as a king throwing a banquet for the marriage of his son. To not attend would be offensive, traitorous, and punishable. Jesus was making the point that this is exactly what had happened in God's kingdom. The Bridegroom (Jesus) had arrived for his Bride (His People); but many were not attending the party as a result of their selfish motivations and ulterior agendas. 

For Parents
Talk with your child about the difference between our desires and God's desire. This is a useful opportunity to make clear that our sin separates us from God which causes us to have bad motives and make poor decisions. How does God want you to act toward your siblings/friends/family? Do you make excuses instead of doing the right thing? How do you know what God wants for you? Obeying God means that you get to know Him through learning the Bible and trust Him to change your sinful heart.

Prayer
Father, forgive us for making excuses for our sin and disobedience. Please change our hearts, so that we are not like the invited guests who were too busy with their own lives to celebrate their king. Write Your word on our hearts, so that we would know You and be changed. Make us more like Jesus. God, we desire to sit at Your table and feast in Your Kingdom!

Song
"King Of Everything"
Austin Stone Worship

 

Day 2

Theme
There's only one exclusion for who can come into God's banquet.

Scripture
Luke 14:24, "For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet."

Discussion
In verse 24, Jesus states that those who rejected the invitation will not taste his banquet. In the parable, these people were replaced with the poor, the sick, and lame. These people did not gain entrance to the feast because they were low in society, but simply because they accepted the host's invitation. Another Gospel's account of this parable explains that the host of the banquet provided dress clothes for his poor guests, so that they were worthy to sit at his table and dine. Likewise, we must be clothed in perfection to enter God's kingdom, and Jesus has provided a perfect covering for our unworthiness. The Gospel does not call you to clean yourself up, then come to God. Instead, it demonstrates that it is the Lord who covers our uncleanliness with Christ's righteousness.

For Parents
Discuss God's holiness with your children. God is perfectly good, and fully just. He is perfect. In what ways are you not perfect? Do you make mistakes? Disobey? Are you mean or selfish sometimes? Even though we are not perfect, Jesus is, and he covers us with his perfection like a robe so that we can join him in God's perfect Kingdom.

Prayer
God, we have nothing to offer you. We are sinners, and we need to be perfect to be with You in heaven. Thank you, Father, for sending Jesus to live a perfect life so that we could be covered by his perfection. Bring us into your Kingdom, God. We want to feast with You!

Song
"Center My Life"
Austin Stone Worship

 

Day 3 

Theme
The invitation extends to those far away to come to God's banquet.

Scripture
Luke 14:23, "...Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled."

Discussion
The language in Verse 23 of going to the "highways and hedges" is a clear allegory to Gentiles- those outside of Jerusalem and Israel. This was a warning to the religious authorities and all of Israel that their place in the Kingdom was not secure by virtue of their heritage alone. The table is open to all- Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, male and female, empowered and marginalized. God's Kingdom is open to any who would have faith in Jesus to cover their sins and make them worthy to enter. It is a holy Kingdom made up of all tribes and nations.

For Parents
What a wonderful opportunity to convey God's love- that He would make room at His table even for those who are not a part of His "people!" If your child is adopted or understands the concept of adoption, tie God's love to that concept. While we were far from God and did not know Him because of our sin, He sought us out and found us, adopting us into His kingdom and His family through Jesus.

Prayer
God, thank you for bringing us into Your family as your sons and daughters. Forgive us when we sin and act like we are lost, and shape our hearts to be more obedient and thankful to You. Help us to love one another like we love our family, and to help others come to know you as a good Father.

Song
"Good Good Father"
Chris Tomlin

 

Day 4

Theme
There must be an earnest effort to get people to God's banquet.

Scripture
Luke 14:23, "...Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled."

Discussion
Verse 23's use of the word "compel" conveys forcefulness and earnestness. We must dynamically, creatively, convincingly, energetically, and with full conviction compel all people to come to the feast of God's Kingdom. It is a simple matter of obedience. Be suspicious of your tendency to make excuses for your failures in this area. Rather than making excuses, ask God to help you obey His command. Our obedience to this passage will be measured by how fervently we bring the Gospel to anyone and everyone around us- earnestly hoping that they will accept the invitation to God's Kingdom.

For Parents
Start sowing seeds of evangelism in your Child's heart today. Ask them questions that will cause them to share the Gospel with you: Where does your joy come from? Who is Lord of your life? Why did God send Jesus into the world?

Prayer
Father, change our hearts so that we would become obedient in making the real Jesus known across Birmingham. Forgive our disobedience, and strengthen us to share our faith with those around us day to day. God, we want you to be glorified by our lives and the lives of more and more others.

Song
"Tell The World"
Austin Stone Worship