2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. 4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ 5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:2-7, 37-39 (New International Version)
The Most Important Thing
What is it that people consider as the most important thing in their lives? For some people, it’s family; others say it’s their careers; and still other people value wealth and fame more than anything else. All these things are legitimate things to value, but is there something that we ought to value above even these?
In Jesus’s parable in Matthew 22, we are told about a king who gave out invitations for his son’s wedding banquet. Everything was ready and all that was left to do was for the guests to come. Unfortunately, those who were invited ignored the summons. They even went as far as persecuting and killing the king’s messengers! When the king heard of this, he ordered that those would-be be executed.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if I received an invitation from a king, I would drop what I was doing and go to the banquet. Why did those who were invited treated the invitation so lightly? It was because they didn’t value the invitation as they should have; as Jesus explained in His parable, instead of going to the banquet, they went back to their fields or their businesses.
God Must Be First
As faith followers in Christ, we must be careful in what we value the most. Our Heavenly Father must the most important person in our lives. That is because without Him, we would not have grace, nor would we saved by the judgement that is coming for all sinners. We indeed owe a lot to the Lord, and so we should give Him the value He deserves.
Devoted to God?
Therefore, the Lord must be first in our lives; all other things must be secondary. With that in mind, we need to examine ourselves and see where we are devoting all our energy and resources. After we have done so, we need to ask ourselves this question: Am I loving the Lord with all my heart, mind, body, soul, and strength?
Getting Rid of Distractions
If the answer is no, then we must determine what it is that is distracting us from doing so. This could be anything from a simple hobby that has consumed unhealthy amounts of time, to a relationship that is toxic to our faith. If we value and love the Lord with all our being, then we must get rid of those things that hold us back.
Beware of Spiritual Parasites
This can be a very painful process because we are so used to these distractions that they feel like a natural part of us. That’s how spiritual parasites work, they feed into our likes and make us feel that we need them, when in reality, they’re draining us spiritually. We must seek the Lord in prayer as we begin the process of removing these parasites from our souls; and He will give us the strength to remove them.
An Important Command
The Lord has given us a command, ‘To Love Him with all that we are.’ How do we prove that we love Him? The answer is found in the second command the Lord gave to us, ‘Love your neighbor as you would yourself.’ This is a command of God and therefore must be taken seriously. Let us therefore obey His commands and let nothing distract us from doing so, for they are from the most important Person of all.