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A ROYAL WEDDING POINTS TO A DEEPER LOVE STORY

In the midst of hard times, England and the world celebrated a royal wedding. People camped out for days, Americans got up early — and the news is everywhere.

Why?

Because every love story points to a deeper love story, the love story for which we were made. Our hearts are stirred because this earthly story taps into the music that began before the dawn of time, the music God put in our hearts.

In Jesus’ culture, a wedding feast lasted for days, and the wedding feast for a king’s son might last for weeks. Thousands of people would be invited and the preparations and expense would be akin, in that culture, to the wedding of Kate and William in ours.

But all these point in a dim way to the ultimate Royal Wedding. Jesus tells about it in Matthew 22. We are going to continue our study on overcoming idolatry, but I want us to see that it isn’t just saying no to our idols, but yes to the One who rejoices over us as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. I want to take you through this fascinating story that Jesus tells and have us help one another find strength in God. We will officially begin the new chapter of our idolatry study next week, but this week’s lesson is singing a similar song. God asks us to remain pure, so that we can be presented as a pure virgin to Christ. Idolatry is infidelity – and we must turn from it.

 

SPECIAL REQUEST FROM DEE

I have another request of each of you regular bloggers as we begin this new chapter of our study next week. I’m going to feature one regular blogger each week on a “Getting To Know You Section.” If you are willing, I’d like you to each send to me, via comments@deebrestin.com, three things:

1. A picture of yourself, and/or you and your family

2. In 150 words or less, a few sentences describing your passion, your family, when and how you came to Christ, your ministry – whatever will help us know YOU.

3. If possible, in 100 words or less, one specific example from your life on how this study on idolatry is changing you.

BIBLE STUDY: MATTHEW 22:1-14

OPENING REFLECTIONS

1. If you watched the wedding of Kate and William, what thoughts did you have?

2. What spiritual parallels do you see? (The Gospel Coalition blog made one – but there are several possibilities – you may see more after the study.)

 

wedding_feast

THE INVITATION: Matthew 22:1-10

3. Read Matthew 22:1-10 and describe what happens.

 

4.     Paul tells us that the Gospel went first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. What does Matthew 22:3 tell us about the response of those first invited?

5.     God sent prophets to warn them. How, according to Matthew 22:4-6, did they respond to those prophets?

6.     How did God respond to this according to verse 7?

7.     What did God tell the servants to do next according to verses 8-9?

8.     D. A. Carson believes that this parable alludes to Isaiah 25:6-9. Describe that wedding banquet.

9.     How have you responded to this invitation and what hope does it give you?

THE WEDDING GARMENT

Historically, at a royal wedding in Scripture, not just the bride, but every guest was given a garment – fine linen, white and clean.

10. Read Matthew 22:11-13 and describe what happens.

11. Based on what happens to this guest, what do you think the white wedding garment represents? Why?

12.  Another passage that talks about the wedding garment is Revelation 19:7-8, where the wedding garment is described as “the righteous deeds of the saints.” Calvin says: We do not need to debate about whether the garment refers to salvation or good works, for if you have salvation, you will produce righteous deeds. Thoughts?

13.  A white wedding garment also represents purity, the purity we receive from Christ, and the purity that occurs as we walk, every day in repentance. How is this thought impacting you at this time in your life? How can we pray for you in regard to this?

MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN

14.  How does Jesus close this parable in Matthew 22:14?

For many, election is a difficult a doctrine. Like our discussion on hell a few weeks back, it can be upsetting when you think about people you love. The best messages I have heard on this are Keller’s, but you have to purchase them for 2.50 each. They are “Love Before The World I” and “Love Before the World II” and they are on Ephesians. Here’s the link: http://sermons.redeemer.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=17573&ParentCat=6

15.  If you do listen to the above, what thoughts persuaded Keller on the doctrine of election?

16.  When a doctrine is difficult, what do you think is the best response for a child of God?

17.  What is your take-away this week?

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143 comments

  1. Dee, I was wondering what you thought of the wedding. I watched on video’s bits and pieces. Looking forward to this week!!

  2. Good morning everyone,
    I just finished reading and catching up with the last post; my husband and son arrived home safely last evening. They both really liked University of Oklahoma and Tulsa second; said Texas A&M didn’t have a good feeling about it; very overwhelming in size.
    Just wanted to share my take away from last week; I, too, liked Keller’s view on the two kinds of Israelites who walked on dry land through the Red Sea: the ones who were like, “this is cool!”, and the ones who were thinking, “I’m going to die!”
    I never had thought of that before, that some of them must have been very much afraid. I get scared alot about things. I needed to be reminded that its the object of my faith, Jesus, who holds me secure.
    Praying for you all this morning – thank you for such deep sharing, Anne and Joyce.

      1. I thought of that too….your prayer for God’s leading! My husband said it just felt like a dark cloud hung over the campus in Texas – is just didn’t have the right feel to them.

  3. This is random but posting for anyone interested in the devastation here from tornadoes last week. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6Se3es3l7o&feature=youtu.be They did a great job and it is done to a great song. As you can see there is still need for major prayer, massive clean up and rebuild. Also pray for the children who went through this along with families. May they be able to trust in HIM. It is in Ringgold GA which is 30 min from our home. My friend I spoke of who lost everything was a church with her whole family. God has provided so much so far.

    About the royal wedding I will tell you I am so interested in all those hats they wore. It was just like a more extravagant Easter service at some churches. Now I want to get a pretty hat. 🙂 I loved how they did not censor the name of Jesus. Also how Romans 12 was read on live TV and replays and was not censored. God’s word does not return void. So that was exciting to me! Loved the beauty of the bride and the excitement of the groom. There are many spiritual parellels but I will do those after a bit. Along with the study. Love you all!

    Glad Susan your fam is home safely and sounds like a decision made, huh? Yeah!

    Looking forward to others thoughts as well.

    1. I like that song, Angela – I visited my friend’s church once and we sang that song God of this City – it’s a great praise song. The devastation is overwhelming in that video.

      1. That is a beautiful perspective Angela and Dee–I hadn’t thought about the millions who watched and heard Scripture like that–thank you! I had seen it all as frivolous and somewhat superficial…but now I’m humbled.
        Lord, I pray that those who heard Your word, who may have only been watching for all the fun and extravagance, that their hearts would be pierced for You…as Dee said Lord, we know Your word does not return empty.
        That’s an exciting thought–thanks for opening my perspective up 🙂

  4. I think the Redeemer site is down. I can’t get to the sermons.

    1. If you watched the wedding of Kate and William, what thoughts did you have? I watched at work in bits and pieces. My thoughts were scattered to say the least. One thought I did have was, how such a diverse group of people were drawn to the screen. The television was in the hallway where one could only stand to watch so one had to be drawn to watch for very long, and a lot of people were. Everyone had their comments to add. Many were enthralled and some wondered what the entire hubbub was about. Many remembered the marriage of Charles and Diana and made comparisons. I think that personally I was most impressed with the beauty of the bride and how weddings make every bride beautiful. Her dress was simple and her hair was down. She was relatively unadorned. I remember being surprised at how well my wedding pictures turned out (I am far from beautiful and yet looked well) and thinking that it was God’s favor on us. That was when I had my first clue about how God loves weddings.

    2. What spiritual parallels do you see? (The Gospel Coalition blog made one – but there are several possibilities – you may see more after the study.) The parallel that I see, I am not sure of because I don’t know much about the whole affair, only know what I heard people say at the time. Kate was a commoner and therefore unfit to marry a prince, but the Queen bestowed a title on her making her fit for the marriage. This is our state exactly. We are not fit for Marriage to the Lord Jesus Christ but He made a way. He cleansed us Himself and made us fit.

    1. Anne, Yes, that is a great parallel!

    2. love that parallel Anne!

    3. Me too!

  5. This is a song I am thinking of singing at church. It ties into our study as well as what i learned this morning in Philippians in our Bible Study class.

    The Philippians were looking at Paul’s difficult circumstances thinking he wasn’t a ‘successful’ Christian because things were hard, he was imprisoned and it looked bad for Paul..They were running to their comfort God to give themselves immediate relief of the fear, the pain and were giving up sharing the Gospel..Paul ran to Jesus in the midst of pain, and dire circumstances as a result while in Prison he sang praises to God and many saw and were saved. Paul was trying to show the Philippians that trying circumstances/trials can be used as a tool or opportunity to share about Jesus. This reminds me of Dee-how she chronicled both sides so well in her book “The God of All Comfort.” I can be like the Philistines and lately God has helped me to respond like Paul running to Him in the midst of bad circumstances.

    We also talked about being faithful to be in the word and that is how God sheds light on our lies and then we see the truth and He changes our thinking and our hearts. I actually mentioned Dee’s book in class and how God worked through her pain as she looked to Psalms Hymns and Spiritual songs to bring glory to Himself.

    Anyway, here is the song..Hey, maybe I could consider this to make a video with! I love the way Bethany Dillon sings this in the acoustic style:

    http://youtu.be/UY5_jMdELnw

    “Hallelujah”

    Who can hold the stars
    And my weary heart?
    Who can see everything?

    I’ve fallen so hard
    Sometimes I feel so far
    But not beyond your reach

    I could climb a mountain
    Swim the ocean
    Or do anything
    But it’s when you hold me
    That I start unfolding
    And all I can say is

    Hallelujah, hallelujah
    Whatever’s in front of me
    Help me to sing hallelujah
    Hallelujah, hallelujah
    Whatever’s in front of me
    I’ll choose to sing hallelujah

    The same sun that
    Rises over castles
    And welcomes the day

    Spills over buildings
    Into the streets
    Where orphans play

    And only you can see the good
    In broken things
    You took my heart of stone
    And you made it home
    And set this prisoner free

    Hallelujah, hallelujah
    Whatever’s in front of me
    Help me to sing hallelujah
    Hallelujah, hallelujah
    Whatever’s in front of me
    I’ll choose to sing hallelujah

        1. Dee, Sure, I will see what I can do. 🙂

        2. Dee, I can see there are a few versions of come ye sinners, looks like a good possibility too!

      1. Dee, I want to hold that quote in mine too..Perhaps as our study progresses it will go even deeper..God is doing amazing things.

        1. oh Come Ye Sinners is one of my all time favorites! Our church does a very simple acoustical style–I cry every time! Can’t wait to hear you Rebecca!

    1. What a beautiful song, Rebecca! It would be wonderful for you to sing it for us!
      I love the part that says, “But it’s when You hold me that I start unfolding”. That image just moves me; holding tightly to my idols, but God holding me and my fingers begin to unfold to let them go. My hardened heart, even my posture curled-up and stiff, but God’s love and holding and my heart softens, my body relaxes. I don’t know, the word picture of unfolding gives me alot to ponder.

      1. Susan, that word picture is a REALLY good picture to embrace on that part of the song!

    2. Amazing lyrics!

  6. BIBLE STUDY: MATTHEW 22:1-14 OPENING REFLECTIONS
    1. I did not watch it, though most of my friends did—I’m not sure why I wasn’t interested—I am a romantic type and love my own wedding, I just have a hard time getting into all the extravagance. I sound cynical—I don’t mean it that way—just wasn’t into it for some reason!

    2. What spiritual parallels do you see?
    There was actually one piece I saw on the news that showed Kate being driven to the ceremony, wearing a tiara. They were talking about the controversy over whether she should have worn one yet, since she wasn’t of Royal blood, and that perhaps she should have waited to wear it out of the ceremony.
    Reading these verses in Matthew, I see a parallel between the tiara and the guests being required to dress appropriately. Kate dressed as who she knew she was already in William’s eyes—a princess. She had accepted in faith the standing she had already been given. As wedding guests, we should be dressed in who we are already in Christ. (Not sure if my words are making sense—I do have it in my head!)

    3. Read Matthew 22:1-10 and describe what happens.
    Jesus shares a parable about a King who has prepared a wedding banquet for his son. The King sent invitations out but those invited refused to come. He then sent his servants out a second time to the invitees to tell them the banquet would be grand and was all prepared. One went to his field, another to his business, and the remaining abused the servants. The King was outraged and destroyed them and their city.
    The King said those invited did not deserve to come and he sent more servants out to invite anyone on the streets.

    1. I think you and I are the only ones who did not watch it:) I didn’t even know it was going on:) and had no idea what the names of the bride and groom where LOL all my friends at woman of faith were laughing at me because i said, “oh is that prince Henry getting married:) the first time I saw the dress was on this blog:)

      1. #3 who didn’t watch the wedding 🙂 Have to find it online. I get 3 public TV stations, nothing else, but it may have been on one of them.

        Sorry I can’t keep up here right now (end of semester & summer school starts next week. Now all we need is the end of winter! But I’d rather have cold than tornado. Praying for all who were impacted by them)

  7. 1. I watched it via video clips so I didn’t see the whole thing. I wanted to see her dress and then William’s face as he saw her.

    It was beautiful and different than what I am used to seeing in weddings. William didn’t watch as she walked down the isle, he had his back to her. I liked the little children as the brides maids and the groomsmen, it put the focus on the bride and groom. It was neat to have Harry be his Best man and Kate’s sister is just as stunning as she is. (Cyndi, is it Harry or Henry? lol! Now I am confused after reading yours. haha!)

    2. My favorite part of weddings is when the groom looks at her. I always want to see his face. I will have to say it was awesome seeing William look over at her and tell her she looked beautiful. I can just imagine how Jesus will look at us..oh so much better!

    The spiritual parallel I saw was how all of them were invited by the King as in our passage in Matthew. I think Elizabeth did a great job of drawing parallels so I am with her. I am sure there are more, but I can’t think of them now.

  8. THE INVITATION: Matthew 22:1-10

    3. Read Matthew 22:1-10 and describe what happens.

    Jesus was speaking in a parable and gave the wedding banquet as an example of the Kingdom of Heaven. The King prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent servants to tell those invited to come but they refused to come, some ignored him and went on their business, the rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The King was mad so he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burned their city. The King said those who were invited and refused didn’t deserve to come so he had his servants go out and invite anyone they saw on the streets. So the servants did that and the wedding hall was full.

    4. Paul tells us that the Gospel went first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. What does Matthew 22:3 tell us about the response of those first invited?

    The first ones invited refused.

    5. God sent prophets to warn them. How, according to Matthew 22:4-6, did they respond to those prophets?

    * Some ignored them and went back to their business and the rest tortured and killed them.

    6. How did God respond to this according to verse 7?

    * God was mad and sent his armies to destroy them and set their cities on fire.

    7. What did God tell the servants to do next according to verses 8-9?

    * He told them the wedding is ready but those who were invited were not worthy and to go and find anyone on the main highways and invite them to the wedding feast.

    8. D. A. Carson believes that this parable alludes to Isaiah 25:6-9. Describe that wedding banquet.

    * God will prepare a lavish banquet on this mountain and on the mountain He will swallow up the covering that is over all peoples, even the veil over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time. God will wipe tears off of faces and will remove the reproach of His people from all the Earth and it will be said in that day that this is the Lord whom we have waited for that He might save us, let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.

    9. How have you responded to this invitation and what hope does it give you? I have said yes! The hope it gives me is that I will get to see my redeemer, my prince face to face and I won’t have to struggle with sin, with pain, with temptations, with my idols anymore!!

  9. 4. They refused to come.

    5.One went to his field, another to his business, and the remaining abused the servants.
    6. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
    7. Go out and invite anyone you find.
    8. …Isaiah 25:6-9. Describe that wedding banquet:
    A rich feast for all of the best wine and meat, on top of a mountain. Death will be destroyed, He will wipe our tears from our faces. He will remove our disgrace and we will praise Him as our God. We will rejoice and be glad! I imagine the sun shining down upon our cheeks and shoulders, a gentle breeze that smells like wisteria…and a stream that runs below…I imagine Rebecca singing—and me sounding like her! 😉

    9.This morning in church, before reading this lesson, I was suddenly overcome with tears. Our pastor was talking about the Covenant, and I was so struck anew with humility—that we are chosen. No merit of my own, all by grace, so freely given, so underserved. But I say YES, Lord! To imagine the mountaintop wedding, where He wipes my tears from my face…it is almost too much to take in, but I cannot bear not to.

    10. The King notices a man who is not dressed appropriately and he questions him as to why. The man doesn’t answer so the King has him tied up and thrown out.

    11. Maybe the white garments represent a proper sense of the purity we have received by being invited by the King. We are, because of Him, fit to wear white—presented pure and blameless in His sight.

      1. Oh Dee, you are gracious, but I am hoping I sound more like Barbara Streisand! 😉

        I sometimes wonder when we make music in heaven what it will sound like. I am sure perhaps a bit like it is here but a million times better, maybe even sounds we have never heard.

        Sometimes in church when everyone is singing I stop and listen and almost want to cry just hearing everyone together praising Him. I am sure that is just a small taste.

    1. Oh my Elizabeth..Amen to what Dee said. I loved this: “it is almost too much to take in, but I cannot bear not to.”

  10. BIBLE STUDY MATTHEW 22:1-14

    OPENING REFLECTIONS

    1. If you watched the wedding of Kate and William, what thoughts did you have?

    I admit it – I didn’t watch it either! I saw a few clips on the news and online. My daughter said most of her school friends got up extra early to watch it. I’m happy for them, but I guess my attitude is it doesn’t affect my daily life, and I’m not much of a TV watcher, so I didn’t make time to watch it.

    2. What spiritual parallels do you see?

    Jesus used the example of a great wedding feast and called Himself the Bridegroom when He was describing heaven. Paul, in Ephesians 5, talks about husbands and wives and how one day, the church will be presented to Jesus as a bride, pure and spotless, holy and blameless.
    I see the parallels in the bride’s spotless white dress and having taken the time to prepare herself beautifully for her bridegroom.
    Another one is that no one without an invitation gets in to the wedding – you’ve got to be on the guest list.
    I had read that Kate, being a commoner and not of royal blood, had to have a special title bestowed on her by the queen. Jesus, the King, is “royal blood”, but we are “commoners”, not qualified to be His bride! When we receive Him as our Lord and Savior, we are given a righteous standing that makes us qualified!

    THE INVITATION MATTHEW 22:1-10

    3. Read Matthew 22:1-10 and describe what happens.

    A king makes great preparations to give his son a wedding feast and sends his slaves out to get those who have been invited. But, amazingly, the invited guests don’t want to come; they show no interest. Some, in fact, seize the king’s slaves and kill them. The angry king sends his armies to kill the murderers and burn down their city. Then the king says to invite any and all people his slaves can find, both the good and the evil; and they came to the feast.

    4. Paul tells us that the Gospel went first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. What does Matthew 22:3 tell us about the response of those first invited?

    They were not willing to come.

    5. God sent prophets to warn them. How, according to Matthew 22:4-6, did they respond to those prophets?

    Some paid no attention to the prophets. Others mistreated them and killed them.

    6. How did God respond to this according to verse 7?

    God was “enraged” and handed them over to their enemies and their cities were destroyed.

    7. What did God tell the servants to do next according to verses 8-9?

    He tells His servants that the first group proved unworthy to attend the feast, so He sent his servants out a second time to invite all the people they could find.

    8. D.A. Carson believes that this parable alludes to Isaiah 25:6-9. Describe that wedding banquet.

    The Lord has prepared a lavish banquet for ALL PEOPLES.
    I found this interesting in verse 7:

    “And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations”.
    The cross reference for “covering” is 2 Corinthians 3:15-16 which says, “But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” And also Ephesians 4:18, “being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their hearts.”

    I believe this is a picture of believers in heaven at the Lord’s banquet – it goes on to say death is no more, the Lord wipes away all our tears, and we will rejoice in His salvation.

    I’m not sure if verse 7 means that the knowledge of God will no longer be “veiled” – knowledge of Him will fill the whole earth? Surely the believers, having turned to God, had that veil removed.
    Oh Tammy – you are our resident Bible scholar! Do you have any insights?

    9. How have you responded to this invitation and what hope does it give you?

    I want to come! I’ve put my faith in Jesus to get me to the wedding banquet because without Him, I would never make it. I love the verse in Jude 1:24: Jesus is able to keep me from stumbling, and to make me stand in the presence of His glory blameless and with great joy! I think He must make me stand because before the Throne of God, in awe and reverence I would be on the floor!

    1. That’s a great parallel on the special title Kate was given–I had not heard about that!

  11. 3-11 God invited his friends to his party… He invited the Jews who he had chosen. they were all to busy doing their own thing to care. He sent more people out to invite them AGAIN but they once again ignored them….or if they were really prideful KILLED them.

    profits are not popular people. God HATES it when we don’t listen to His word or honor His Son and His wrath is manifested in the vs. 7

    Then He goes and invites EVERYONE, thank goodness or most of us would not be on the invitation list! and they come, most covered but one who slipped in without the right clothes (Jesus blood) and then He was kicked out. Many are invited but few are chosen…..We are all invited, many just ignore the invitation. and some come in the clothes of their “good works” and are kicked out. All who come under Jesus are welcome. It does not matter how dirty we are when we come, if we come in HIM he puts us in our clean white robe and we are perfect in the eyes of God.

    I love this because it reminds me that I do not have to get all dressed up to come to His party, He gives me the beautiful perfect garment at the door. Jesus blood is all I need.

    Isaiah 25 reminds me that the power of the law has been destroyed and death has lost it’s hold on Gods people! you can not buy a ticket to this banquet, you can not wear your own clothes, you must except the ticket from Jesus and wear his blood to get it. Jesus death paid for us all.

    What breaks my heart is that there are enough tickets for everyone, but only some will except them! Jesus shed enough blood for EVERY one but only a few will wear the garment made out of it.

    I believe God sees, now, yesterday and forever so He ultimately knows who will except Him and who will not because He sees it in the future but I do not believe that He has picked people out and said, nope, not for them…that goes against EVERYTHING He is. His blood paid for every sin ever committed by every person who has and ever will live. Its up to us to take the gift. but He does not withhold that gift from ANYONE they choose not to take it.

    We have free will….if he picked people out to choose Him that would mean that we do not have free will anymore, and think about it, if He did do that…….He would choose ALL of His children not just some of them….and then free will would be gone.

    I think this is misunderstood, I will never believe that if God did choose who got in and who did not that He would choose ALL of his children….

    I have studied this a lot on both ends because I have gone to many different denominations who teach it very differently. church of Christ, assembly of God, missionary alliance, Methodist, united church of Christ:):):) many different views so I have had to did deep to see what I think the Bible says. and When I studied this I came to the conclusion that what is being pointed out in these vs. is that HE KNOWS but He does not CONTROL. If he did,,,,, the God I know would turn all hearts to Him and we would live in a perfect world.

    Even in this parable ALL were invited. the servants went out into the streets and invited EVERYONE. some came, some did not, some put on the garment(Jesus blood) and some will not but ALL were given an invitation and a garment.

    Can you tell this puts a bee in my bonnet:) hope i did not come across to prideful, I just can not in a million years ever believe that God tells some before they were born that they will not get into his kingdom, He would not bother making them if this were the case.

    1. Cyndi, I am just reading this. It must have come up while I was working. I love your responses because you take it right down to where we are in real life. I never understood the doctrine of election either. In my small group we have spent hours on it. I thought the Keller sermons that Dee recommended were helpful. I know that God is sovereign over the human heart. He controls the desires but not the choices. We would never desire Him if He did not inspire us. The thing that helps me accept it is that I believe that very often people are elected by our prayers. My parents are case in point to me. Both saved days before their deaths. The thing so cool about that is that years prior to that God had asked me what was the desire of my heart and the answer came in the moment, my parents salvation. Later I second guessed my answer but I think the whole question and answer were of the Spirit of God. So we pray, and we evangelize, and we work because He desires that all should come.

  12. Are we to be thankful they killed Bin Laden, when we are christians ? Everyone is celebrating his death, but honestly I don’t feel right about celebrating anyones death, no matter what they have done. What if he turned his life around and accepted Christ as his savior? Probly not, but just saying? I don’t believe it is our say to have a death sentance. Just wondered your idea’s, as I don’t know how to react to people so happy about killing him??

    Jana, my firend in Tuscaloosa, AL says on her phone…no longer in service. Does anyone know what else I could do to find out if they are okay?

    1. Joyce, I totally understand. Not sure who you are asking but I thought i might help. 🙂 This topic is really hard and there are godly, loving people on both sides of the isle and both have used scripture to back up their side-at least that is what I have seen among my Facebook friends. My initial thought would be to listen and show them love and grace which you are REALLY good at doing anyway! Perhaps not even saying what you think? Not sure, I could be wrong but I hope somehow this might help. 🙂

    2. Joyce
      God tells us in Ezekiel 33:11 that he has no pleasure in the death of the wicked so I will say God would not have his people celebrating death. I fear that as a nation we are beginning to exhibit a really arrogant attitude and arrogance always gets one in trouble for an arrogant person tends to forget God.

      1. It didn’t strike me as that appropriate to celebrate death, either. Justice has been served, but to me celebrating is a different thing.

      2. So well said Tammy.
        Joyce, I felt exactly as you did. It is a somber thing to me, every aspect of it–there is so much pain and loss surrounding the entire issue that I find it hard to see celebrating as appropriate. We actually heard fireworks in the neighborhood at the time it was announced–just didn’t seem right.

  13. 12. I think that because of our salvation, the radiance that shines in Christ, through us. And any righteous deeds, are only because of Him in us.

    13.Since starting here with Dee in January, I am finally seeing that the purity I long for, only comes from removing my own clothes (repentance) and trusting Him to clothe me. And yes, I get very dirty every minute, but to continually allow Him to cleanse be and again make me clean and pure—and maybe—the white dress is always there, beneath…I just muddy it and need His washing.

    I was struck by the verse “and his bride has made herself ready”. When I remember back to my own wedding day, and the preparation, the moments just before…I remember praying that God would make me as beautiful as He created me to be. I knew all my physical imperfections, and asked Him to make me “as pretty as possible”. It was at that moment, all about the outside though. When I think if THIS wedding banquet in Revelation, there is this huge sigh of relief. There is no pressure, no anxiety, no concern of how I will look. I am His, and He promises that His glory will shine through me. So back to Calvin,

    MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN
    14-15–I plan to listen tonight!

    16. When a doctrine is difficult, what do you think is the best response for a child of God?
    FAITH—we cannot understand all His ways
    TRUST—rely on what I do know about His character, He is fair and just, worthy of trust
    GRACE—towards those who disagree with or struggle with the doctrine—this part is usually hard for me, I tend to be very black and white and believe it because He said it…I need to have grace with those who process differently, and realize they are not weaker in faith because of it.

  14. 1. I am an American by birth but a royalist at heart-might be because the blood of Englishmen flow through my veins. Anyway, I DVRed the wedding and have yet to watch from beginning to end but I viewed the highlights and I thought it was a beautiful wedding. You could definitely tell they really love each other. I too thought it was odd that William did not look at his bride coming down the aisle. Found out later that the prayer read at the close of the sermon was written by William and Kate. I thought for a royal wedding the decor was really simple but elegant. The BBC estimated that 2 billion watched the wedding and how like God to use this occasion to share the gospel message.
    I have been to London and strolled the front grounds of Kensington Palace. The gates were not in place in 1984. I think earthly royalty is a precursor to our heavenly reign. God has always set up kings and queens for his purposes and one day we may sit on thrones in the heavenly kingdom. I’ll tell ya one more thought I had. All the splendor of Buckingham Palace is nothing compared to what God has prepared for us.

    2. My thought is this:my heavenly king became a commoner so I could become heavenly royalty. Total opposite of world’s thinking. I also thought if I never marry again on this earth I one day will be a bride fetched by her heavenly bridegroom AND THEN I WILL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. We all will get a custom made fabulous tiara.

    1. I love what you said in the 2nd part! Such a neat way to look at what Christ did on our behalf!

        1. Yes, that is a profound thought Tracy! Amen!

        2. And I love the part about the tiara. It made me smile. 🙂

  15. OPENING REFLECTIONS

    1. If you watched the wedding of Kate and William, what thoughts did you have?

    I didn’t watch much, just the news recaps. But I did notice how extravagant a celebration, how well planned, how symbolic everything was. It was steeped in tradition.

    2. What spiritual parallels do you see? (The Gospel Coalition blog made one – but there are several possibilities – you may see more after the study.)

    What comes to mind is how Kate transformed from being a commoner to a Duchess… like how we are transformed from unsaved souls to children of God (royal, indeed!)

    THE INVITATION: Matthew 22:1-10

    3. Read Matthew 22:1-10 and describe what happens.

     A king has prepared a wedding feast but the people who were invited showed no interest.  This made the king very angry, so he invited everyone – strangers — to partake in his celebration.

    4.     Paul tells us that the Gospel went first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. What does Matthew 22:3 tell us about the response of those first invited?

    They refused the invitation!

    5.     God sent prophets to warn them. How, according to Matthew 22:4-6, did they respond to those prophets?

    They killed the prophets.

    6.     How did God respond to this according to verse 7?

    The king killed them and burned their city.

    7.     What did God tell the servants to do next according to verses 8-9?

    He told his servants to invite strangers to the wedding feast. Those who were never invited in the beginning.

    8.     D. A. Carson believes that this parable alludes to Isaiah 25:6-9. Describe that wedding banquet.

    This passage describes the time when God will swallow up death and wipe away both tears and disgrace from His people. It is the picture of ultimate, final redemption.

    9.     How have you responded to this invitation and what hope does it give you?

    I have responded, starting when I was 14 years old, and it has changed my life. I know this life isn’t all there is, we have hope in Heaven and all things beyond life.  And I have Jesus, a forever love, forever family of God, forever safe in His arms.

    THE WEDDING GARMENT

    Historically, at a royal wedding in Scripture, not just the bride, but every guest was given a garment – fine linen, white and clean.

    10. Read Matthew 22:11-13 and describe what happens.

    The host found a guest without wedding attire and made him leave.

    11. Based on what happens to this guest, what do you think the white wedding garment represents? Why?

    It’s Christ’s salvation, as we’re washed white as snow in Him.

    12.  Another passage that talks about the wedding garment is Revelation 19:7-8, where the wedding garment is described as “the righteous deeds of the saints.” Calvin says: We do not need to debate about whether the garment refers to salvation or good works, for if you have salvation, you will produce righteous deeds. Thoughts?

    Sounds right to me, as when Christ saves us, we will do what He wants.

    13.  A white wedding garment also represents purity, the purity we receive from Christ, and the purity that occurs as we walk, every day in repentance. How is this thought impacting you at this time in your life? How can we pray for you in regard to this?

    It’s a moment-by-moment situation. We travel long, far, but always with Christ to help us. I need prayer to just keep in step with God with each step I take.

    MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN

    14.  How does Jesus close this parable in Matthew 22:14?

    “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

    16.  When a doctrine is difficult, what do you think is the best response for a child of God?

    The best response is to trust God. We can’t understand it as humans. No matter how we try, it won’t work out because God is God and we are human.  Sometimes I have had mixed feelings about election, but I do trust God to do what is best. I pray for all who are not saved, though, because it breaks my heart to think of their fate.  Still, I must defer to GOD!

    17.  What is your take-away this week?

    I am so grateful for Christ & what He did for me to bring me into salvation.

      1. Thanks!

        Re: the picture, it’s a few years old, but not 20! 😉

  16. THE WEDDING GARMENT

    Historically, at a royal wedding in Scripture, not just the bride, but every guest was given a garment – fine linen, white and clean.

    10. Read Matthew 22:11-13 and describe what happens.

    * When the King came to see the guests he noticed a man not dressed in wedding clothes. He asked him how he got in there without wedding clothes. The man was speechless so the King had his attendants tie him up hand and foot and throw him out into the darkness where there will be gnashing of teeth and weeping.

    11. Based on what happens to this guest, what do you think the white wedding garment represents? Why?

    Totally cleaned from sins, purity. Those who have said yes to Jesus’ invitation to come to Him are clothed in white because of what Jesus has done by paying the price for our sins. We can stand in God’s Holy presence because of what Jesus has done in clothing us with His purity! that is the most exciting part to me. ♥

    12. Another passage that talks about the wedding garment is Revelation 19:7-8, where the wedding garment is described as “the righteous deeds of the saints.” Calvin says: We do not need to debate about whether the garment refers to salvation or good works, for if you have salvation, you will produce righteous deeds. Thoughts?

    * I am totally in line with what Calvin said. Righteous deeds, the deeds that please God are a product of our salvation. They flow out of us as a result of being a new creature in Christ. I think the garment represents Salvation and Good works. They go hand in hand.

  17. 13. A white wedding garment also represents purity, the purity we receive from Christ, and the purity that occurs as we walk, every day in repentance. How is this thought impacting you at this time in your life? How can we pray for you in regard to this?

    * God brings me to repentance it is just that sometimes I don’t listen because I am stubborn or being tempted..Sometimes I need time to wrestle with God about it. It doesn’t change my standing before God, but it does affect my intimacy with Him. I don’t like that. I actually hate my stubbornness. That it takes me to finally say, “o.k. God, O.k. I am being selfish, forgive me and I will trust you to help me to truly love.” For me that is where most of my issues lie. It is in being selfish, but on the other side HE empowers me to be the opposite. I am serious, before I knew Him I was the polar opposite..I mean POLAR. I was the always out for myself. The difference is that I am ALWAYS thinking of how my selfishness effects Him, effects His fragrance in me to others and how it effects others as well. I don’t want to hurt others. Before I didn’t care if I hurt other people.

    SO..My prayer is that I want my first response to be to repent even while I am still holding on to it. I need to stay there until I let go.

    Of course, when I think about it, it could be all day long. I mean, have you ever thought about some of the things you think during the day? For some reason, yesterday I had the most critical spirit at work with someone and it was how I was seeing her critical spirit toward others. It was really bothering me how she criticized everyone around her and talked behind their backs. I knew she would do the same to me..Then I stopped and thought.. Uh..oh..I am doing the same to her and even though I am not talking about her to others I am doing it in my head and God can hear it. I think I need to repent.. I haven’t yet.

    1. Just prayed your request for you.

  18. Spiritual wedding parallels. Everyone already said such good stuff. This is one thing that stood out to me and I kept thinking of. The train. It was long but not too long. It reminded me of this verse, “I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple” (Isaiah 6:1). It was when Isaiah saw God’s throne room. I remember hearing the longer the train on a garment the more important a person was. Of course I do think of our white garments we will receive and how the bridegroom rejoices over His bride, how we are royalty by HIS blood shed for us. Pauper to princesses we are. All that too but it was mentioned above.

    This has always perplexed me so glad to be studying this passage:
    3. Read Matthew 22:1-10 and describe what happens.
    Interesting that no one wanted to come to the kings banquet. So he just sent out word to anyone.

    4. Paul tells us that the Gospel went first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. What does Matthew 22:3 tell us about the response of those first invited?
    Refused to come.
    5. God sent prophets to warn them. How, according to Matthew 22:4-6, did they respond to those prophets?
    seized, insulted, and killed
    6. How did God respond to this according to verse 7?
    Furious, sent to destroy and burn towns
    7. What did God tell the servants to do next according to verses 8-9?
    Invite everyone you see
    8. D. A. Carson believes that this parable alludes to Isaiah 25:6-9. Describe that wedding banquet.
    A great banquet with the best food and drink you can imagine. Sin will be removed and God is present. It is the wedding feast (what it sounds like)
    9. How have you responded to this invitation and what hope does it give you?
    Yes, So much hope. I cannot wait for the day Christ comes back for me!! I cannot wait. I picture the feast that is to come. But while I wait I must work diligently as His bride. Watch, work, and wait patiently for Him. Resting secure in the hope He is coming! 🙂

    Liked the way this was broken down. I can see the whole Old testament parallel and how God later opened up salvation to the Gentiles (though some did come to know him along the way earlier like Ruth, Rahab, etc.)

  19. 10. Read Matthew 22:11-13 and describe what happens. Someone was there who was not dressed. It seems he snuck in..

    11. Based on what happens to this guest, what do you think the white wedding garment represents? Why?
    The white garment probably represents faith in Christ (salvation)Because it is white and everyone had one except the guest who was not suppose to be there. How sad a time for that one to see the great banquet but get tossed out unrepentant. He did not even reply to his king.
    12. Another passage that talks about the wedding garment is Revelation 19:7-8, where the wedding garment is described as “the righteous deeds of the saints.” Calvin says: We do not need to debate about whether the garment refers to salvation or good works, for if you have salvation, you will produce righteous deeds. Thoughts?
    I think of James 2:26, “Just as the body is dead without breath,so also faith is dead without good works.” We will have good deeds if the Holy Spirit lives in us. Though one must remember salvation is not by works but by faith in Christ alone. Galatians 3:7, “The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.”
    13. A white wedding garment also represents purity, the purity we receive from Christ, and the purity that occurs as we walk, every day in repentance. How is this thought impacting you at this time in your life? How can we pray for you in regard to this? I love this. I love that Christ keeps us pure and the Holy Spirit keeps us in repentance if we step out of it. It is such a good reminder to preach the gospel to myself daily to remember. It means a lot! I am with hope. Praying for me regarding this is to keep me forever fixed on Christ in mind so that my thoughts are toward Him alone. That in that I can help teach my children to do the same. It is so important to remain “unstained by the world”.

  20. For many are called by few are chosen. So interesting…And hard.

    16. When a doctrine is difficult, what do you think is the best response for a child of God? Just to share lovingly opinion but rest in Christ being the center. Period. That is what matters most and we will never all agree on everything and we cannot be certain we are right about all these things either. Our God is too awesome to figure out and there are just some things we cannot be certain of. In the end it will not matter when we are with Him forever. There however are certain doctrines that must be agreed upon…Trust in Christ alone for salvation, period. That being the only way.

    17. What is your take-away this week?
    So thankful I am a bride of Christ and it is only a time until the great wedding feast will happen….Cannot wait to see Him face to face.

    Whew! That was alot!! Love this study. Hoping to listen to those sermons…If I get to I will come back and post thoughts.

      1. ha ha thanks Dee. Sometimes I get on a role and talk that way…Then I say that too. 🙂

  21. #16. yeah, what Angela said:) loved your answer!!!

    Just to share lovingly opinion but rest in Christ being the center. Period. That is what matters most and we will never all agree on everything and we cannot be certain we are right about all these things either. Our God is too awesome to figure out and there are just some things we cannot be certain of. In the end it will not matter when we are with Him forever. There however are certain doctrines that must be agreed upon…Trust in Christ alone for salvation, period. That being the only way.

    1. Cyndi, A hearty AMEN! 🙂 Excellent! Yes there are foundational things we don’t swerve from. The other things we can agree to disagree on.

      Of course one thing I am learning is that it is good to listen because it is quite possible I could be wrong on a certain issue too and God may be wanting to stretch me in that area. 😉

    2. Thanks Cyndi!

  22. Dee, I can’t find where you suggested ‘come ye sinners’. I am going now to listen to it. I looked it up, it has a few versions! 🙂

  23. I love ‘Come Ye Sinners’. I can’t remember where I have heard it but I think it may have been at the New England Baptist Church that I went to in grade school. They had a bus that came through my neighborhood and changed my life. Rebecca, I think it would be beautiful with your voice.

    This is my last week in the Isaiah study and the notes are consuming me. This book is full Jesus and heaven (and how God hates idolatry and empty religious practices). I am trying to compose a short synopsis of what it has meant to me. This morning God was bringing it together but the busyness of the day has sidetracked me.

    I don’t know what I think about Bin Laden. Joyce, I agree that we should never celebrate the death of a lost soul because while he was alive there was a chance for repentance. On the other hand, I am thankful for justice, if that is what this was. I think it was. The military has different ways of dealing with things. My father never said anything to us about Viet Nam except that the government should let the military do it’s job. I have always remembered that and tried to keep it in mind when things like this happen.

  24. Rebecca, do you think you could sing this acapella or with minimal instruments? Maybe with just a piano? No matter how you do it I think it would be awesome. I liked the church version the best. http://youtu.be/t4GP3hZ8FW8

    1. Wow, I just heard “Come Ye Sinners”.. I just read the words and got goosebumps! There are a couple of versions I like, I will need to work with the key. Wow..

      I like this version. Never heard of these artists, but love this version: http://youtu.be/hmJXr2MGNbM

    2. Anne, Now that you mentinoed it, I am thinking of doing it acappella. I love doing Hymns and songs accapella sometimes and having the congregation sing with me. I can really hear them and it makes me want to cry because the picture and sound of the body together praising God is so beautiful. I am going to ask God about this. Great idea, thanks!!

  25. But this is the one I keep replaying. Love the Irish flavor and the flock of sheep. http://youtu.be/5-OWJaFH2Ac

  26. Very pretty songs above. Rebecca, I took your advice and just didn’t say anything about what I think about the whole Bin Laden killing. It’s all in god’s hands now.

    Angela, I’m so glad you were okay through the tornato’s. I finally heard from Jana in AL and they are okay! I’m so thankful, Lord.

    1. Joyce, Totally agree. It is in God’s hands..both in the now and in the future when God makes all things just. Funny thing is, is that I was thinking of Karla (was that her name?) Our sister who was in prison and got the death penalty? I am telling you that challenged me on my death penalty views. I am changing..

    2. So glad to hear they are okay Joyce. It is so crazy here and there are lots of clean up and rebuilding that have to be done. So many misplaced families in hotels, etc. So much work needs to be done.

  27. I have to admit that I have never studied with depth the wedding garments. I have heard teaching briefly on them, but not in depth like we are doing here.

    I was thinking about the man who was invited to the wedding from the streets, he took up the invitation, but the King said he didn’t have wedding clothes on and threw him out. He went to Hell basically.

    My question was, who was this man? What does this mean? Then I recalled Matthew 7:21-23. Jesus saying ” “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

    What is God’s will? Is it good works? From what I understand in this passage it isn’t when it is done separate from knowing Him. I was thinking the man at the wedding could have been a ‘religious’ person like the passage above mentions.

    I was thinking when someone doesn’t know Him and does good works as a means to salvation, God says it is like filthy rags to Him and we all know how gross these filthy rags are. 🙂

    His will is that we come to know Him by believing in Christ, repenting and embracing His gift of Salvation. Then we are His, and an outflow of that will be the desire to be Holy, to live a Holy life, to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind and to love one another. The old man gets in the way of us being ‘perfect’ in this, but you get what I am saying. 🙂

      1. Dee, I am planning on listening to the sermon for our study, but will have to listen to Matthew 7 as well now. After reading what you said, I see that this is something I need to listen to as well. because I read it and thought if you struggle in that area I am sure I do but I am sure I am blind to the application in my life right now.

  28. MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN

    14. How does Jesus close this parable in Matthew 22:14?

    “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

    This is kind of funny that Joyce mentions the Bin Laden thing and how to approach it, and then it led to talking about agreeing and disagreeing with one another, and ‘how to’ on certain issues and it led to this..God is good..He orchestrated the whole thing!

    My husband doesn’t call himself a ‘calvinist’ but his beliefs are in line with it. When we met I was an Armenian..Isn’t the other side Armenian? I forget, but sometimes I would doggedly try to prove my Armenian point to him and inside I thought I was right and he just needed to listen..(See my control/critical spirit? Yuk!.) Then, after some years of studying scripture more and knowing deep inside that He drew me since I was a little girl and placed the longing in my heart for him, I became a “Carmenian”. 😉 I mean how could I throw out the passages on Election?

  29. Ladies, just thought I would share..I don’t want to rabbit trail, but after talking about Bin Laden, I thought this was pretty neat to hear! http://www.kansascity.com/2011/04/30/2839273/army-reservists-saved-ugandan.html#storylink=misearch

    Some Army reservists from Kansas City, Kansas saved some Ugandan women who were enslaved by sex traffickers in Iraq.

    1. Oh Rebecca, thanks for posting this! I love to hear of the honor of our men and women defending us. I have grown negligent in praying for them. Lord, I ask you to protect, bless, and inspire them and most of all give them victory. I pray You would provide many more opportunities for valor. Thank You for their opportunity to help these women, for it was an answer to prayer. Please bless and care for their families as they serve. Amen

      1. Anne, thank you for that prayer and I also will be praying for our troops and their families. I have forgotten to lately too.

  30. thanks for leaving footprints on my life!
    ferrellchinajourney.blogspot.com

  31. I’m playing catch up tonight. Everyone has done a great job.

    3. Jesus has been confronted by the religious leaders and is answering their question, “Who gave you authority?” (can’t you hear the sarcasm in their voices), with a third parable. He compares the kingdom of heaven to a certain king who has prepared a wedding feast for his son. Through background study I discovered two invitations were customary: one several days in advance to prevent the intended guests from making other engagements; the second a few hours before the initiation of the feast, that the guests might be present promptly on the hour.
    Servants are sent out with the official guest lists. The invitations are delivered. When the servants are sent back out to let the guests know its time to attend the banquet the guests tell them to let the king know they aren’t coming. The king sends word “Hey everything is ready. Come and help me celebrate my son’s summit of joy-his wedding day.”
    Again the guests say NO. NOT COMING. And to make their point, some of them kill the faithful servants of the king. So, the king retaliates. I guess the guests forgot the king has complete authority and the final word in the kingdom.
    After ridding the kingdom of unworthy subjects, the king issues a new decree to his servants, “Go invite as many people as you can find. I don’t care who they are. I want them to come and enjoy this feast!” The servants bring all sorts of people to the feast. Some were sweet and kind. Others had questionable reputations. But all were treated the same. And I’m sure some of them had never seen such provision in all their lives.

    4. Those first invited did not care to honor the king’s request.

    5. The invited, again, showed contempt toward the king’s invitation. One invitee went back to his farm. Another was occupied with making money. And the rest decided to kidnap the king’s servants, mistreat them, and kill them.

    6. God destroyed Jerusalem by the hands of the Romans in 70 A.D.

    7. The servants were told to gather other guests-Gentiles.

    8. The wedding banquet in Isaiah 25:6-9 has been prepared with nothing but the best. We will be able to enjoy it because we will be in the full presence of Christ Jesus and finally freed from the presence of sin.

    Susan for you I have just opened my study bible and found something interesting. But before I share I just want to say thank you for the compliment-Resident Bible Scholar. I miss the prep I use to do when I taught Sunday School class and I appreciate having an outlet where I can dig and share. Would it suprise you to learn my number one spiritual gift is knowledge? I’m not sharing that to brag because I was suprised myself. I’ve taken two different spiritual inventory tests several years apart and knowledge has been number one both times. I’ve learned the definiton of knowledge as a spiritual gift means the believer is enabled to search, systematize, and summarize the teachings of the Word of God. It’s a supernatural ability to bring illumination of God’s thoughts not discoverable by human reason. I personally think God gave Rebecca the gift of discernment when she wrote our mini bios without even speaking with us face to face. Enough about me. Let’s see what God says.
    My study notes tell me that the feast described here in Isaiah 25 is similar to the one prepared by Wisdom in Proverbs 9:1-6. I’m going to let you Susan tell us what Wisdom prepared. In v. 7 the surface of the covering and veil refer to a ‘shroud’. This is a promise of the end of death. We know Jesus conquered death when he rose up out of the grave.

    Don’t you just love verse 9: “Behold, this is our God…”

    9. I will never forget the day I accepted the invitation. God had been pursuing and wooing for a while but I kept avoiding him. I visited my sister (who now lives in NC) one weekend here in Southeast Georgia where I currently reside. I kid you not when I say that as soon as I stepped out of the car the Holy Spirit said “Got her”. I became aware of his convicting presence the moment my feet hit the ground. I knew I could not leave without making a decision once and for all. As soon as the pastor issued the invitation I flew down the aisle and began weeping at the altar. I surrendered to God that day and he has been peeling away the ‘layers of bondage’ ever since. I have the hope that one day I will see my Savior face to face.

    10. The king is making the rounds greeting the guests and finds a party crasher. He confronts the man and asks how did he get in without being properly dressed. The man had no answer. The king told his servants to tie him up and throw him out into the place from which there is no escape.

    11. I think the white wedding garment represents authenticity. I think this because we (those who claim to belong to Christ) are either one of two things: real or counterfeit. Only Jesus can see our hearts and true motives but I believe a true Christian knows when she meets another true Christian.

    12. I don’t know a whole lot about Calvin but I think his point is if we are truly saved we will want to live in total obedience to God.

  32. 16. When a doctrine is difficult, what do you think is the best response for a child of God?

    * Rather than getting upset or fretting, I think we should remind ourselves that there are many godly people on both sides of the Election doctrine. (I will use that as an example.) We should listen to them and go to scripture and study it. Also go to or listen to foundationally solid pastors give sermons on it, or you can read writings on both sides from well known, godly men like Spurgeon and others. Even if we come to a different conclusion, that shouldn’t divide. 🙂

      1. Dee, I totally agree. Writing instead of saying it has so many advantages and especially so for me. The last post on Hell was a huge challenge for me to love and not to control. There were several response posts I had to erase. I am thankful I did. 🙂

  33. Lord, I agree with Dee’s prayer and ask for You to give our leaders wisdom. I pray for peace, for humility, for hearts to turn towards You and find rest. I pray that You would be glorified. Thank you Lord for Your promise:
    “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

  34. Lord, I pray in agreement. And I praise You for Your greatness. I am in awe of Your mighty power we see through storms and earthquakes. I pray for those who need comfort and provision. I have never seen the righteous forsaken or begging bread, thank You for that. Help us serve, pray, and provide to people in need. Help us to share a needed word or hug in silence. Help us Lord move forward after destruction. Thank You for moving among the churches and building unity no matter the denomination. Help us to see needs. Help us to seek Your face and move forward with hope in You as the south rises back up. Keep our eyes focused on You. I know this is just part of creation groaning…Lord we as Your people are groaning as well. Come quickly Lord Jesus. We wait in white, come soon or our hearts might burst.

  35. Lord
    You desire that each one of your children act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with you our God. We in the west think your blessings are falling down upon us because we have alot of stuff. Your word tells me different. You sent Jesus to bless me and my brothers and sisters in Christ by turning us away from our iniquities. I ask Lord for a renting of the veil of deception which covers the eyes of your people. I hear more grumbling about Presidential leadership coming from those who proclaim the name of Jesus. You God set up rulers for your purposes and you command us to lift them up in prayer. You are guiding them whether they realize or not. I am thankful to have the ability to openly worship you but Lord I cannot forget my brothers and sisters who are in prison because they follow Christ. Especially for those in Pakistan Lord I ask for strength to endure. I read of one sister Asia Bibi who is prison suffering with chicken pox and has not received treatment, but yet Lord she is praying and fasting on behalf of Pakistani Christians. Thank you for her example to stay close to you no matter what and to remember fellow brothers and sisters. Forgive me of my self centeredness. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

  36. Lord,

    I sit with my sisters here amazed at how you worked in our lives to bring us to you, and how you can change the hearts of the most stubborn and hard of hearts and yet how you can also make hearts harder- How you have made beauty out of ashes over and over again in scripture and in our lives, and how nothing and no one is out of your reach or too far gone for you to rescue. Lord, we trust that our country, what is going on in the middle east and elsewhere is in your hands and help us to entrust their hearts to you.

  37. LORD,look down from heaven and see from Your lofty home–holy and beautiful. Where is Your zeal and Your might? Your yearning and Your compassion are withheld from me. Yet You are our Father, even though Abraham does not know us and Israel doesn’t recognize us. You, LORD, are our Father; from ancient times, Your name is our Redeemer. Why, LORD, do You make us stray from Your ways? You harden our hearts so we do not fear You. Return, because of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage. Your holy people had a possession for a little while, but our enemies have trampled down Your sanctuary. We have become like those You never ruled over, like those not called by Your name. If only You would tear the heavens open and come down, so that mountains would quake at Your presence–as fire kindles the brushwood, and fire causes water to boil–to make Your name known to Your enemies, so that nations will tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome deeds that we did not expect, You came down, and the mountains quaked at Your presence. From ancient times no one has heard, no one has listened no eye has seen any God except You, who act on behalf of the one who waits for Him. You welcome the one who joyfully does what is right; they remember You in Your ways. But we have sinned, and You were angry; we will remain in Your ways and be saved. All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind. No one calls on Your name, striving to take hold of You. For You have hidden Your face from us and made us melt because of our iniquity. Yet LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and and You are our potter; we all are the work of Your hands. LORD, do not be terribly angry or remember our iniquity forever. Please look–all of us are Your people! Your holy cities have become a wilderness; Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and beautiful temple, where our fathers praised You, has been burned with fire, and all that was dear to us lies in ruins. LORD, after all this, will Your restrain Yourself? Will You keep silent and afflict severely?

    For the last week I have been consumed by news of the torture of one man. I have cried out to God from a gut level and these verses have been my prayer. The thought that he is only one of the millions abused the world over is more than I can bear. The other reality that hit me is how the church in this country has failed to be salt and light and I know that I am right in the middle this failure. These verses have given order to my heart cry and I believe it is from God.

  38. LORD, for those who suffer for the name of Christ, who have been left in cells to rot with wounds and illness, send to each, one who will minister in Your name. May each experience Your love through one sent to minister, to bind wounds both physical and spiritual. For each of these brothers and sisters I ask Your special blessing and protection. Protect their identity with You and their families as they minister to the apple of Your eye. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we ask for Your presence in these places.

  39. Wow, I can’t possibly say more than you sister’s have in prayer…as I prayed each one with you. I also pray for each one of you, doing the study or not or maybe just reading along, I pray for all of us and Dee for leading us along and mentoring to us. May we all be together in heaven one day, rejoicing with our bridegroom…Dear Jesus…Thank you ,Lord!

    1. Joyce, thank you. Your prayers mean so much to me. That day…

    2. You are our prayer warrior Joyce. I really appreciate your faithfulness.

      1. Thank you, Tammy

  40. Dear Tammy,
    I’m just reading over everyone’s postings, and thank you for the extra digging you did on Isaiah 25 – and yes, God has definitely gifted you with the ability to research and succinctly summarize your knowledge for us to understand!

    Okay, I read Proverbs 9:1-7 and see the similarities between this passage and Isaiah. In Isaiah 25, the Lord prepares His banquet; and Wisdom first builds her house, and then prepares her food, mixing her wine, setting the table. Then she also sends out her servants to call out her invitation – hers seems to be “all-inclusive” – “Whoever is naive, or simple, let him turn in here! Come, eat my food and drink my wine; forsake your folly and live!”

    I loved reading your testimony, too!

    1. Okay Susan since you completed your assignment everyone gets a lesson on the number seven. You all may already know the number seven biblically represents completeness. Here in Poverbs 9 it is not that there were precisely seven pillars so much as that the house of wisdom was solidly built and substanial in character. My notes here also tell me that, again as we already know, wine was a staple in ancient Israel, but when a feast was special, a homemaker would add aromatic spices to the wine, enlivening the bouquet and improving the taste. I thought of the mulling spices I use at Christmas after I read this.

  41. Dee, I am working on your request but am not happy with it. Do you need it right now? I can send it if you want to edit it yourself.

      1. I’m going to be late too, but will get to it!

    1. I’m working on mine also!

  42. 4. Paul tells us that the Gospel went first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. What does Matthew 22:3 tell us about the response of those first invited?

    Those first invited did not want to come. There is a parallel here between Jew and Gentile. The Jew was invited but refused. Then the invitation went also to the Gentile. I think it safe to say here that God had always intended to invite the Gentile. It was not because the Jews refused Him that He invited them. They were the point from the beginning. The Jews were supposed to be the missionaries but they were busy with their idols.

    5. God sent prophets to warn them. How, according to Matthew 22:4-6, did they respond to those prophets?

    God spread out His hands toward them with the oxen and the fattened cattle but they turned away from Him and toward their idols. They mistreated His slaves and even killed some of them.

    6. How did God respond to this according to verse 7? He was angry, sending troops to them and burned down their city.

    7. What did God tell the servants to do next according to verses 8-9? He told His slave that those who were invited were not worthy. He sent them to those outside the city to invite everyone they found there. These were the outcasts from the city but I think it is also and allusion to the Gentiles, those who were not His ‘chosen people’.

    8. D. A. Carson believes that this parable alludes to Isaiah 25:6-9. Describe that wedding banquet.

    How I love Isaiah. This banquet mentions something more. Here death will be destroyed and tears will be wiped away. Disgrace will be removed from the whole earth. It will be much more than oxen and fattened cattle.

    9.How have you responded to this invitation and what hope does it give you? I have accepted this invitation and in it every hope of my heart will be fulfilled. Eye has not seen, nor has any ear heard what God has prepared for those who love Him.

    THE WEDDING GARMENT

    Historically, at a royal wedding in Scripture, not just the bride, but every guest was given a garment – fine linen, white and clean.

    10. Read Matthew 22:11-13 and describe what happens.
    A man was there without a wedding garment. The king asks him how he got in without the proper garment. I think it singular that He calls him friend. The man has no answer and is thrown into the outer darkness, away from His presence.

    11. Based on what happens to this guest, what do you think the white wedding garment represents? Why?
    I think the garment signifies the righteousness of Christ because without it we can not be present with the Lord. It is available to all and free. The man questioned above could have put it on but he chose his own righteousness.

    12. Another passage that talks about the wedding garment is Revelation 19:7-8, where the wedding garment is described as “the righteous deeds of the saints.” Calvin says: We do not need to debate about whether the garment refers to salvation or good works, for if you have salvation, you will produce righteous deeds. Thoughts?

    I think this refers to deeds done in the Holy Spirit by those who truly love Christ and are saved by His blood. All other righteous deeds are filthy rags. We do them because of His love and that makes all the difference.

  43. 13. The sin of another robbed me of my childhood innocence and later as an adult I robbed myself of purity when I gave myself to another outside the boundarys of God. Over the course of the last couple of years,through this current study and other bible studies, God has gently been restoring my purity. It’s hard to explain, but I have become more sensitive to sin-as I believe he would have all be-and I find myself wanting to please God more than myself. Pray for me to contiunally progress toward God’s goal-conformation to the image of his son Christ Jesus.

    14. Jesus closes this parable by stating “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

    Now I am no swimmer but I feel as if I have dived in the depths of the ocean and it’s time for me to come up for air and share what I have seen. The following is what my NT Word Study Dictionary edited by Spiros Zodhaiates, Th.D. tells me about called and chosen.

    The greek word Matthew uses for called is KLETOI-the invited. Orginally it was used to designate those invited to a banquet. In the gospels it is found only in Matthew 20:16 and here in 22:14.

    The greek word Matthew uses for chosen is EKLEKTOI-the more select company who had heard and accepted the invitation.

    My study bible has an in-depth article on the doctrine of election and gives a synopsis of the viewpoints of the Arminians and Calvinists. After reading this article I find myself lining up with….Rebecca but I may call myself an ArminiCal.

    Here’s how the author ended the article:

    “Regardless of one’s stance on the matter of election, this much is clear: God is infinitely wise, powerful, and good. We cannot accuse Him of being unfair in His dealings with humans. It was OUR (my emphasis) own sinfulness that has entrapped us and condemned us. Yet God, out of His infinite mercy, chooses to save.”

  44. Am listening to Tim Keller now. 🙂

  45. Oh my, I am loving this so far. WOW..He just blew me away with the first part. I need to re-think my answer above. 🙂

  46. OH MY…THIS IS GOOD! I am certainly not a Carmenian..How about an Electionist? 🙂 Really this is so good. I hope more of us listen! God’s choice is ultimate, my choice (accepting Him) is penultimate. (Love that way of explaining it.) I can’t even see Him unless He opens my heart. I have always believed that He has wooed me since a child and when I accepted Him, it wasn’t done without Him drawing me to Him..So when I gave my life to Him back in 1988 on that Airplane it was because He drew me and prepared and opened my heart. He gave me the longing for Him.