I know I’ve made mention here of the wonderful blessing from God my wife Betsy is to me (and many others!). Her love of the Lord Jesus is evident in all she does and her modeling of the joy that comes from reading the Bible has inspired me to read mine more.
I am not sure however, if I have ever written about another of her gifts: Betsy is a great cook. This comes in handy given my love of eating. She is forever creating new ways to prepare meals, making old favorites never boring. In this season of life (with just 2 humans at the table), she prepares many of our dinners in the crockpot. Somehow, she makes these meals in such a way that as they get reheated, they seem to taste better each night. Chicken, pork or beef, it doesn’t matter; as delicious as they are on day 1, they’re even better each ensuing meal.
Cooking meals in this way is a great time saver, especially as her work life is very demanding of her time. This makes it easy for me, with my limited skills in the kitchen, to simply plug in the crockpot to re-heat our evening meal.
As much as I enjoy these several times warmed up meals, the banquet table of God will never have anything re-heated on it! “That’s quite a jump in topics,” you might be thinking; but please stay with me, I think I can connect the two.
You see, just as the taste buds in my mouth enjoy my wife’s great cooking, the desire of my heart is to have even more of what God offers. No matter how good, or even how much Betsy makes in the crockpot, eventually we finish it. Not so with God!
Christianity 101, if you will, says that all people are separated from God by our sinful condition into which we are born. There are many scriptures that make this point, but for our purpose today let’s go with for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). ‘All’ is one of the easiest words in the bible to understand: All means all. You, me and absolutely everyone else falls short of the glory of God. God is holy, we are not. Said another way, we are in deep trouble without Him.
That’s an awful place to be, but thanks be to God, He has issued the invitation for all of us to come be with Him (the banquet table I mentioned). This truth can also be found in numerous places throughout the scriptures. For example, Romans 5:8 tells us: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God in His mercy has made the way to take us from our lost (sinful) condition to knowing His forgiveness because of what Jesus Christ has done. Simply put, we do not have to get ‘our ducks in a row’ before we can go to God; rather He takes us, regardless of where we have scattered and miss placed the ducks that are our life, and makes us complete in Him.
Our job is to recognize the condition we are in apart from God and then humbly ask His forgiveness. It really is that simple!
Now back to the banquet table. When thinking about what God offers, please don’t assume His mercy and compassion are sitting in some heavenly crockery, waiting for us to ask for some. No, His love is made fresh and available every day as the Prophet Jeremiah wrote: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).
There you have it! God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, patience, etc., are made fresh every day for each one of us. I realize that is a tall order, but thankfully He can handle it. He always has, and He always will.
Much as Betsy and I would love to have you all over for dinner sometime, I do not believe one crockpot would handle the demand; and as tasty as her food is, you will get hungry again.
Not so as God’s banquet table. His never depleted supply of love for us is always available; at no charge! Jesus paid it when He was crucified and gloriously raised from the dead. He is inviting you to partake of the divine food that satisfies the soul. It is made fresh today, piping hot, just for you!