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Come to the Table, It's Dinnertime!
By Dr. Beverly Medley Jones
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
The memories of my Mother calling me inside for a delectable dinner remind me of the gentle way God calls His children to His table for a feast beyond compare.
When I was a little girl, I could be found most days playing somewhere around my neighborhood. It was much safer for children to play away from home when I was growing up in the 60s than it is now. I could be on the next corner or at a friend's house two streets over, and my parents knew I'd be all right. A neighborhood ritual was for the moms to go out on the back steps and call their children home at dinnertime. When I heard that distinctive voice yelling, "Be---ver---lyyy!" I know what I had to do, and I came a-running. It was dinnertime!
Each child in my neighborhood recognized his or her own mother's voice as she called her children home. No matter how many children there were with the same name, never an error was made when they responded to their own mother's call to dinner.
Thinking back, I remember not hesitating to answer Mom's call. For one thing, I knew I'd be in trouble if she had to call me again. But more importantly, I knew that what she was calling me in for was going to be good. She had taken time to prepare a delicious meal for her family, and I was truly going to enjoy it.
God has prepared some special meals for His children, and He's calling us to come in -- it's dinnertime! In Mark 2:17, Jesus tells us that He has not called the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Every time a sinner hears about Jesus, that's the Father calling him or her to the table. Just as the calls of the moms told us neighborhood kids to come in, the call of Jesus to the world is "Come." In John 6:37 Jesus lets us know that we can come to Him and be welcome, and He will "in no wise cast out" those who respond to His call.
As I would come in the house for dinner, I was greeted with the command from my mother, "Wash you hands." Our Father has a plan to wash us, as He has told us in Revelation 1:5: "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." The washing God wants to do is the removal of the stain of sin, which can only be done through the perfect sacrifice, the shedding of Jesus' blood at Calvary. Once we receive Jesus as our Savior and believe on His death and resurrection, we are cleansed from our sin and received by Him.
Like most children, I wet my hands and ran to the table, ready to begin. But my mother, knowing that in my haste I hadn't done a sufficient cleansing job, would ultimately send me back to wash again, "And use soap!" Titus 3:5 describes the "soap" God uses daily with His children.
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost." God is telling us that we cannot wash ourselves, but He makes us clean, makes us new, and has sent the Holy Ghost to "scrub" out the old man and reveal the new creation in Christ.
Once I finally got to the table, what's the first thing I did? Like most children, I got up on my knees so I could see my plate, my family, and the meal that was set before me. On our knees is where the Father wants us to be so that we can receive the feast He has for us. "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies, thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over" (Psalm 23:5). It is from our knees in prayer and earnest listening that God can reveal the spread of promise and blessing He has for us. Jeremiah 29:12-13 says, "Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." Through prayer and meditation in His Word,the Bible, God will show us His plan for our victory as He orders our steps.
So, what's for dinner? Jesus has stirred up all our favorites, too numerous to count. I'll name just a few:
BREAD: "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst" (John 6:35).
WATER: "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst again; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).
FRUIT: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23).
MILK: "As newborn babes, disire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby" (1Peter 2:2).
LIFE is at the table. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus has come to give us life, and life more abundantly. This includes every promise God has made to His children -- salvation, health, properity, wisdom, favor, and that He hears and answers every prayer we pray. "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1John 5:12). For the child of God, the table is set with all the blessings that come with fellowship with the Father. Not that we won't ever have problems, but just as God prepared a table for David in the presence of his enemies in Psalm 23, He will nourish and fill us even when the hard times come. He will walk us through the dangers, and we can come out healthy and strong in Him.
It's dinnertime! Come to the table God has prepared for you. God is calling us to come in and receive the feast of His presence, His goodness, and His blessing. "Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it" (1Thessalonians 5:24).
Site: A Seat at the Master's Table
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