Saturday, December 19, 2015

DECEMBER 19 "DON'T EAT BEFORE COMING OVER"

     DON'T eat before coming over, please!  Have you ever invited someone over for dinner and somehow there was a DP-communication and they thought it was just for coffee? "Please eat, it really is good, it's one of my best dishes", I've begged.  The reply has always been, "I'm sure it is good, I am simply stuffed and I just don't have room for anything else right now, give me some time".  I have been on the receiving end of that situation and I have been on the guilty part of that situation.  I know that no matter what they served that night, no matter how good it was, I would have no appetite for it.
     When we are full, not hungry, nothing in the world, at that moment is appealing. "Don't talk to me about food right now", is often the reply we get when we are forcing someone to eat that is full.
Every heard someone say that you were trying to stuff "the bread of life" down their throat say, "don't talk to me about Christ right now, I am FULL".  But we don't listen do we, we keep trying and trying to cram "the bread of life" down some one's throat who is full with the delicacies of this world, we are just to stubborn to face the fact that they have no interest or no appetite for our Christ.
     If our message (the Gospel) is to be received, there is going to have to be an appetite for it. There a thousands upon thousands of people that are perfectly content with their lives without Christ. In their thought process they think, "If they are good, moral and successful people without Christ, then what good is your offering Christ to them?  This is a good question to ask ourselves.  It is as if you are standing outside a Buffet Restaurant offering bread (free at that) to all those that are coming out.  Chances are the folks coming out of a Buffet Restaurant are full and bloated and your offer to give them bread is not much of an appeal to them.  Take that same bread and offer it for free in Uganda and you may be trampled upon, to death!  It is the same bread, same offer but the difference is only the people that it is being offered to.  One group is full and stuffed the other group is starving and empty.
     Is your message is of any use? Ans: depends upon the hearers to which it is being presented.  Jesus said, "I am the bread of life".  Jesus does relate to himself as food. "Taste of me and see that I am good".  Again, we have the analogy of food and eating.  See this message may be counter intuitive to what you believe or perhaps what you have been taught, ie: "everyone has the need".  Is that right though? What did Jesus mean then when he said, "I have not come for the righteous, but the unrighteous?"  What did Jesus mean when he said, "the healthy are not in need of a doctor, but the sick?".  What did Jesus mean by, "do not cast your pearls to the swine?".  Now we know according to Jesus that "there is none righteous, no not one".  So what does Jesus mean then when He says, " I have not come to call the righteous, but the unrighteous"?  Well the answer to that can be partly explained by the text we read in Proverbs today.  "12 those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth;"
     The fact is allot of times we are pounding the Gospel Message down someone's throat who is full. They have just come out of a Buffet and there we are trying to give them something else to eat.  No matter how good the food is, we will have no appreciation of what is being offered if we have stuffed ourselves prior to going over to our friends home for dinner.
     In  high school & college I personally (and I only speak for myself) was quite full with myself, my life and my sin. My sin was still tasting sweet and had not yet turned sour in my stomach. Fast forward 3-5 years and now I'm not so full with myself and neither am I so thrilled with my sin. So even though the same sins are available to me, I am looking up to the sky and saying to God, "there has got to be more to life than this". Now, there's an appetite, now I am not so full.  Now the message will not be unappealing to me and that was when God in his wisdom and foreknowledge brought "The Message" to me and I quickly accepted it and have continued to accept Christ as a need in my life ever since.
      Before your message is of any use, to anybody, there must be a sense of need in that individual's life. There must be an appetite if you are going to try to feed them.  Are you frustrated to no ends about the response (or no response I should say) you are getting from somone you are desperately trying "to  save".  Perhaps you just need to step back a bit, pray for them and wait. If they are full, your message is of no appeal right now. Wait and pray....and not that you hope that all hell breaks loose against them, we are not cursors or doomsday prophets but simply pray that the sin that once tasted so sweet become sour in their belly.  Pray that the sin that once so filled them now leaves them empty.  All hell never broke loose against me, it was simply over time, the sins that so once filled me and made my happy, now left me empty and longing for something else, something more.
     There is nothing wrong with "your message", do not despair, what is wrong is the heart that it is falling upon. Don't offer me diet pills if I'm not overweight and don't offer me Christ if I am not down trodden. If I am doing well, if I am perfectly content with my life, why do you try to offer me this Christ, this saviour of sinners.  If I am moral why do you offer me a saviour of the immoral?  If I am righteous, why do you offer me one who has come to call the "unrighteous" to repentance?  If I am successful why do you offer me a religion that is for the downtrodden, the prostitute and the drug addict, how is this for me?"
     We must be careful that we do not lose confidence "in the message" as time passes, but remember always "that the message, the word of God, is foolishness to them that are perishing, but it (the message/the Gospel) is the power of God, unto Salvation to them that beleive".   Where we have a hard time, is accepting that some are perishing. Remember, the Gospel has "no power, it is useless" to those that are perishing. There are millions upon millions that will be offered "the bread of life" and politely say, "no thank-you" and that person may be your own mother, brother, or child and there's no way way you can force them to eat when they are full.  Are they going to perish then? Well, if they died today, they would, but the Good News is they're not and God knows when they're going to die, He is fully aware of their time "constraints" and He is working alongside those restraints. Rather than try to cram "the bread of life" down some one's throat who has gorged himself on this world's buffet, why don't you try praying and praying that the food, the sin they are gorging themselves on no longer fills, no longer satisfies; then and only then, will your message have appeal!