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Happy Family Meal Time

Luke 14:15
When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, ‘Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.’ (NIVUK)

Mealtimes say much about a person. In the dysfunctional world of some Western societies, many families do not have meals together regularly.  Or they may eat while being diverted by television or digital devices - when 'refuelling'; the meal becomes a selfish activity, instead of being an opportunity for relationship, joy and service.  

Jesus had been invited to a 'dinner party' at a rich Pharisee's home.  The other guests were preening their social feathers hoping to be noticed, while the host enjoyed being their patron.  Yet the poor, sick and undesirables were refused entry. So, Jesus had just been pointing out that their behaviour was dysfunctional for the Kingdom of God (Luke 14:7-14). Then one person exclaimed ‘How wonderful it would be to eat at God's table!’
Before we look at the parable of the great banquet over the next few days, we must pause to examine this person's statement.  People who are a part of God's heavenly celebration are truly blessed (Matthew 5:3-12).  But perhaps the word 'blessed' gets overused and we miss its wonder.  To be 'blessed' is to be filled with undiluted joy and gladness, because of the provision of the very best gift or relationship, with nothing to spoil it (Deuteronomy 33:29).  To be in God's Kingdom is not just good: it is wonderful without limit and His provision is bountiful without end!
Followers of Jesus Christ sometimes forget the wonder of His salvation, the strength of His love, the security of His peace, the kindness of His care and the generosity of His provision.  So, it is very important to be reminded that those who are assured of a place at the King's table are immensely privileged.  Indeed, Ephesians 1:3 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ."  If that is true (and it is!), we should start to live in the light of this truth.  Worry should be allowed no place; fear should be dismissed in Jesus' Name.  The weak should claim His strength and the weary should seek His courage to endure.  The King, who calls us, also wants us to live confidently until the great family reunion in Glory.  Believers with a heavenly confidence will let it show through in their earthly life - and a little taste of heaven in the workplace will be healing medicine for everybody, and point the way for others to follow Jesus too.

Gracious God. I know that You are wonderful in every way but I sometimes get so wrapped up in my little world that I forget I am a part of Your big Kingdom with all its blessings. Please forgive me for living as though my name is not written in heaven, and for reacting like those in the world around me when things go wrong, instead of trusting in Your kindness and provision. Help me to have heaven as my horizon, Your glory as my goal, Your love as my support and Your gospel as my service. Help me to live in confidence, believing that You will lead me through the uncertainties into the security of Your future for me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams