August 30, 2016
Time for school to start, so let me share a powerful flashback. I am an introvert, so I was rather quiet and shy as a kid. When I was growing up my family moved around a lot. In the middle of my junior year of high school, we moved from NY to NJ. I was a pretty good athlete. So, on my first weekend there I went to baseball practice and met a bunch of people from my new school. But at lunchtime on that first day of school, I wondered how embarrassed I would feel if I didn‘t see any of the people I had met at baseball practice. Like a miracle, I heard 2 girls I had never met, Debbie Lupinski and Jill Kuhfuss, call out. “Hey Karl, we saved a seat for you.” Wow, that meant so much. They were angels to me – really. And they were cute, too. It was so kind of them and impacted me so much that I still remember them and their kindness 35 years later.
Just think about the warm feeling you get when someone tells you he will save you a place in line … at the theatre … a ballgame … or at an important table. It sends a clear message that someone cares about you and your heart. Even more, he is willing to expend energy and even make a sacrifice to show his feeling for you by taking action. Yes, taking action. Really walking the walk.
Now think about what God’s Word says. Like the prodigal son, we all have taken our inheritances and gone our own ways … following our me-centered desires. We say no to our Father’s plan … pushing away His protection in favor of our self-destructive follies and pursuits. Nevertheless, the prodigal’s father saved a seat at the table for his son, accepted his son’s repentance regardless of the sins committed, took that son home, gave him a feast, and celebrated his return.
Our Father will do even more … think not just about the seat saved for you, but also about the whole the kingdom He is holding for you. Think about His promise to bring you back from captivity. Most importantly, He sacrificed His only Son to secure a place at the ultimate banquet table for you. Think about His promise to give you hope and a future … the awesome gift of enjoying eternity … in His glorious kingdom. God saved your life and He is saving a place for you at His glorious table. Accept His invitation. It is free to you and it lasts FOREVER!
Today, listen to the amazing invitation God extends to you everyday. It should warm your heart, excite your mind, and bring peace to your emotional turmoil. Just as you feel loved when others go out of their way to give you something grand, you should know and feel the Father’s love every minute of the day. Let this assurance and gift form the lenses you use, especially when storms strike. Whether you hear and accept His invitation to sit at HIS most honored table of daily bread and living water and eventually in His perfect kingdom or you sit at your own table eating garbage and toxins, is your decision, so choose well.
Father God, I believe that You have thoughts of peace and not of evil for me. I believe You have plans for me and a special future; You have given me hope. I know that You listen when I call upon You and pray to You. I know that when I search for You, I find You. You are always there for me. I know that only You have the power to bring me out of captivity. Father in heaven, I thank You for Your love, Your plans and for saving a place in line for me. I thank You for Jesus, my Savior. Without You I am nothing, just lost and alone. I pray this in the name of the one who took my place on the cross so I can have a place at God’s banquet table, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity… Jeremiah 29:11
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. ‘But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. Luke 15:20-24