David said of his Lord, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Psalm 23:5). Jesus said, “I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom” (Luke 22:29-30).
The one thing our Lord seeks above all else from his servants, ministers and shepherds is communion at his table. Oneness around his heavenly table — a place and time of intimacy and continual coming to him for food, strength, wisdom and fellowship.
Yet many have a stilted, stunted vision of Christ and despite all the preaching, praising and endless talk of him, few have a true appreciation of the Lord’s table. They do not know the grandeur and majesty of such a high calling in Christ Jesus.
Commitment to him will cause us to seek an ever-increasing revelation of his vastness. Instead of praying for things and blessings, we should ask for a fuller revelation of his glory because a basic knowledge of Christ will not be enough in these final days. We must go to his table and let the Holy Spirit reveal him to us.
Is your vision of Christ too small? Paul was committed to an ever-increasing revelation of Jesus. All he had of Christ came by revelation, taught to him at the Lord’s table and made true to him by the Holy Spirit. He prayed constantly for the gift of grace to understand and preach “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). May God help us to take advantage of our “access with confidence through faith in him (3:12).
God has a royal table set for you, and your Host awaits your presence. Accept the great honor of sitting with him and partaking of the bread of life.
“A lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’” (Luke 10:25). The scribes and Pharisees had confronted Jesus and challenged his authority on many occasions but now a lawyer approached him, perhaps someone sent by them. Lawyers are well trained in the art of debate and undoubtedly this one was also well-schooled in the laws of the Old Covenant. He probably expected Jesus to begin to recite some of the rules regarding Sabbath, washing of hands, clean and unclean food. So many rules! And which one leads to eternal life?
Jesus answered the lawyer’s question with a question: “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” (10:26). And the lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (10:27). Jesus answered him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live” (10:28).
With those simple words, Jesus did away with the burden of all the rules and regulations and presented the most refreshing, world-changing, life-transforming message you could ever hear.
Jesus mentioned the most important thing first: love God with all your heart, soul and mind. And after you come into relationship with him, he will give you a new heart, a heart that can be moved with compassion toward others. “I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). A heart of kindness and concern for others.
You can never love your neighbor the way Jesus loves us, but love for others is a natural byproduct of a changed heart. When he transforms you, you can say with the psalmist, “I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8).
The very foundation of the Christian home is being shaken, a direct result of the moral and spiritual decay in our society. In the book of Acts we read of the glorious miracle in the household of Cornelius — a transformation that came about all because one man set out determinedly to see his family saved.
“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius … a devout man who feared God with all his household … and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:1-2). Cornelius was so determined to see his house come into God’s fullness that he fasted and prayed without ceasing.
Praying people always get God’s attention! When Cornelius cried out to heaven, he “saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius!’” (Acts 10:3) The Lord then instructed him, “Send for Simon whose surname is Peter … He will tell you what you must do” (10:5-6).
At the same time Cornelius was praying, another praying man, Simon Peter, was having his own encounter with the Lord. God was giving him a vision to prepare him to go to the house of Cornelius to bring salvation (see Acts 10:10-16). God works on all sides when his people get to praying in earnest. He has countless ministering angels; he has chariots and hosts of heaven; he has the power and majesty in heaven and earth; he speaks the word and it is done; and nothing can withstand his perfect will.
You can see your own home saved by setting your heart to obey the Lord at all cost. This is a matter of great concern to our heavenly Father. Cornelius spent time in the presence of the Lord and the Lord gave him specific direction. Likewise, God will show you what is needed on your part and when you obey, you will see revival in your home.
There are times when it looks as if God has not shown up — when his people have been left in shame and despair — but the full story has not yet been told. Throughout the Bible God has had people whose flint-like faith proved his faithfulness during the most difficult of times. These servants unashamedly committed the Lord to act.
Let’s consider Moses at the Red Sea, which was a humanly impossible situation. Israel was on the run from the Egyptian army, hemmed in on one side by the sea and by mountains on the other. It was here that Moses committed God to his promises. He had already prophesied that God would lead Israel into the Promised Land and now the Lord’s reputation was at stake for all to see.
Imagine the reports that were getting back to Pharaoh. All of Egypt expected to see the Israelites brought back in chains but what was Moses’ reaction to this crisis? He confidently said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you will see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:13-14).
Moses so believed in God’s care, trusting his word to lead Israel into his promise, that he declared, “I know the Lord is faithful and I’m going to act on his word!” Think about the consequences of such faith. If the Red Sea didn’t open up miraculously, Moses would be thought a fool. The Israelites would go back into bondage, and God would never again be trusted. Yet we all know what happened: As Moses stretched out his hand, the waters divided, and the people walked across on dry ground. I tell you, no one who fully trusts in God will ever be put to shame. God will deliver on His promise for His own name’s sake.
Not one of God’s children who fully trusts in his Word will ever be put to shame. He will deliver on his promise for his own name’s sake!
“The arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous … They shall not be ashamed in the evil time” (Psalm 37:17, 19). This amazing prophecy for God’s people is being fulfilled right before our eyes. Psalm 37 tells us the Lord rises to action against a society whose sins have outraged heaven. Yet this same psalm is one of great hope, containing an incredible promise to those who put their trust fully in the Lord.
God says he will “uphold the righteous,” which simply means that God is faithful in his recompense of woes, but also in his promises. David is saying, in effect, “Look around you and see how God keeps his Word. His warnings are now being manifested in your headlines, his actions all over your media. Will not God also keep his Word to preserve his chosen ones?”
No matter what happens in the world — no matter how fearful the news becomes, how severely the world shakes — God’s people will not be left ashamed. Indeed, the Lord will act on our faith to fulfill his Word to us. We may suffer, but he will come through for all who fully trust in him.
Christians are going to face impossibilities in the days ahead, but our Lord will provide miracles when there is no human answer. In fact, he willingly puts his reputation in the hands of his people, calling us to commit him to his Word. You may say, “God can defend his own name; he doesn’t need me.” Not so! God has chosen his people to be his testimony to a numb, unmoved world and he is calling us to openly commit him to do what he promises.
“You, O God the Lord, deal with me for Your name’s sake; because Your mercy is good, deliver me” (Psalm 109:21). God will never put his trusting people to shame. He will keep his Word because his own honor is at stake.