Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Way Into The Banquet

Have you ever felt insulated from truth?

We all perhaps have felt insulated from an idea. Maybe we have heard something and just felt like an outsider. We acknowledge what another person is saying but do not feel the conviction they feel.

An older person who is technologically challenged might say, 'Cell phones are stupid and they are ruining society! I'm never buying one.'

We nod and acknowledge that they have a point but as cell phone users we are insulated from that conviction. We can't reject it even if we see children crossing the street as they look down at a tiny screen. This technology is the water we swim in.

I often feel insulated from truth. I read my Bible and it doesn't sink in. I look at a passage that once filled me with wonder and feel nothing as I read it. It can be like walking down a hallway that has windows but no doors. I can see the beautiful thoughts but I don't experience them.

We need a bridge to reach Heaven's shores.

"So Jesus again said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture...' " - John 10:7-9 ESV

Jesus is our bridge. We can smell the banquet without Him but we can only taste it if He opens access to it..

"To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." - John 10:3-5 ESV

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one." - John 10:27-30 ESV

There are other voices that give access to other things. Jesus gives access to Gods things and closes off access to evil.

"O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!" - Psalm 97:10-12 ESV

"Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph." - Amos 5:14-15 KJV

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." - Matthew 5:43-48 ESV

Only Christ can give us this balance. If we hear His voice we can love what God loves and hate what God hates.  If we hear His voice we can love people even if they participate it things that we have decided to hate.

I don't want to live insulated from love or cut off from truth. I must hear my shepherd's voice. Behind that voice is my father's voice. If I hear my shepherd I find pasture. It is there that mercy becomes my bed and my banquet.


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