Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sermon--11/12/06--An Invitation to God's Feast

Come to the Feast

One overlooked fact of this time of year is the extra pressure that is put on families that are spread more and more across America. Where do you go? How many of you already have your plans for where you’re going to eat for Thanksgiving and Christmas. How many of you have had to make a decision between more than one invitation?

It’s not always easy during this time of year—to prioritize and not be distracted. And yet when we’re distracted, we miss out on the blessing and the abundance. If deciding where to go is not hard enough, you’ve also got to start thinking about what to get.

Now is the time that we begin being overwhelmed with things to have. Voices are calling from the TV, from the Radio, wooing you with the must have ticket items to make your home complete.

In case you haven’t noticed, the must have, hot ticket items are not limited to toys like the Tickle Me Elmo from a few years ago—adults have them too—certain tools, certain flat panel TV’s or Video equipment. All these things vie for our attention—so many ads that try to convince you to buy more and more and more—try to convince you what is most valuable, what is the popular, what is the

1. Timely Opportunities to Waste—Isaiah 55:2
a. Opportunities to Waste—we have so many opportunities to waste what God has given us. The first thing that Isaiah mentions is our money—we can spend and waste so much money on non-essentials.

b. READ Isaiah 55:2b-c—“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?”

c. Having bread to eat—the basic food—is an essential—if you want to live, you’ve got to eat—there are some basic elements of life that we cannot do without and we take them for granted that we’ll always have them. Look at your bills and consider how many of the things you’re paying for are luxuries—how much, what percentage of your expenses are the convenient add ons—the type of things that would be the first to go in a crisis—the first you would abandon, discard or sell.

d. We spend money on so many unimportant things, things that don’t help us survive—and yet they really demand so much of our time, not just in using them, but in paying for them. How long do we have to work hard for things that won’t satisfy. Satisfy—to gratify the desire or need. Whatever it is may satisfy for a little while, but so often that satisfaction is short lived—you become bored with it, forget about it and want to move on—there is a continual hunger for the new and improved.

e. Break it down. How long, how many days at your job did it take to pay for that entertainment center, that new satellite TV system? Could you live without it?

f. We Tend to Fill Up on Bad Things rather than Good Things and all they do is further complicate things—all they do is add worry and frustration—and contribute to a growing dissatisfaction with life.

g. And yet we are invited to the good, the better, the best. We should want to have the necessities—we should “eat what is good” But to fully receive it, we must

2. Listen to Him & Delight in Him—Isaiah 55:2c-3
a. When we crave the pure spiritual milk of the Word of God—when we hunger and thirst for righteousness—His Word will satisfy our deepest need—we will be filled with what is good. God provides the best—imagine starving and then feasting on the “richest of fare.”—in other words, no one can provide anything better—there is no greater feast, nothing better for you than what God provides.

b. And you have been given an invitation—you have been invited to God’s feast, not just for Thanksgiving, not just for Christmas & Easter.

c. Hear and respond to God’s invitation in vs. 1--Accept His Invitation—Isaiah 55:1—all who are thirsty must respond to what God is doing in their life.—

d. And the promise from Matthew is that God will bless you abundantly when you truly hunger after Him and seek Him.

e. Sometimes making a decision among family where you should attend is difficult, and yet we have the greatest invitation the universe has ever known and for some strange reason, you and I are willing to ignore it, to put it aside, to pretend like we don’t see it or hear it and accept another invitation & go somewhere else.

f. Imagine if you were given an invitation to dinner at the White House with the President of the United States—pick your favorite—they will fly you out, set you up, drive you around, give you a tour of everything and you’re response is that you’d rather stay home because there’s a really good episode of Lost on this week, or b/c you want to see the World Championship of Basket Weaving.

g. We are thirsty and don’t come to the waters. We are starving and don’t come to the Feast that is prepared for us.

h. Why is it such a dilemma when God gives us an invitation? Don’t you believe God knows how to throw a good party—how to cater a good meal—how to have the best to eat and drink—how to have the most fun? Have you ever wondered what kind of feast God would bother to invite you or me too?

3. What Kind of Feast Does God Invite to?
a. Before we get to that—notice that He calls us to come—and to come without worry of whether you can pay for it or not.

b. When we have accepted God’s invitation, it doesn’t cost us anything—vs. 1—it doesn’t cost us anything because God is the one that is taking care of all our needs and is providing everything for us. You don’t have to bring any cash, there’s no price menu—you don’t have to choose between paying the bills and buying food because God is catering and bringing out the best for you.

c. Isn’t that like Salvation? He offers us a great gift and we worry whether we can afford it—we try to take out our wallet and pay for the gift with our own righteousness—but no! His invitation doesn’t cost us anything.

d. He invites us to a banquet—a great feast—and everything has been made ready. Everything is prepared—there’s plenty to eat, plenty to drink. Enough to fully satisfy you—it is a blessing of God.

e. Luke 14:15-17—“When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God." I want to eat at the feast in the Kingdom of God. I want to sit down at His table, pick up my fork and see what my God is going to bring out for me. But what kind of feast is this?

LK 14:16 Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, `Come, for everything is now ready.'

f. Matthew 22:1—“Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.” We are invited to a Wedding Feast—a Wedding Banquet. The Father is preparing a Wedding Celebration for His Son to be United to His Bride and you and I are invited. Not just to be witnesses, not just to be on the guest list—but to be the guest of Honor—to BE the BRIDE for the Bridegroom—the Father is preparing this feast so we can be welcomed into His family.

g. How can you refuse such an invitation? How can you let something get in the way of it? How can you think something is more important, something is more valuable? How can you not put aside every wasteful distraction to accept this invitation?

h. Because the Wedding Feast of the Lamb is Beautiful—it is Glorious. Revelation 19:6-9—“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

REV 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.

REV 19:8 Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear."

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

REV 19:9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: `Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God."

j. It is all prepared by the Father—even the clothes we are to wear—so that excuse that I hear sometimes that you don’t have the right clothes is done with—God isn’t interested in what you’re wearing on the outside as He is the righteousness given to you by the Blood of Christ—He has thought of everything. And He is inviting you.

"Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.

7 Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
7 Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.

"Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."

1 comment:

Sean Carter said...

Its thanksgiving and there is fun and frolic all over but in all these merrymaking let us not forget the real purpose of the occasion. Lets all kneel and thank God for all that He has showered on us and for this beautiful life that he has graced us with. On this note i'd like to ask you to visit my Thanksgiving Blog sometime and share your thoughts....have a great time on Thanksgiving!!!!