N and J treated our bible study group to a buffet dinner recently, to thank God for His faithfulness.
For six long years, we've prayed with them for breakthrough on one of their prayer concerns; and recently, God answered.
It pays to seek God and be relentless with our prayers. Because God does listen! His answer could not be forced. He is sovereign and knows His plan and timing for us. But He is attentive to those who call on Him in Spirit and truth and honors their desires with good things.
It pays too to treat those who pray for you. Oops, biro lang! Joke!
But come to think of it, treating senior-citizen-card-wielding folks pays. N and J right then and there received another blessing---20 per cent discount plus VAT-free privilege on their bill---out of being kind to seniors with an appetite.
Anyway, back to the buffet table.
Coming to that restaurant, I'd decided to first survey the lay of the land. Humongous buffet we were told; got to plan the attack.
Japanese here, Chinese there, Pinoy and broiled items in one section, steaks and meats somewhere, Mediterranean across, finger foods on one side, desserts till you wax sweetie-pie over there. Bottomless coffee, tea, soft drinks, juices. İ didn't even know where to start.
With all these stuff titillating my nose and taste buds, my strategy soon turned mush. Instead of sticking to veggies and fish, having just a piece at a time and taking it really slow, my eyes ran amok. İ just went for what looked good.
Thank God we prayed no one would go home with a bum tummy. So merciful, He answered our prayers even if we didn't desert the dessert or the bulalo or the steak.
I did take two sodium bicarbonate tablets before bedtime, to make sure I would not be accused of senior corporeal abuse (as opposed to child abuse) after all that gorging.
Life is pretty much a buffet too, don't you think? Choices, they abound! What to choose is always a challenge.
But far from just stomach aches or upped blood sugar or cholesterol count, our wrong choices may yield regrettable fruit---shattered dreams, broken relationships, even death.
Just watched a video on Facebook of a car swerving to what one may conclude as a fatal turn. Was the driver intoxicated, on drugs or plain texting while driving?
A lot of our choices don't even give us second chances. An extra marital fling can destroy a family, scarring generations upon generations hereafter.
Deutoronomy 28 spells the curses that follow us for our disobedience, including "our children going into captivity." İf only because of their effect on our children and our loved ones, we need to think twice about our choices.
What's on the menu may be yummy but if opting to "just have a puff" or "a snort" of something, or try forbidden fruit just because your amigas say it will "bring back your youthfulness," think again---your real riches may be on the line.
"Nice to look at, but if you break it, you pay for it," says a sign in a department store filled with precious and fragile crystal home decor.
Our relationship with God is precious. Jesus placed His life on the line for us. He died for us, taking our sin as far away as the east is from the west, and loving us unconditionally even when we were unlovable.
Once we've accepted Him as Lord and Savior and His Word richly dwells in us, He pares down our range of choices, narrowing our alternatives to basically His. Not because we deserve less or He's selfish, but because our all powerful Maker knows what's best for us.
Consider Jesus' pre-selected menu. İf you make Him your Way, your Truth and your Life, you get to feast on a sure bounty:
*Eternal life. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, Acts 16:31. Phase two of this life means you don't even need a buffet of food or food supplements to survive. Forever young and beautiful, that's what you'll be, even if you momentarily pass through tribulations in phase one.
*Unspeakable peace. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, Phil. 4:7. I've never slept so peacefully until Jesus. But this means too that in spite of chaos, you can dwell in Him and be at peace.
*His provisions. He is Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, Genesis 22:14. He owns everything. Providing our needs is not the issue. Being content is the real issue. Sometimes we don't know how to moderate our wants and demands, or we're not faithful stewards, so we lack. That's why He gives us...
*Wisdom. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you, John 14:26. Knowing a lot, being educated and trained is good, but deciding to do things His way is far greater, because it adds no sorrow and glorifies His Name.
Jesus' buffet table may seem uninviting to many, especially to those looking for sensory, emotional, or material highs alone. But really, His table is the ONLY one with the REAL goodies.
On today's menu: strength, wholeness, contentment, manna for your spirit, wisdom, fullness of joy, love, mercy. His grace is sufficient for you, says He. It's the same menu tomorrow, but expect it to be like freshly-picked flowers, because His grace is fresh every morning.
Have Jesus. Have it all! And it's for free. Call on Him, believe in Him, obey Him. His buffet is simply generous.
All together now. Burrpp!