December 1, 2010
“Levi gave a large dinner at his home for Jesus. Everybody was there, tax men and other disreputable characters as guests at the dinner.” Luke 5:29 The Message
What would happen if you invited friends to have dinner with Jesus …?
The great secret about Jesus is that He loves it when you are just “yourself” .. just being you .. being normal .. not trying to impress or earn acceptance. He loves it because He knows how hard it is for you to be “just you”. Jesus spent his life around the disreputable .. rejectable .. and unacceptable. We spend our lives trying to be known as reputable .. respectable .. and acceptable. Jesus never calls you to pretend .. with Him .. with your friends .. or with yourself. We pretend because we fear He will reject us as unwanted or find us unacceptable. So .. what would happen if you invited a table of friends to have dinner with Jesus? It would seem to be an awkward mixture of guest of honor and questionable guests. And yet .. tax men and disreputable guests are what we all are compared to who Jesus is. And yet .. it melts away all of our defenses when we discover that He is relaxed and enjoying sharing a meal and talking about all the things that grab our attention. Who would you invite to have dinner with Jesus..? Would you dare invite the same old people you see everyday … not the ones you “think” should be there .. but simply those you are around everyday? They are the “everybodies”. Can you imagine the looks on their faces when you ask them: “Would you join me for dinner? I’ve invited Jesus to join us for the evening.” Levi left everything he had to follow Jesus. He walked away from everything that was destroying him on the inside. All Jesus said was: Follow Me … and he did. And Levi did what was normal for him. He gave a dinner and invited the people who made up his world. Who would you invite? The names or faces probably come to mind pretty quickly. So why wouldn’t you invite them to dinner and ask them what it would mean to leave everything and follow this man? You may be surprised at what happens around the table. You may be surprised of what happens inside of your life. It only takes a moment …
“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll get you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!” Psalm 91:14-16 The Message
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F to Long-Drinks-of-Salvation following Jesus and friends of Priority One (firstname.lastname@example.org)