Thursday, May 29, 2014

Al Thomas: Life with Jesus is a Feast and a Celebration

Al and Sherry ThomasAll of us like to eat. We all need nourishment for our human bodies to exist. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life" (John 6:48). He is our true spiritual food. At this time we still have earthly bodies that need physical food. But, there is food much more heavenly. This food will cause us to grow and mature. The dinner table is set. Come and dine with the Master.

Jesus' Public Ministry Starts With A Feast

In John 2, we are told that Jesus attended a wedding with His mother, brothers, and disciples. At the wedding there was a feast (see verses 8-9). Seems like there was plenty of food, but the wine runs out so Jesus makes more.

Jesus, like you and I, enjoyed eating. He enjoyed fellowshipping around the table. He was a sociable fellow. He loves people. He loves you. If you show yourself friendly He will be friendly to you (see Proverbs 18:24).

Friends often congregate around meals. Most weddings have a lot of food; but an ancient Jewish wedding went all out. Weddings were momentous occasions, sometimes lasting seven days. When we come to Christ, we must learn to celebrate and feast on the Spirit, His Word, and His people.

Life with Jesus is a feast and a celebration. Our ministry is called Celebrating His Life from Psalm 45:17 (RSV). When we eat, we should celebrate. His Word is food to our soul (see Psalm 19:7a). Eat it. Gorge on it. This is the only instance where being a glutton is not sinful.

Joyful Eating

Jesus could feed five thousand with a happy meal. And He did. In Matthew 14:13-21, Jesus transforms five loaves of bread and two sardines into a massive fish fry with toast. David said, "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread" (Psalm 37:25). Jesus said, "Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?" (Luke 12:24).

Of course, this is not just about food. If not for the lad's five loaves and two fishes, thousands would have gone hungry. God asks for you to give what you can and He will make up the rest, it doesn't matter how much is needed. Little is much with God (see Luke 21:1-4). Our times of fellowship around the table with Jesus make every meal a happy meal. Acts 2:46b tells us "... and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart." Scripture is food. Proverbs 3:8 says, "This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones."

His Resurrected Body Eats

In Luke 24 two disgruntled disciples are surprised by a resurrected Jesus on the road to Emmaus. Not knowing who their guest was (but intrigued), they constrained Him to stay with them because He indicated He would keep going. Truth nugget: Sometimes Jesus will test us.

He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do.John 6:6

Jesus always knows what He is going to do, but (for our growth) will occasionally test us. In this instance, it seems He was offered a meal and only accepted at their insistence. When we invite Him to stay, He will. Always invite unexpected visitors to stay a while: It might be an angel (see Hebrews 13:2) or the Lord Himself. Hospitality (food) is a major key to successful supernatural encounters (see Genesis 18:8). The two Emmaus wayfarers were stunned to discover that their guest was the Lord Himself when He blessed and broke the bread (see Luke 24:30-31).

Jesus was going to leave. What if these two befuddled disciples didn't insist that Jesus stay for dinner? He would have gone on His way. How many times I wonder do we miss an encounter with the Savior because we are too consumed with discouragement and/or some disappointment? There is something holy about inviting Jesus to eat with you. I believe in saying grace before eating a meal. Jesus did (see John 6:11). He looked up before He blessed the loaves and fish (see Mark 6:41a). He was saying grace. When we are thankful He feels invited. And when He shows up, we can really fill up with His nourishment.

He Tries To Convince The Disciples It's Really Him...With Food

He appears to the disciples and they can't believe it's Him, even after He shows them His hands and His feet (see Luke 24:40). What does He do? Another miracle? No. He asks if they have any food. They have a piece of broiled fish and honey. The Bible clearly says He eats it in their presence (see verse 43). "Now do you believe Me? Look, I'm eating earth food..."

Jesus knew the importance of food and life. Sometimes we bribe our children with food. Jesus did so with the bewildered disciples: "If I eat this will you believe Me?" It makes so much divine sense that God would tie in food with the resurrection. Jesus is the ultimate Chef giving out divine delicacies. Heaven will be a feast beyond our comprehension! Eating is good. Enjoying eating is encouraged by God Himself! You know you're hungry...

The Definitive Beach Barbecue

Cold and hungry after fishing all night with nothing to show for it (see John 21:3), suddenly it's Deja vu all over again for the disciples (see Luke 5:9). Jesus, standing at the shore tells them to cast their nets again. They do, and you know what happened. But, before they can get to shore, He already has fish on the grill and adds some morning croissants (see John 21:9).

Jesus is always ahead of us. He's got class. Jesus could have just appeared, spoke to them, and left. But no, He makes it an event. A time of sitting down for an extended period of fellowship and instructions before Jesus departs for Heaven.

When you sit across the table from someone, there is an intimacy; a looking in the eyes and warmth of spirit transpires. Fellowship is like "two fellows in a ship." The use of the word "fellowship" is never mentioned to describe man's relationship to God before the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell the Church. It is an exclusively post-Pentecost relationship. I believe that Jesus is saying to the Church the same thing He said two thousand years ago, "Let's go grab something to eat, I'm buying." Jesus said, "Come and dine" (John 21:12). He invites you.

How To Eat – Biblically

Jesus, it seems, was always around the breakfast, lunch, or dinner table. Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 9:7, "Eat your food with joy...with a happy heart, for God approves of this!" Call it what you will, God is interested in our bread, victuals, eats, chow, cuisine, and yes, our groceries.

Yet, Jesus is not just a foodie. He is interested in relationship. In Biblical times, meals would go on for hours. They weren't just drop in, eat, and move on meals. There is no such thing as "fast food" or "drive-in meals" with Jesus. He's the ultimate epicurean. Meals are meant to bring people into relationships that have lasting impact. Meals should always center on Him (see Colossians 3:17). Sometimes, more ministry happens when you share a meal than when you go to church. I believe Jesus has been saying to the Church the same thing for two thousand years. "Let's eat, I'm buying."

Jesus said, "Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me"(Revelation 3:20). And of course, the grandest meal to come: The marriage supper of the Lamb (see Revelation 19:9). Sorry, strict dress code: White robe only (see Revelation 7:9). I'm heading for the kitchen, i.e. my Bible.

Al Thomas
Celebrating His Life

Email: a.thomas@myactv.net
Website: celebratinghislife.com

Al Thomas is a noted Bible teacher who travels mostly east of the Mississippi with a ministry of encouragement to the Body of Christ. He teaches heavenly truths with down-to-earth practicality and humor. Al and his wife Sherry publish a free teaching newsletter that reaches many homes each month. Al has pastored in California and Wisconsin and was mentored by evangelist Jim Spillman. Al and Sherry minister in churches of all denominations, and are known for the gift of faith to be in operation in their meetings. Al and Sherry move prophetically and see many healed in their meetings. They have four children and six grandchildren. They reside in central Maryland.

Al Thomas' Itinerary:

Note: Events are subject to change at the ministry's discretion. We suggest you always check first with the event contact listed here and/or directly visit their website for latest updates on each event.

May 12, 2014 (Dinner 6pm, Meeting 7pm)
Aglow
Golden Corral
Waynesboro, PA
Contact: Eileen Flenner 717-860-3133 or seflenner@comcast.net

May 18, 2014 (10:30am)
Fountain of Life Fellowship
Conemaugh (Johnstown), PA
Pastor John & Linda Mains
Contact: 814-539-4374

June 1, 2014 (10:30am)
Living Stones Church
Salisbury, MD
Pastor David Hudson
Contact: 410-749-4560

 

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