Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Dear Pilgrim, will you come to the table?

I am honoured to be able to share with you today this guest post by a dear friend of mine, Becky Pliego. Be blessed as you read, Dear Pilgrim, and may you come to the table!

Is your soul longing to be satisfied? Is your flesh fainting? And your eyes weary of crying?

Then I am happy to be here today to encourage you to turn your eyes, your soul, and your whole, undivided self to God’s Sanctuary in prayer, and there, before Him, open your Bible and eat.

The table is set, all is good, rich food awaits, it is a blessed banquet, one that satisfies the deepest longings, and God wants you to come and eat before Him. He has called you, even now He is calling you! Come and eat!

I can almost hear you ask, “But how do I come to the table?” “Where can I wash my hands from my unclean deeds, my feet from going astray, my mouth from unclean words, my mind from darkened thoughts, my heart from filthy intentions?” I say, don’t let them keep you from coming to the banquet! Have you so quickly forgotten that there is forgiveness in Jesus? Have you not read that our Father doesn’t despise but welcomes a broken and contrite spirit (Psalm 51)? Have you forgotten that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18)?

Eat these words today, dear Pilgrim; “
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).  Here is where the banquet starts: Jesus doing all the washing of feet and hands and hearts.

The devil does not want us to come to the table, he wants to deceive us into believing that we can make our own bread out of rocks (like the time he tempted Jesus, remember?). But that bread, the fake one, the one we desperately eat in the dark will never satisfy. Remember this, dear Pilgrim, the food in exile, the food of self-righteousness, the bread made out of rocks, will never, never, satisfy us. It only feeds the idols of our hearts but never our soul. All bread made with our own efforts will always leave us empty, it never nourishes us, it will always kill us.

Now come and eat, there is no need to hunger when He has laid down His very own life so that we can feast at His table and be satisfied. Do you have a Bible, a place to pray? Then you have the banquet at your disposal. Be merry and be satisfied! His Word is sweeter than honey, taste it and see how good the Lord is to His children! Oh, dear Pilgrim, do not be delayed anymore! Do not resist His voice when He calls you to feast at His table! Today is the day! This is the appointed time!

By Becky Pliego ©

About the Author: BECKY PLIEGO is a happy wife and homeschool mom of four children; three of whom are already in college, and one is still at home receiving all of Becky's attention and teaching focus.
Becky loves to read big and small books about theology, food, and how life is lived as a story woven in God's heart.
Her favorite place to be is always around her table full of hungry people to feed, with a big stack of pumpkin pancakes to pass around.
Becky can be found at Daily On My Way To Heaven.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Dear Pilgrim, are you hungry?

Dear Pilgrim, are you hungry?

The Lord our God is the perfect host. There is a feast forever on offer from the abundance of His house! He created a Garden for man, overflowing and teeming with good food from the trees, watered as they were by the rivers of the Spirit, the rivers of delight. How it was His desire that we should eat and be satisfied, that we would delight in the overflowing abundance of all He freely offered.

Yet man turned his back on the feast of faith - and ever since the ground has been subject to a curse, such that only through painful toil can man now eat food from it. Thorns and thistles now point to the glory from which man has fallen. All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied. With a heart set on earthly things, even the riches of the promised inheritance from the Lord are sold for a pot of stew. Yet still man’s appetite is not satisfied.

For food that spoils can never satisfy. But there is another food – and this food endures for eternal life. It was in the desert as men gave in to their cravings that this was revealed, as they tested the living God by asking “Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?” Is the arm of the Lord too short? Can He not instruct His ravens to bring bread and meat to His servants? So the merciful Father opened the doors of the heavens, He rained down manna from heaven, and man ate the bread of angels.

Dear Pilgrim, are you hungry? There is One who has food to eat that we know nothing about. His food is to do the will of His Father and to finish His work. As the Bread of Affliction hung upon the cross, He purchased salvation for you and for me by giving His flesh for the life of the world. As the Living Bread was raised to life, He gives us eternal life and promises to raise us up at the last day.

Dear Pilgrim, are you feeding on Him? For man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.  Are you feeding on Him? When His Word comes, will you eat it? For His Word is our joy and our heart’s delight. His Word is as sweet as honey. Will you open your mouth and eat what He gives you? For He will fill the hungry with good things, but the rich He will send away empty.

Dear Pilgrim, do you see the table He has prepared for you? This table is in the presence of your enemies – but precious Pilgrim, there is no need to fear. Be strong! For the Bread of the Presence is always at His table. Oh, let Him lead you to the banquet hall! Pilgrim, take your seat. Ah, I hear your protest to Him: “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”  But remember, even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table. Oh, Pilgrim, is it possible to grasp the full glory of the inheritance into which He has brought us – that we are to eat at the King’s table like one of the King’s sons? Is it possible? Can this be true? Oh, Pilgrim, yes, this is true! Sit no longer in the shadows, grateful simply to be in His company, longing for a glance to come your way from His table, yet not daring to hope that He might notice you – come, take your seat at His table, eat and drink with Him! Look at Him full in the face! Speak to Him, and delight in the sound of His voice speaking to you.

And precious Pilgrim, you who have been watching for Him, waiting for Him, you who have been wise and have taken oil in your lamp to keep it burning…can this be? Look, He has dressed Himself to serve…He makes you recline at His table….He is coming to wait on you! The One before whom every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord, to the glory of the Father….He is coming to wait on you! This is our God! Oh, Pilgrim…when He reveals these truths in His Word…..the abundance, the love He lavishes on us….sometimes it is almost too much to take in. The riches of His glorious inheritance…let us fall to our knees in worship. Who is like our God?

Oh, Pilgrim, come, come with me to Mount Zion! This is where the feast is laid out before us! Come, come with me, let us feast in the abundance of His house! Oh come, come with me! And let us go to the street corners and invite anyone we can find who has ears to listen to come and feast with us at this banquet!

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
    a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine –
    the best of meats and the finest of wines.
(Isa 25:6) 

Friday, 1 November 2013

Dear Pilgrim, do you need building up?

Dear Pilgrim, are you discouraged by so much of what you see in the visible church? By those who profess to know Him and yet neither proclaim Him in truth nor worship Him in spirit? Surely the need has never been greater for the wailing women to come to mourn and lament over the ruined houses (Jer 9:17-19). 

But Pilgrim, take comfort as you look out across the devastation of the landscape - for He is shaking created things, He is shaking the idols from the land, so that what cannot be shaken may remain. And precious Pilgrim, do not neglect to take heed of this word of wisdom: “Build yourselves up in your most holy faith!” (Jude 20)

Build up, build up!

It is only in your most holy faith that the building up can take place. When man builds apart from God, looking to make a name for himself, it leads to judgement (Gen 11:4). Yet even when David desired to build a house for God to honour Him, the Lord told him that He would build a house for David, and establish the throne of his kingdom for ever (1 Chr 17:10). So the Temple was destroyed and raised again in three days (John 2:19) – and He Himself laid as a foundation in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation.

He brought revelation that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God to man, and on this rock He began to build His church. And just as He began to build His church by the revelation of Jesus Christ through faith, so too the church is built up in the same way (Col 2:6-7), through the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:4-16, 1 Cor 14:12,26) and the word of His grace (Acts 20:32).

But some have built on the foundations with wood, hay and straw - and the walls are in need of repair. The word of God is like a hammer that breaks a rock into pieces, the word of God will destroy the false idols - land, land, land, hear the word of God! Otherwise, He will breathe on the walls of wood, hay and straw with the fiery breath of His mouth and they will be burnt up.

Build up, build up!

The walls can be built up again. The Repairer of Broken Walls will rebuild the walls of faith. He will reveal Himself to those who believe He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. To those who do not refuse Him who speaks, to those whose hearts and flesh cry out for the living God, to those who come to Him as children asking Him for His good gifts, He will manifest Himself. He will not quench a faintly burning wick. He will breathe upon it and say “Receive the Holy Spirit” and it will be fanned into flame. To those who tarry in Jerusalem, acknowledging their lack of power, and their absolute need for His outpouring upon them, He will come! To those who see their emptiness, their brokenness, their need to be filled, to be empowered by Him, to be emboldened by Him, to be directed by Him and instructed by Him, He will come! To those who are not ashamed of their thirst or their hunger for Him, He will come! But we must wait upon Him! We must seek Him! We must ask Him! We must keep knocking at the door! Oh, for a touch from Him! Tarry, dear Pilgrim, tarry in Jerusalem. But come, He will. And the mustard seed of faith will grow and bear beautiful fruit unto Him.

Build up, build up!

Dear Pilgrim, unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Indeed, it is the Father Himself who is seeking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth, through the Spirit of Truth. So come to Him, dear Pilgrim, come to Him. For Jesus Christ is a living Stone, He is the Master Builder, and we are His house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. Pilgrim, do not lose heart! Do not be discouraged! You who call on the Lord, give Him no rest and give yourselves no rest until the building is complete. Let us offer Him our broken spirits, our broken, contrite hearts! He will not despise this! And may it please Him to build up the walls of Zion.