God has a way of taking the little things we wouldn’t normally notice and turning them into a lesson that relates back to the Word. And the Word always confirms His love and mercy. There are things in this life that God will highlight in a moment and we won’t understand why, but if we’re really listening, He will give us a “pay attention” nudge from the Holy Spirit. “Remember this,” He says.
Yesterday, I was watching someone who’s dog was begging for food with his eyes. The exchange was adorable:
“No, I’m not going to feed you right now. No. No! I’m not gonna. Don’t look at me like that!” This went on for a few minutes and finally, “Okay. I’ll get you something.” That was one happy dog. The master gave him some of his own food. The Spirit whispered, “Pay attention.”
This morning I woke up thanking God for His mercy and grace, and for His waking me up for another day of service to Him (which I hope will always be better every day than the day before). The thought that was on my heart upon waking was that of the dog and his master. I was reminded of the story in the Bible of the Samaritan woman with Jesus. Here’s a snapshot:
“A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “LORD, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “LORD, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, LORD,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”Matthew 15:22-27
Her daughter was instantly healed, by the way, and that was one of the first pictures in the New Testament of the Gentiles’ offer of salvation.
For the longest time, the Jews were the recipients of the offer of salvation and inheritance. But they refused it, killing the One who offered it. This exchange with Jesus and the Samaritan woman (two titles not well-liked or considered in that time) is a beautiful example of the Father’s love and the Master’s care. The Gentiles (those who were not God’s chosen people, the Jews) didn’t have an inheritance to speak of, were not part of the family of God, and were basically outsiders. They were the dogs waiting for scraps to fall, hoping the Master would drop a little something for them, too. Little did they know, God had a plan for them, too.
Have you ever been on the outside looking in? When I lived in my car (of my own volition and during a time of great pride and rebellion), I would watch people going in and out of the grocery store with bags upon bags of food. I remember having spent my last 10 cents on Top Ramen and eating it in the parking lot of the WinCo in Stockton at 4am. I’d walk around the stores watching people and wishing I could have what they had. I was the prodigal in a sense. I would pray that someone would have pity and give me some food, but no one ever did. Sometimes we have to get to rock bottom and come to a place of crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!” I would have taken scraps if they were offered to me, so I know this story all too well. I also know that the man refusing to feed his dog until the appointed time is a glimpse of the Father’s love.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”Matthew 7:11
The ultimate gift we as Gentiles get is the grafting in of our people into the family of God. And how amazing that He doesn’t only give us the scraps, but gives us full access and total adoption with all the benefits.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”Ephesians 1:3
We are not only given the adoption as sons and daughters of God (Ephesians 1:5, Galatians 4:5-7, John 1:12, 1 John 3:1, Galatians 3:26, Romans 8:14-19, Romans 8:23, Ephesians 2:19, etc.), but have the blessings of our inheritance right now as we abide in Him, in the vine we’ve been grafted into. Does this give us the right to be entitled and treat others as less than, or rub it in that we are adopted? Never. (Romans 11:17-24) We should always be in humble thanks that the Master gave us a seat at His table, where we only ever hoped to be under begging for scraps.
Remember Mephibosheth? I wrote this post on him earlier this year if you need a history: https://straight-up.net/2019/04/19/i-am-mephibosheth/
We are the Mephibosheth’s of this world. We have been called from the ends of the earth, God searched us out and called us to come dine with Him. He has prepared a table before us in the presence of our enemies. We don’t deserve a place at the table; it is only by His grace, mercy, and love that we have been given this glorious opportunity.
The Call: Come to the table. Come and dine with the King. Take a seat at the Father’s table where you are more than welcome. For God so loved the world, and that includes you! Take your rightful place by putting your trust in Jesus Christ, who died for your sins. If you haven’t yet accepted His free gift of salvation, I am imploring you to do so. God wants to adopt you into His family and raise you as His own. Repent of your sins and ask Him into your heart. If you are a Christian already, take your place at the table with thanksgiving and find people who haven’t yet realized they have a place there, too. Share the Gospel, plant those seeds, and pray without ceasing.
My prayer for you today is Ephesians 3:14-21. Read it and pray it over yourselves, your families, your neighbors, your church, and the lost.