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“And now, O sons, listen to me:
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;
all who hate me love death.”
-Proverbs 8:32-36

Everyone loves to be invited, included and treated as a special guest.  There are a lot of societal influences opting to fill the need for this connection such as social media.  Posts and tweets often include location and invitations.   In fact, the fear of not being invited and the fear of being invited to too many people’s meet ups and being able to respond creates a contemporary anxiety.  After the meet up is decided, the next question is where shall we eat? Dining experiences and cuisines abound making the choice challenging.  The food culture has exploded and even named its dedicated followers foodies.   The good news is God has given the ultimate invitation to the ultimate dining table experience to everyone.

foodie seeks new food experiences intensely rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.  They are passionate about food freshness, tastes, wine pairings, sources, cooking styles, techniques, and sustainability especially in a local area or cuisine. They know their chefs. A heavenly foodie seeks God as a matter of life and death, not a hobby or convenience or social to-do. They’re passionate about knowing the mind of Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit and the Father’s plan. They desire to hear the Shepherd’s voice above the world’s noise, taste the fruit of the Spirit, and walk the talk. They’re a dedicated student of the Scriptures.  They know their Creator, Savior and Sustainer personally and intimately.

Proverbs 1-9 make the options clear to the wisdom seeker along the city streets lined with table settings.  There are only two choices to the ultimate invitation.  One path chosen leads to regret, sorrow, emptiness, dissatisfaction and death.  The other path leads to life, honor, favor, peace and joy.  The choice must be your own and it is offered to everyone – to linger with the wrong crowd, in the wrong places at the wrong times or leave them, to seek satisfaction in the pleasure filled whims of the moment or hunger for the increase from diligent pursuit of the honorable and eternal, to be seduced by earthly desires demanding instant gratification or intentionally posture your life in the prudent way of wisdom. The appeals of Woman Folly and Lady Wisdom seem similar but the consequences are as different as light and dark, life and death, heaven and hell.  A real disciple of Christ can tell the difference between stolen food eaten in secret and fresh, carefully prepared nourishment. Listen to this song “Carried to the Table” by Leeland and imagine what the heavenly banquet tastes like now for you, God’s specially invited guest.

“Leave your simple ways, and live,
    and walk in the way of insight.”  
-Proverbs 9:6

“But he does not know that the dead are there,
    that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.”
-Proverbs 9:18

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By Donna Burns  

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