A PICTURE OF GRACE

Picture before you a large table. This table extends as far as you can see in front of you. Look to the left and you see no end. Look to the right and you see no end. This table is covered with the best foods imaginable.

Now picture yourself sitting in front of this table. Your hands are bound behind your back. Your legs are securely tied to the chair. The chair is bolted to the floor.

Close your eyes just for a moment and grasp the picture described.

Time passes as you sit there and a strange ache begins to grow inside of you. You have never known hunger before and can not understand what this ache inside is. Your hunger grows and soon there is nothing but a big empty spot inside of you. You try hard to ignore the ache. At times the pain seems to go away and you are fine, but eventually the pain returns again and again. You will remain this way until you finally die from starvation.

God is watching your suffering. He looks down upon you and in His mercy and grace decides to help you. He turns to the Holy Spirit and tells Him to go to you and tell you why you feel the pain and what you must do to relieve it.

The Holy Spirit comes to you and tells you that you are feeling hunger. He tells you that you must eat of the food that is in front of you or you will die. You realize He speaks the truth, but how can you eat of the food. You are tied and cannot even approach the table let alone eat of it.

The Holy Spirit then tells you that not even He can help you. He tells you that your only hope is in Jesus. Jesus alone is the only one that can approach the table and take of the food. He alone is the only one that can place the food in your mouth.

Jesus alone can do this because He is the one that has paid for the food. He has paid for it with His life. He suffered the terrible death of starvation when He was not even hungry. He did this so He might buy the food to save your life. After His death He rose again, by Godís merciful grace, that He might come to you and feed you. If you believe all this Jesus will save you, but you must repent and have total faith in Him.

You sit there thinking on all this as the hunger grows. You become weaker and more desperate with each passing moment. You start to turn to Jesus , but another approaches. He calls himself a man of God. He stops to pray to God with you. He tells you he knows the path to salvation. He asks if you know your hungry. You reply yes for the Holy Spirit has told you this. He then asks if you know you must eat of the food of the table. Your reply is yes, for this too was told to you by the Holy Spirit. He asks if you know that only Jesus can feed you. Once again you reply yes, for the Holy Spirit spoke of this also. He then tells you that if you ask Jesus believing all this He will save you. You do believe so you ask Jesus to save you. The man of God satisfied that you are saved gives you a glass of water and travels on.

The water seems to fill the void in you and you feel better. All is well for a while. Then the hunger returns. You realize you are still tied to the chair and can not reach the food you need to sustain your life. Once again the man of God approaches. You tell him you hunger again. You tell him that the water did not last. He tells you that you have drifted from God and must rededicate your life to him. Hungry you do so and he gives you another glass of water.

Once again you start to feel better. Time passes and the dreaded hunger returns. Itís worse this time. You have become very weak. You are rapidly approaching deathís door. You see the man of God and start to reach out to him, but something pulls you back. His way does not work. It does not last! Then you see the Holy Spirit there. He has been there all along. His arm is outstretched pointing. You follow its direction. You look and you see no one, save Jesus standing there with open arms. You finally realize that Jesus is your only hope. Youíve tried all else and failed. You realize that all you have done is wrong. You turn from your wrong doing and turn to Jesus begging for His unmerited mercy. Jesus comes. He approaches the table and takes of the food that is there. He turns back to you and places it in your mouth. You swallow deep. Immediately the void is filled. You hunger no more. The ropes fall away and you rise. You walk to the table with Jesus. You know that as long as you stand by Him, He will continue to feed you from that table only He can touch.

Dedicated to Jesus
Inspired by Jesus
Penned by Jim Foresee