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Friday, January 25, 2019

Frozen water feature (Photo by John Thomas)
Early this week we had some very frigid weather. John, a local reader, sent this photo of a wind-blown spray at a pond fountain.

"There's Still Room"

Message summary:  Let me ask you today. Have you accepted the invitation at God's table or are you still making excuses? If you have accepted the invitation for your place at the table join God's servants in faithfully proclaiming, "Still there is room!"

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled" (Luke 14:22). "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. These are true words of God" (Revelation 19:9).

Yesterday, following our morning chaplaincy duties, we had lunch at the "Shady Maple" which is a huge smorgasbord here in Lancaster County. We both donate blood and during the last collection drive they gave us each a BOGO for a meal at the Shady Maple.

It's probably the most famous eatery here in our area and in our nearly 18 years of living in this area we've eaten there a lot, in part due to a promotion of a free meal on your birthday (with one paid meal). So on our birthdays we can take each other out free!

Shady Maple

The huge restaurant is out in the country but is a tourist destination in its own right. We are sure many of our readers, especially local, have eaten at the Shady Maple!

We realized that we must be showing our age when we received the senior meal pricing (10% off) without even asking. However if we hang around till are 90 we can get a 50 percent discount! But I'm willing to wait awhile for that discount!

Shady Maple serving area

The Shady Maple is an all you can eat buffet so we have to be careful how often we go or I would have an even bigger pouch! The restaurant's Scripture theme could be, "And they ate and were well filled" (Psalm 78:29). The food is great but the most outstanding feature is the tremendous variety of about everything edible including some items I really wouldn't care to eat. The buffet line with the food is 200 feet long. It's by far the biggest restaurant we've patronized with the main dining area seating 1,200 people and the banquet facilities another 1,000. Almost every time we go there, including yesterday, there are many fellow diners.

As much as we look forward to an occasional meal at the Shady Maple, it pales in comparison to our anticipation of the great banquet Jesus is preparing for believers in heaven!

Great BanquetHeaven is going to be an extraordinarily remarkable place. Among our heavenly blessings will be the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, an absolutely incredible banquet that will surely be unlike any on this earth. When I try to figure out how all this will happen I quickly realize that while I live in this tent of a body I "see through a glass darkly." Or as the old hymn says, "the half has never yet been told."
Perhaps Jesus had this marriage supper in mind when He told the Parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14:15-24. The overall message of the parable is about the excuses and outright rejection of many in regard to entering God's Kingdom. That's still true today! The Master instructs His servants to go out and extend invitations to a great banquet. Many who were invited made excuses as to why they couldn't come.
The banquet invitation was then extended further, "Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame." The servants returned to their master with the report found in the daily text, "what you ordered has been done, but there is still room."

How sad the excuses that keep us from the Great Banquet Table.

Yes indeed, there's still room at the table. And today the Master's servants continue to extend the invitation to a great banquet. Scores of devoted missionaries, evangelists and pastors, Sunday School and youth workers are proclaiming, "There's still room." Dedicated lay people are taking this message to their world today, "There's still room." Through this internet ministry Brooksyne and I declare to those who visit this page, "There's still room!"

What a great truth is found in verse 23 where we read of God's desire, "That my house may be filled."

Let me ask you today. Have you accepted the invitation at God's table or are you still making excuses? If you have accepted the invitation for your place at the table join God's servants in faithfully proclaiming, "There's still room!"

There is always a place at the table,
There's a feast that's now waiting all your own,
Your place is set each time the family gathers;
It will never be the same til you're home.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, the theme of the great banquet parable calls to mind another parable where You challenged the crowd by saying, "The first shall be last and the last shall be first." You are the Bread of Heaven that nurtures our spiritual hunger and the Living Water that quenches our eternal thirst! Since Your supply is unending there is still room because You are not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance. We especially pray for wayward loved ones today, particularly those who have abandoned their spiritual heritage. Father, lead them back to their spiritual roots where there is always a place at the table. We're so thankful You're in the restoration business where hearts are mended and families reunited for Your glory. We thank You in advance for answered prayer. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"There's Room At The Cross For You"  Video  Billy Gaines

"There's Always a Place At the Table"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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