God provides you with plenty of food and fills your heart with joy

A Meal with Jesus intro
Here’s the latest extract from my new book, A Meal with Jesus. The book is available here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk and there is also a Kindle version available here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

Much is said of engaging with culture. Much that’s right and helpful. But we must never let engaging culture eclipse engaging with people. People are infinitely variable and rarely susceptible to our sociological categories. If you want to understand a person’s worldview, don’t read a book. Talk to them, hang out with them, eat with them.

People often complain that they lack time for mission. But we all have to eat. Three meals a day, seven days a week. That’s twenty one opportunities for mission and community without adding anything to your schedule. You could meet up with another Christian for breakfast on the way to work – read the Bible together, offer accountability, pray for one another. You could meet up with colleagues at lunchtime. Put down this book and chat to the person across the table from you in the canteen. You could invite your neighbours over for a meal. Better still invite them over with another family from church. That way you get to do mission and community at the same time, all the while letting your unbelieving neighbours see the way the gospel impacts our relationships as Christians (John 13:34-35; 17:20-21). You could invite someone who lives alone to share your family meal followed by board games, giving your children an opportunity to serve others through their welcome.

Join in with the cultural events in your neighbourhood. The chances are food will be involved somewhere because food is such a powerful bond. Look for opportunities to reinterpret what is happening in biblical categories. In Acts 14 Paul addresses the people of Lystra. They want to worship him and Barnabas as gods because they’ve healed a crippled man. Paul calls on them to turn from idolatry and then says: God “did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:17) How many evangelistic messages have you heard along these lines? “God provides you with plenty of food and fills your heart with joy” (NIV). So let’s give thanks to him rather than worshipping “vain things”. It’s evangelism for parties.

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4 thoughts on “God provides you with plenty of food and fills your heart with joy

  1. This is a very relevant and applicable conversation for me in suburbia. Time is a very valuable currency. I have been taking my elders through the book and that will be a conversation I look forward to… time… we all eat and therefore have time to leverage that time for missional purposes. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Engage primarily with people then with culture « a missional life

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, one of my favorite this year next to Scott McKnight’s “Community Called Atonement”; “A Meal with Jesus” will help shape the way my church does mission: around a meal! I likewise made it the church book of the month for July, in which various congregants will engage and post thier comments. I also used part of the book for this past sundays teaching! To read my brief review http://academiachurch.org/?page_id=942

  4. Pingback: Passion Points « Three Passions

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