Buffets are awesome since you can pick and choose your food of choice. You can load up on the mashed potatoes and roast beef, while at the same time adding a small collection of things such as raw carrots and steamed green beans to manage any guilt that the beef may produce in your mind. Other choices on the buffet, such as liver, may be left totally behind and never find its way to your plate.
Hopefully, we do not treat God’s word the same way as a buffet; picking and choosing what we will follow – what we will add to our plate.
The two disciples on the way to Emmaus did this sort of thing. They had “hoped” that Jesus was the one that would redeem them from the hands of the oppressors, and that He would establish His kingdom on Earth. Their thoughts were guided by the many prophesies of the Messiah’s kingship. Then, as Jesus drew near, He opened their eyes to “all” the scripture showing that the One sent by God was to also “suffer” before coming into His glory. He showed them the total buffet – kingship and suffering servant – and encouraged them to partake of all of it and believe.
After looking at this, I suddenly realized that I stand at God’s Word treating it like a buffet. Some things I want. Some things I don’t. I pile on my spiritual plate God’s love, mercy and peace while taking only small helpings of “love your enemy.” I want a lot of forgiveness and the gravy of grace for my self, but don’t make me taste of forgiving others. I want the bread of life and the waters that quench my thirst, but don’t make me take mission trips to offer the same to others. There is no room on my plate for the “going into all the world.” Now give me heaven for my dessert and I will be satisfied, leaving no room for ‘deny yourself’ and ‘follow me.’ Well, maybe I will add a little “follow me” as a garnish.
After looking at the things I had piled upon my spiritual plate, a glaring fact stood out at me. EVERYTHING I had taken from God’s buffet cost Him dearly. EVERYTHING I had left behind would have cost ME something. How sad.