“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.” (Isaiah 55:1-2)
No Bottom Lines
Our world is obsessed with the bottom line. How much does it cost? What’s the starting salary? How much do you want for it? We’re familiar with these kinds of questions because most people tend to think primarily in terms of dollars, constantly counting the cost so we can get the most bang for our buck. Yes, frugality can be a good thing. But if we aren’t careful, it can also become so engrained in us that it obscures our perception of God.
Isaiah 55:1-2 tells us that our heavenly Father is no miser. He doesn’t do bargains, budgets or bottom lines. No, God is a big spender, putting everything Christ has purchased for us on the table and inviting us to wolf down the riches of the Gospel. Don’t worry, the check has already been taken care of. Christ has paid your way and the table is set, so pull up a chair and have your fill.
The Only Condition
There is, however, only one condition. And make no mistake, Isaiah 55:1-2 has no fine print. There are no hidden terms. God tells us from the get-go what He requires. He won’t evaluate our religious scorecards. He has little interest in whether or not we have the right political affiliation, or if our past is squeaky clean. None of that will earn (or un-earn) us a seat at the Father’s table.
So what’s the one thing God wants from us? To come thirsty. His only condition is that we must have a longing for Him that stems from our inner dryness. It’s that simple. There are no hoops to jump through and no games to play. All you need to do is approach the Fountain of all that is wonderful and admit your need. He won’t be the least bit stingy with His wonderfulness. No, His grace will flow freely into our lives when we are no longer content with the junk food of this present evil age.
But therein lies our biggest obstacle to receiving the fullness of His grace. We spend too much time drinking from other fountains and eating at other tables. And the more we try to satisfy our thirst apart from God in Christ, the more dull we become. We get so used to the foul taste of the world’s delusions that our spiritual tastebuds lose their capacity to appreciate heavenly food.
Thankfully, God confronts us. He darts past our addiction to mediocrity and starts asking all the right questions: Why do you spend what little you have on that which cannot possibly satisfy you? What substitutes are you filling your life with to find happiness? Will you turn from that and embrace all that I have for you? That line of questioning reconnects us to the endless possibilities of the Gospel. When we consider it with a take-no-prisoners honesty, we start to get thirsty again—thirsty enough to come to the crystal clear waters that flow from His presence. And we can be certain that He will refresh us there.
LifePoint, a feast awaits us this Sunday. We have a glorious opportunity to taste and see the goodness of God anew. Let’s be sure not to miss out on that. While we’ve been at the feeding trough all week long, binging on the pig slop of our sleazy culture, our Father has been preparing a holy celebration for His children. He has slaughtered the fatted calf, set the table, and poured the new wine of His Kingdom. So let’s get out of the pig sty and go back to the Father’s house to delight ourselves in His rich food. Everything is ready. And there’s no bottom line. All we need to do is show up thirsty and empty-handed, expecting an encounter with the God of free, abundant grace.
Liturgy for Sunday, June 28, 2015:
Call to Worship:
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble. And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!
(Psalm 107:1-2, 22)
Confession & Assurance:
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.
Pastoral Prayer (led extemporaneously)
May you be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
(Adapted from Colossians 1:9-10)
You can also follow the Spotify playlist for this Sunday here.