As I lay in bed last night before sleep, I began praising and thanking God. One praise was for the blessing of new relationships with other believers. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to meet with fellow Christians and discuss God’s Word and how He is working in our lives. I began thinking about the Bible study class I am in with a wonderful group of ladies. We meet for one hour each week during Sunday School. We have been meeting together for a few years now. As I was going back through our studies of the past year or so, I had to thank God for the journey He has taken us on. It seems like one study grew us right into another on a closer and more active walk with God. While I was praising God for that and His immense love, patience and grace, He put a thought into my head of progressive dinners.
Have you ever experienced a progressive dinner? You start out at someone’s home with maybe an appetizer. You eat, drink and get to know each other a little better. Then you move onto another home. Maybe this one is a salad or soup. You sit down with everyone and again, eat, drink and share life. Then after a bit, you move on again – to the main course this time. Same thing, you enjoy dinner, conversing with one another. Finally you end up the meeting at another home where dessert is served – the pièce de résistance– a sweet ending for the night. More conversation ensues and by the end of the night, you know much more about each other than when you started. You are fully satisfied from an evening well spent.
God showed me that just like my Bible study group’s journey, our Christian walk is kind of like a progressive dinner. We begin when we admit we are sinners in need of a savior. We believe in God, that His Word is truth, and accept the gift of salvation offered to all who put their trust in Jesus Christ. But, salvation is not the end of the journey, it is only the beginning. It’s like the appetizer. Then as we head on our journey down that narrow path, it’s kind of like when you are driving to the next home for your entrée or main course. Through the reading and teaching of God’s Word, fellowship, encouragement and accountability of other believers, we grow and become fully satisfied as if we had a delicious meal. All the time remembering that we are not on this journey alone. Others are walking with us toward our destination. We reach heaven – the sweet ending to our journey, the dessert course so to speak. However, this is not the end at all – it’s just the beginning of eternity. How sweet it is to be loved by Jesus!
Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
At first I thought this “progressive dinner” term was kind of strange but then as I thought of all the references of bread, milk, etc. in scriptures, it’s not strange at all. Walking out our faith (salvation) is like life itself. As babies we begin on milk and then as we grow and mature, we eat more substantial food.
Matthew 4:4 “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
1 Peter 2:2-3 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
Hebrews 5:12-14 “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
I will never view progressive dinners the same way again. God has placed a feast in front of us. I want to enjoy the entire meal, the company I am journeying with and get to the sweet, sweet ending!