Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Leftovers - Martin Wiles

Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them. Romans 1:5 NLT
He lumbered through the door, meandered to the bar, and stood silently.
My wife and I were doing our normal Tuesday night thing: eating with Mom and my stepfather at a local downtown restaurant. We had finished our meal and tucked our leftovers into a carry-out plate. Now we waited for Mom to finish. As we waited and talked, an elderly man entered the establishment and approached the bar where the owner, a waiter, and a waitress stood. He asked for nothing but the restroom, but his eyes and clothing told his story.
After he returned from the bathroom, the owner offered him a cup of water. We watched his eyes drool over every tray of food the waiter and waitress delivered to patrons. Finally, he sat at an empty booth, a cup of water in hand. 
“He’s hungry. Give him our box of leftovers,” my wife whispered.
I have a habit of praying for opportunities to demonstrate God’s love, but then not seeing them. Thankfully, my wife helps my eyesight.
“You remember what happened last time we tried that,” I said.
A few years back, we’d attempted to help a local homeless man, only to have him curse us and tell us to feed our food to the dogs.
“This guy is different,” my wife commented.
I handed her the box of leftovers as we rose to leave. She took them to the gentleman. Before she could finish asking if he wanted them, he reached out, grabbed the box, and thanked us.
“You know what the Bible says about attending angels unawares,” my wife said as we walked out the door.
Paul had experienced God’s grace on the road to Damascus. His life was forever changed, but enough grace was leftover for him to share with the Gentiles. And he did.
I’m not overly fond of leftovers—and my wife is even less so. Some throw out leftovers, others give them to pets, and still others share them with friends or family members.
When we experience God’s grace, we always have leftovers, and God expects us to share them with others. The way we do so varies, but doing so is urgent because hungry people are everywhere.
Find ways to share God’s leftover grace.
Prayer: Father, thank You that Your grace is more than enough for us and everyone else.

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