1 Timothy 2:3-4 - For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
In China's Sichuan province, in the city of Chengdu, there is a new restaurant named Jiamener.
Maybe it would be more accurate to say, "There was a new restaurant named Jiamener." You see, by the time you read this devotion, Jiamener will be closed. With your permission, let me tell you the story.
The tale begins in December of last year when Jiamener opened its doors for the first time. Wishing to be noticed in a city with a plethora of eating places, the owners of Jiamener felt they needed a promotion that would put them on the map. After a lot of late-night discussions, Jiamener's owners came up with a plan they felt did the job. The plan was all you can eat for $19 a month!
Now, does $19 a month sound like a deal to you? It did to me, too. And because it was a deal, the people of the community purchased a fair number of these $19 all-you-can-eat tickets. Jiamener's owners congratulated each other. To all appearances, things were going like gangbusters.
Who could argue with the success of the restaurant which was serving 500 customer a day and always had a line waiting to be served and had to extend its hours.
There was only one thing wrong with the picture, and that one thing was there was no picture on the promotion card. Without a picture of the client on the card, what happened was this: dad would use the card and eat before he went off to work. Then he would pass it to junior who had a good meal before he gave the card to mom, who would sometime during the course of the day, go over and enjoy a first-class meal with friends. Finally, in mid-afternoon, when sis came home, she used the same card to grab a bite.
And the program, which might have been successful at $19 a month per person, crashed and burned when that $19 ended up feeding four or more people. Two weeks into the program the restaurant shut down with the owners $80,000 in the hole.
Now I wondered, could the Lord's program of salvation ever go broke?
Is it possible for needy, sinful humans to become so sinful and needy that God's grace and mercy runs dry? Is it possible for His mission to redeem humankind from sin, the devil, and death go bankrupt?
Of course, the answer is no; these things are not possible.
The Lord who created the entire universe, has the ability to love the entire universe. It needs to be remembered that the Lord's salvation plan was, from the outset, designed to be shared with every person, everywhere. Jesus lived, suffered, died, and rose so that God's love for the world might also be able to save the world, that is, all whom were brought to faith by the Holy Spirit.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord. I give thanks that Your plans are better, more complete, more comprehensive, and far more effective than anything humankind can cobble together. For Jesus' blood-bought plan which saves, You have my everlasting praise. In the Savior's Name Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Elle Nicholson in June 2018 for American Upbeat. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: http://americanupbeat.com/restaurant-closes-after-going-bankrupt-after-all-you-can-eat-promo/
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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