LUNCH DATE By Bill Stoner

Lunch dates! The source of my social life and the place that I get to make life altering decisions: will it be the chicken tender salad with blue cheese dressing or the double stack, angus beef, mouthwatering hamburger with a slice of pepper jack cheese? Decisions, decisions!   It seems that every lunch date I have with someone is another chance to sharpen those decision-making skills! But, picking out the correct food item to sustain this mortal body, isn’t the only thing that I have to choose. There are many other things to consider when choosing a fantastic lunch date. Like where are you going to eat? Do I want a nice, clean restaurant with waitresses and waiters and those gigantic menus that seem to take more time to read than a short novel? Or do I want a small café with pleasant folks and good food?  Perhaps I may just choose the old stand-by because you know what you’re getting, and your lunch date won’t get lost, trying to find you. These are all very important decisions that you must decide, in order to have a great lunch date. But there is one decision which I haven’t mentioned yet, which is extremely important: who am I going to have lunch with?

My most recent lunch date was with a fellow who I have the greatest love and admiration for. As we were sitting there eating (yes, I chose the burger) my mind was thinking about the only thing that really matters: where does this person stand with Jesus Christ? How can I bring into the conversation what Christ has done in my life (after all, you are the one sitting there)? How can I convince this person that Jesus Christ not only died for their sins, but that He lives every day to challenge them, and to bring them to maturity? (Colossians 1:28) I also know that there was another person at that table, a person not seen, but felt. He is the Holy Spirit. My wife gets creeped out whenever we are talking, and I refer to “we” when it is just the me sitting there. Do you agree? Don’t answer that!

Lunch dates are so important, not because of the food, the place, or even the guest you invited, but because they help people connect with others. They are great times of relationship building and learning that each of us is flawed and imperfect. The Holy Spirit is the one Who keeps our mind centered on who we are, and He brings us back when we go off and speak about unimportant things. The Holy Spirit is the one who reminds us of the Scriptures that perfectly fit into the conversation at the right time, and the Holy Spirit is the one who reassures us, gives us strength, gives us boldness to be like Jesus! What a blessing He is. Jesus tells us in John 16:7 But I tell you the truth: it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” What a perfect name for the Holy Spirit, Counselor! What a gift He is!

Well, I hope this Recharge has reminded you of some important things in your life. Like, who is going to be your next lunch date with, where is your next lunch date going to be, and what are you going to order? (I do like a good tuna melt with cheese, but we’ll see….). And one more thing, don’t forget to set that third place at the table, you’ll definitely need Him!