Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Day 50: Matthew 22:1-22 & Psalm 51 - Are You Wearing the Right Clothes?

Today's Reading: Matthew 22:1-22 & Psalm 51 

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Are You Wearing the Right Clothes?

“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” - Matthew 22:11-14

Who doesn't love a good feast? Apparently, if it's a wedding feast and God the Father is the host and Jesus is the bridegroom, lots of people just can't be bothered. They pay no attention and go about their normal, boring lives as if no fattened animals have been slaughtered and no tables have been set.

We can see the reality of this parable all around us. The God of the Universe has sent His only Son, who has lived perfectly, died sacrificially and risen victoriously for one reason: to glorify God by providing full and free salvation - forgiveness, reconciliation with God, adoption into God's family, eternal life. But most people simply don't care. They're not hostile; they're just too busy with their lives to be interested. They use words like "religion" and "church" to make salvation seem as man-made and boring as possible. 

And then, sadly, there are some others who think they can crash God's party on their own terms. These "Wedding Crashers" think religion is a way to earn eternal life. They have ignored the terms of God's wedding invitation and despised the wedding garments which Jesus lived and died to earn for them. Instead of the perfect robes of Christ's righteousness, they come in the filthy rags of their own righteousness, thinking their own good works will count the same as the finished work of Christ. 

Sadly, when the wedding feast truly begins, they will find out how wrong they are. They will see how poorly clothed with ridiculous rags they truly are. The pathetic inadequacy of their own righteousness and attempted good deeds will be clear, but it will be too late.

So, what about you? God has prepared the wedding feast for His Son. The Bible calls it the wedding supper of the Lamb. Your clothes for attending are the robes of perfect righteousness earned by Jesus Himself. He offers them to you free of charge, to be received by faith. The only catch is you have to see your own sin and realize how impossible it would be for you to dress yourself for the wedding in your own righteousness.

Are you too busy to notice or care?

Are you still convinced God will accept your good deeds as good enough to get you into the feast?

Or are you trusting in Jesus alone for your salvation? Are you confessing that Christ and Christ alone in your righteousness and your salvation?

Can you sing this song truly, from the heart?

Prayer Based on Psalm 51:

What a great prayer of repentance!

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Do good to Your church in your good pleasure;
    build up the faith and unity of Your people;
then we will offer You the right sacrifice,
a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips giving thanks to Your name,
    our lives lived as living sacrifices for You.

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