Tag Archives: Following Jesus

Dressed for the Feast

Oriental feast--commons.wikimedia.org“‘All things are ready,’ come to the feast! Come for the table now is spread;
Ye famishing, ye weary come, and [you shall] be richly fed.”
“Hear the invitation, ‘Come whosoever will.’ Praise God for full salvation,
For whosoever will.”
(First verse and chorus of hymn “All Things Are Ready” by Charlotte G. Homer and W. A. Ogden)
I recalled this song from my youth after I’d read Pastor Tom’s sermon on Matthew 22:1-14 (You’re Invited to the Feast! ). The sermon helped me understand the part of the parable in which the man without the proper wedding clothes was thrown out. From the parable and the sermon, I see that even though everyone is invited to God’s wedding feast for His Son Jesus Christ and His bride the church, we can’t come on our own terms. We have to come on His terms.
My own goodness (even if I were “practically perfect in every way,” which I’m not) wouldn’t be proper attire for the feast. I can’t come smeared with the filth of my sin. I must repent and turn from my sin to Christ.
It’s not about saying a prayer and getting a ticket to heaven and living as I please. Accepting the invitation means that daily I lay down my own way (die to self, take up my cross) and go God’s way (follow Jesus, seek God’s kingdom). When I live this way, I will experience real life and joy now. And when I am called to enter the banquet hall, I’ll be properly dressed and ready.

1 Comment

Filed under Christian, Christian Living, Good News, Scripture Thoughts, Thoughts from Sermons Heard

Hearing the Right Shepherd

Jesus said that His sheep know His voice, and they won’t follow the voice of another (John 10:4-5). Sometimes, though, I do seem to listen to and even follow other voices such as that of the world or my flesh or the devil.

The world views life without God’s perspective. It shouts at every turn, “It’s all about me.” The flesh wants everything instantly and seeks comfort, ease, and importance. It makes excuses for my sin. The devil lures with temptation, then heaps on guilt and condemnation when I’ve succumbed. He twists scripture into palatable untruth so I end up believing his lies instead of God’s truth.

Yes, Jesus’ sheep hear His voice. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He (Jesus) was the sacrifice that reconciled me to God. Now the Lord has claimed me as His own, so I’m definitely one of His sheep. No problem there.

But perhaps I’m not surrendered to Christ in every area of my life and have leaned on my own understanding instead of trusting God (Proverbs 3:5). As I draw closer to Him and yield more of myself to Him, I’ll walk more often by the Spirit and not fulfill the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

Or it may be that I’m not consistently putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). The helmet of salvation would protect my head from the world’s thoughts. The belt of truth would keep me from swallowing the devil’s lies, and the shield of faith would fend off his temptations and condemnation. Also, the sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God) could cut flesh/world ideas from spirit ideas.

Finally, Hebrews 5:14 says that the mature person can discern good and evil because of practice. As I practice listening to Jesus more, I will know His voice better and will follow Him more closely.

Thank You, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that You  keep working with us, Your sheep, so we can learn to hear Jesus clearly and follow close to Him.

NOTE: I have linked the Scripture references to Bible verses at Bible Gateway (BibleGateway.com). All except the Hebrews reference are New International Version. Hebrews 5:14 is in the Common English Bible.


Filed under Bible, Christian, Christian Living, Good News, Jesus, Scripture, Scripture Thoughts