And He Was Speechless
by Joyce Samuel
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Life is full of surprises, good and bad. Try as we might, we cannot avoid some of the unpleasant ones as we journey through life. I prefer the pleasant ones though!
I want to share briefly about a man who got both a pleasant and unpleasant surprise on the same day. The speed at which the latter followed the former left the poor man speechless. Remember the story of the king who arranged a wedding feast for his son? Matthew 22:1-14 (NKJV)
After much preparation, the invited guests refused to come because they had 'better' things to do. So he sent his servants to, "...go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding."
The bible records that the servants gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled.
Then just as the guests began to settle down, the king came to see them, and here was this guy who did not have a wedding garment. And the king asked him, "Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?" I can imagine the man's surprise - can't you? But because you are not in his shoes right now, you can probably answer thus: "What do you mean how did I get in? You invited me, didn't you?" But this man had no answer. Matthew 22:12b says: AND HE WAS SPEECHLESS. (Emphasis mine)
There's so much argument (at least where I come from) amongst the children of God as to whether Christianity is only of the heart or should also reflect in the way we dress outwardly. There is so much emphasis on the fact that God receives you the way you are, and sees your heart, so the way you under-dress or over-dress really doesn't matter: just come as you are. Undeniably true.
However, observe the way things went in the story. The doors of the kingdom were thrown wide open to the bad and the good, and they honoured the invitation. If I may guess though, some might have gone home to have a shower and change their clothes. If I received a sudden invitation to have dinner with the president of my country, I would change from my house clothes and slippers and wear something more befitting. I'm sure you would too. It's only natural.
The same way, God expects that His children should make a conscious preparation to meet Him at the end of their life's journey if they are not to be unpleasantly surprised like the man in the story. Of course clothing here goes beyond, but also embraces physical clothing. Is your heart naked? - That is, stubborn, loveless, full of lust for the things of the world and the things of the flesh? Then you will need to shed off such 'clothing' and 'dress' decently, or you'll be in for an unpleasant surprise, come that Day.
What is your physical dressing like? You need to determine your motive for dressing: to be clothed, to seduce or to flow with the fad and gain worldly acceptance. By the way, there's nothing wrong in dressing nicely and looking good. But I am strongly persuaded that a heart filled with the Holy Spirit will express itself in decent clothing. Of course you may disagree. It's your privilege to argue while still on this side of eternity. But come that Day, the well of words will dry up. Ask the man in the story.
Saints, there's no better time to purify our internal and external dressing than now, in these last days. Let's purify our hearts. It's not enough to shed tears of remorse and sorrow for our sins. The bible says that Godly sorrow produces repentance. Tears are not enough. Turning away completely from all that offends God is what really matters.
Let's not be discouraged by our shortcomings. Left on our own, we cannot please God. But the Holy Spirit is there to help us, and thank God His grace is sufficient.
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