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Faith Imagined: Fast to Feast- Day 5

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

February 25, 2010

Fast to Feast- Day 5

Matthew 22.10-14 NIV - "So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are invited, but few are chosen."

Please notice that the King's servants invited both "good" and "bad" people to partake in the wedding feast. The "good" people are Christians who have had their sins forgiven because they've accepted Jesus as their savor. The "bad" people have not had their sins forgiven, so they are accountable to all the bad they have done. Otherwise, we would all be bad "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard" (Romans 3.23 NIV). We all are bad compared to the holiness and perfection of God.

Therefore, both Christians and non-Christians are feasting at the earthly banquet. I believe it is the earthly banquet because the King hasn't entered yet -- Jesus has not yet come to claim His rightful throne on earth. God loves all people, but I know from reading His Word that He can only forge a relationship with those who have been forgiven from their sins. Humans can not reach a Holy God within their own unrighteousness. After the fall from Eden, humans had to have a sacrifice that would take the debt of their sins. The first sacrifice was the animal skins used to clothe Adam and Eve. Our 100% perfect God cannot can even look at anything that has sin, unless He looks through the lens of a sacrifice that wipes away the debt.

Since Jesus is our present day sacrifice, God looks through His blood in order to fellowship with us. So if God can fellowship with us, and He is glad we set our minds to make it to His beautiful wedding banquet, wouldn't it make sense that He would prefer to bless us more than the people who do not fellowship with Him because their sins are not erased? I believe that if Christians were willing to give even a fraction of obedience and sacrifice to God, He would take our fraction and bless it abundantly. God is the creator of the Universe. He sets the stars in the sky and puts the planets in motion. He is able to do wondrous works on our behalf. He holds all of the world's resources in His hands.

Christians don't need to be the smartest, most elegant, most attractive, most skilled, most charismatic to achieve an abundant life. All we have to do is stay faithful to our God, and He will direct all the blessings our way. It doesn't matter how much everyone else knows, how pretty they are, how well they are liked. If God had a choice to bless a Christian or non-Christian, He would totally jump at the chance to bless the Christian! Why? Because we love Him and we strive to live out His purpose for our life! We made it to the wedding feast, and God wants to give us His very best because we are His children and brothers and sisters to His son, Jesus! If we could just give God our love, He would willingly Give us all that we ask according to His will.

What happens when the King arrives to the wedding banquet? He starts to sort out the Christians from the non-Christians. The earthly banquet is over, and the eternal banquet is about to begin. The King looks through the guest and sees some not wearing the wedding clothes. I believe the wedding clothes are symbolic of the clothing of righteousness given to us by our savior, Jesus Christ. He clothes us in His righteousness. Obviously, non-Christians were allowed to take from the wedding feast! But, they can not stay for the eternal wedding feast because they are not wearing their wedding clothes.

God brings the non-Christians to judgment. They are His children, but they never took time to know Him and their sins are still visible because they have no wedding clothes to cover them. The King asks them why they are not wearing the wedding clothes (righteousness of Jesus), and they have no excuse -- they are silent. I'm sure regret and shame is running through their minds. And because they have not taken on the righteousness of Jesus, they are unable to dwell with God. They must live for eternity without God, and any place that does not have God is hell.

The last sentence of the parable reads, "For many are invited, but few are chosen." We are living out the earthly wedding banquet at this very moment. And there are many non-believers relishing in God's feast, yet they do not praise Him, they do not credit Him and they do not love Him. However, there are only a few believers enjoying the feast. Why is that? Why aren't more Christians living the abundant life that God wants them to live? Why aren't we the headliners? Why aren't we the most successful at whatever we do? Why aren't we the ones setting the trends, instead of the trends setting us? It seems that many of us our going with a cultural flow that leads away from the Holy Life and towards the Common Life.

Fast and pray to God, and earnestly seek the Holy Life. Wrestle with God until He blesses you, and He most certainly will.

Fast to Feast- Day 1
Fast to Feast- Day 2
Fast to Feast- Day 3
Fast to Feast- Day 4
Fast to Feast- Day 6
Fast to Feast- Day 7

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Blogger Cindy Bultema said...

Such a blessing to read your insights, as always, dear Alisa Hope! I'm so grateful that Christians "don't need to be the smartest, most elegant, most attractive, most skilled, or most charismatic to achieve an abundant life!" What an awesome God we serve!
May you hear from heaven in powerful ways as you participate in this fast!
Many blessings to you!
Cindy :)

11:23 PM  
Blogger Jack Foster said...

Great post. Keep posting and keep listening. Fasting makes us less so he can be more... I'm sure God's voice is getting louder each day. God bless you Alisa

11:41 PM  
Blogger Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Great post! The discipline of fasting is important. But, oh, I can't wait for that feast!

8:40 AM  
Blogger Deborah Ann said...

Everything you have written is true. And that should encourage us even more to love the unloved and the sinners who have not yet been saved (versus the sinners who have been saved).

Great word for the day, Alisa!

1:02 PM  
Blogger Karen Lange said...

My husband and I have been discussing these same things lately, as have many in our church. Timely thoughts! Have a wonderful weekend.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Crissy said...

I love how God is willing to bless even our smallest fractions!

Thank you for sharing your journey with us!!!

3:16 PM  
Blogger ~*Michelle*~ said...

WOW....this was unbelievable. I enjoyed every word!

"And because they have not taken on the righteousness of Jesus, they are unable to dwell with God."

What an eyeopener! Def something everyone needs to read/see!

5:45 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Awesome journey! Praise God for the King and His forgiveness that He so lavishly displays upon each of us...I love your writings Alisa! Much Love...Teresa

8:29 PM  

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