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New Clothes... for a New Season1 week ago
This week ReSource Minister Keith Powell shares a word for the new year...
AS we enter 2022, I want to ask you a question that God has been asking me:
What Clothes are you wearing?
It’s an interesting question, triggered by a parable that Jesus told about a Wedding Banquet.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a King who prepared a Wedding Banquet for his Son. The invitations went out, but no one came”. So, to cut a long story short, “the King sent his servants out into the streets to gather all the people they could find, and the Wedding Hall was filled with guests.”
“But, when the King came to see His guests, he noticed someone who was not wearing their Wedding Clothes! Friend, the King asks, how did you get in here without wedding clothes? The person was speechless”. How embarrassing to be caught out at such an occasion, in front of all the other guests, and how painful then to be thrown out, on the King’s orders, into the darkness.
Can I already sense your indignation? The person was invited, and unlike others they did turn up. So what was wrong with their clothes, that was so out of place, for them to be ejected?
Sadly no one seems to have told them what to wear - or perhaps they had refused to put on the clothes that were offered to all the guests. For in Jesus’ day, wedding guests were given wedding clothes to attend the wedding banquet. To reject them was not only an insult to the host, but also an act of self-righteous arrogance.
We cannot enter the Kingdom of God wearing our own self -righteousness. Instead we need to be covered by the Righteousness of God - a gift only Jesus can bestow upon us.
When we invite Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour, he not only removes our sin-stained garments but covers us with clothes of His precious righteousness, and as we receive His “Royal Robe”, we shall be able to enter the Wedding Hall, and enjoy the feast of eternal life with the King.
So, what clothes are you wearing?
The prophet Zechariah has a vision that gives us another insight into the need for us to be dressed appropriately before God. In his vision he sees a High Priest called Joshua, standing before the Lord, an Angel, Satan, and other onlookers. Joshua is dressed in the filthy rags of his sin, and Satan is accusing him and asking God to pass judgement on him (to throw him out into the darkness)! But God has a better solution, he rebukes Satan, forgives Joshua and those standing by are told to take off Joshua’s filthy clothes, and the Lord says “ See I have taken away your sin”.
Praise God, that’s the first thing we are called to do when we meet Jesus. When we seek to follow Him, He wants to remove our filthy rags and purify us, but there is more, as He does not want to leave us naked! In the vision given to Zechariah we see that the Lord will put rich garments on us.
Often the Church seems to point to people’s sin, and quite rightly teaches the need for us to repent, and ask God to remove our dirty rags, but then forgets to tell them that God then wants to bestow on them a whole new set of Spiritual Clothing, fine new spotless robes fit for His Kingdom Banquet.
So, you may be asking, what do these new clothes look like? The prophet Isaiah tells us of his joy as God clothes him afresh :-
“ I delight greatly in the Lord, my Soul rejoices in my God, For He has clothed me with Garments of Salvation, and arrayed me with a Robe of Righteousness as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest and a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
The Bible talks about many different types of Spiritual Clothing, such as: Holiness, Humility, Justice, garments of Praise, a Crown of Beauty, the full Armour of God, and finally fine white spotless linen fit for Heaven. Which are you wearing?
St. Paul also urges us to wear Godly clothing:- “ Dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and over all these put on Love, in other words be clothed like Jesus."
How exciting: not only have we received our invitation to the Wedding Banquet for Jesus and His bride the Church, but He has given us a whole wardrobe of new clothes to wear until He returns.
As we wait, there is work to do in this New season: To make sure everyone gets their personal invitation to the Wedding Feast. To make sure that not only do they ask Jesus to remove their filthy rags and dirty garments...
But, also to ask God to clothe them in New Robes, just as Jesus describes in the parable of the “Lost Son”. When the son comes back home, His father says to the servants “ Quick, bring the best robe and put it on him, put a ring on his finger, and sandals on his feet".
Finally, we must make sure to keep our own New Clothes clean on a daily basis in this season of waiting and readiness for Jesus’ return.
As it says in the final verses in the bible:- “Blessed are those who wash their Robes, That they might have the right To the Tree of Life, And may go through the gates Into the Heavenly City." (Revelation 22 v 14)