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Come As You Are. No Jacket Required
Posted On 06/10/2017 20:37:28 by glots



Come As You Are. No Jacket Required
Come As You Are. No Jacket Required *I shook my head in disbelief. This
couldn't be the right place. After all, I couldn't possibly be welcome
here. I had been given an invitation several times, by several different
people, and had finally decided to see what this place was all about.

But, this just couldn't be the right place. Quickly, I glanced down at the
invitation that clutched in my hand. I scanned past the words, "Come as you
are. No jacket required," and found the location.

Yes, I was at the right place. I peered through the window again and saw a
room of people whose faces seemed to glow with joy. All were neatly
dressed, adorned in fine garments and appeared strangely clean as they
dined at this exquisite restaurant.

Ashamed, I looked down at my own tattered and torn clothing, covered in
stains. I was dirty, in fact, filthy.

A foul smell seemed to consume me and I couldn't shake the grime that clung
to my body. As I turned around to leave, the words from the invitation
seemed to leap out at me, "Come as you are. No jacket required."

I decided to give it a shot. Mustering up every bit of courage I could
find, I opened the door to this restaurant and walked up to a man standing
behind a podium.

"Your name, sir?" he asked me with a smile.

"Daniel F. Renken," I mumbled without looking up. I thrust my hands deep
into my pockets, hoping to conceal their stains.

He didn't seem to notice the filth that I was covered in and he
continued, "Very
good, sir. A table is reserved in your name. Would you like to be seated?"

I couldn't believe what I heard! A grin broke out on my face and I said, "Yes,
of course!"

He lead me to a table and, sure enough, there was a placard with my name
written on it in a deep, dark red.

As I browsed over a menu, I saw many delightful items listed.

There were things like, "peace, " "joy," "blessings, " "confidence, "
"assurance, " "hope," "love," "faith, " and "mercy. "

I realized that this was no ordinary restaurant! I flipped the menu back to
the front in order to see where I was at. "God' s Grace," was the name of
this place!

The man returned and said, "I recommend the 'Special of the Day.' With it,
you are entitled to heaping portions of everything on this menu."

You've got to be kidding! I thought to myself. You mean, I can have ALL of
this!

"What is the 'Special of the Day,'" I asked with excitement ringing in my
voice.

"Salvation, " was his reply.

"I' ll take it," I practically cried out.

Then, as quickly as I made that statement, the joy left my body. A sick,
painful ache jerked through my stomach and tears filled my eyes.

Between my sobs I said, "Mister, look at me. I'm dirty and nasty. I'm
unclean and unworthy of such things. I'd love to have all of this, but, I
Just can't afford it."

Undaunted, the man smiled again. "Sir, your check has already been taken
care of by that Gentleman over there," he said pointing to the front of the
room. "His Name is Jesus."

Turning, I saw a Man whose very presence seemed to light the room. He was
almost too much to look at. I found myself walking towards Him and in
shaking voice I whispered, "Sir, I'll wash the dishes or sweep the floors
or take out the trash. I'll do anything I can do to repay you for all of
this."

He opened His arms and said with a smile, "Son, all of this is yours if you
just come unto Me. Ask Me to clean you up and I will. Ask Me to take away
the stains and it is done. Ask Me to allow you to feast at My table and you
will eat. Remember, the table is reserved in your name. All you must do is
accept this gift that I offer you."

Astonished, I fell at His feet and said, "Please, Jesus. Please clean up my
life. Please change me and seat me at Your table and give me this new
life."

Immediately, I heard the words, "It is finished."

I looked down and white robes adorned my squeaky clean body. Something
strange and wonderful had happened. I felt new, like a weight had been
lifted, and I found myself seated at His table.

"The 'Special of the Day' has been served," the Lord said to me. "Salvation
is yours."

We sat and talked for a great while and I so enjoyed the time that I spent
with Him. He told me, me of all people, that He would like me to come back
as often as I liked for another helping from God's Grace. He made it clear
that He wanted me to spend as much time with Him as possible.

As it drew near time for me to go back outside into the "real world," He
whispered to me softly, "And Daniel, I am with you always." And then, He
said something to me that I will never forget. He said, "My child, Do you
see these empty tables throughout this room?"

"Yes, Lord. I see them. What do they mean?" I replied.

"These are reserved tables, but the individuals whose names are on each
placards have not accepted their invitations to dine. Would you be so kind
as to hand out these invitations to those who have not joined us yet?"
Jesus asked.

"Of course," I said with excitement as I picked up the invitations.

"Go ye therefore into all nations," He said as I turned to leave.

I walked into God's Grace dirty and hungry. Stained in sin. My
righteousness as filthy rags. And Jesus cleaned me up. I walked out a brand
new man... robed in white, His righteousness. And so, I'll keep my promise
to my Lord. I'll go.

I'll spread the Word.

I'll share the Gospel . . .

I'll hand out the invitations.

And I'll start with you.

"Have you been to God's Grace? There's a table reserved in your name, and
here's your invitation . . .

Come as you are. No jacket required."

- Author Unknown

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that
not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should
boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.



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