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Come as You Are

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, 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. “Jimmy D. Brown,” 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 place-card 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 am unclean and unworthy of such things. I’d love to have all of this, but, 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 as he pointed 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. He opened His arms and said with a smile, “Son, all of this is yours, 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 to accept the invitation that I offer you.” Astonished, I fell at his feet and said, “Please, Please clean up my life. Please change me and give me this new life.” Immediately, I heard the words, “It is finished.”

Come Boldly

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” – Hebrews 4:16

Notice in today’s verse that God doesn’t say, “Come to Me with a weak, defeated, pitiful attitude.” He doesn’t say, “Come to Me thinking about all your failures and how unworthy you are.” No, God says, come to Me with boldness. Come to Me with your head held high, knowing that I’m a good God, and I want to help you! He says, “Come to Me knowing that you are the apple of My eye, and I want to be good to you.”

And really, the only way you’re going to approach God boldly is to know that you’re righteous—that you are in right standing with Him. You have to know in your heart that God is pleased with you. You have to know that your sins are forgiven.

Today, instead of dwelling on what you’ve done wrong, dwell on what you’ve done right! You may not be all that you’re supposed to be yet, but you can thank God that you’re not what you used to be! You are forgiven. You are chosen. You are accepted. Receive His forgiveness today so you can go boldly to His throne of grace.