The Wedding of All Weddings
Formal Attire Required – Part 4
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:13-16
Key Verse: Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Coming out of yesterday’s devotional, some readers may get the mistaken idea that the man in Jesus’ parable of the banquet hall, in Matthew 22, was thrown out because he didn’t “do good deeds.” It is obvious that the man was separated from God for eternity: “Then the King said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13). His problem was not that he didn’t “earn” his entrance into the banquet, he had been invited! His problem was his heart had never truly been transformed by the work of God by faith in Jesus Christ. We know that simply by the entire context of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The basics of the gospel are: we are all sinners; no one deserves to be in Heaven; Jesus paid that price for us to enter; we who believe and accept that gift from God are saved; saved people reveal their salvation by the deeds of their lives.
I believe that the point Jesus was trying to make by adding to his parable “a man without proper attire,” was that faith that believes that Jesus existed is not a faith that saves anyone. The scriptures remind us that even the demons believe that much (James 2:19). A faith that saves is a faith that puts us into action, a faith that says Jesus’ teachings are worthy of my total obedience to them. True saving faith changes the way I do life; good deeds become a habit not because they save me but because my heart desires to do good. We desire to do good because our faith in Jesus’ teachings transformed our hearts! It is God who does the transforming, and our efforts are focused on staying in step with what God’s Spirit is whispering into our hearts to do. This is when Jesus’ words are fulfilled in us: “…let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16).
Father, whisper into my heart today! In Jesus’ Name, amen.