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 I had finally
decided to see what this place was all about.
But, this just couldn't be the right
Quickly, I glanced down
at the invitation that I clutched in my hand. I
scanned past the words, "Come as you are. No
jacket required" and found the
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
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
"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
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
I couldn't believe what
I heard! A grin broke out on my face and I said,
"Yes, of course!"
He led 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
The man returned and
said, " 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
"Salvation," was his
"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, I just can't
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. I found myself
walking towards Him and in a 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
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 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 sit me at your
table and give me this new life." Immediately, I
heard the words, "It is
I looked down and white
robes adorned my 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 for 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 Lo, 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?"
"Yes, Lord. I see them.
What do they mean?" I replied.
"These are reserved
tables...but the individuals whose names are on
each place-card have not accepted their
invitation yet. Would you be so kind as to hand
out these invitations to those who have not
joined us as yet?" Jesus asked.
"Of course," I said with
excitement as I picked up the
"Go ye therefore into
all nations." He said as I turned to
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
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."
"For by grace are you
saved through faith: and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:" Ephesians