reserved seating

Table Dinner Dining Formal Elegant Luxury Setting

Finding Our Assigned Seats – Part 1

I often think about Jesus’ parable about the king that gave a great wedding feast (Matthew 22:1–14). He had sent invitations to people he thought were his friends, but they all begged off; none even showed imagination in their excuses! In anger, the king had the false friends executed. Then the king had his servant go to roads and highways to flag down and invite everyone he saw, and they came!

Everyone that came knew it was a wedding feast, and they knew the “pedigree” of the people for whom the banquet had been prepared. So, these people dressed appropriately; that is, all except one. This one fellow showed up in his “street” clothes, and he ignored where he was at and who the other attendees might be. He simply strolled in, saw an open spot close to the front, and sat down there.

When the king saw this fellow, he knew the guy was disrespecting him, so the king had the guy bound head and foot and thrown out. Then Jesus taught this lesson to the people (I’m going to paraphrase this extensively).

Minding Our Appearance

Jesus told us to come to God clothed in righteousness, not in the street clothes of worldliness. And when we come, we must not appear before God and think more highly of ourselves than we should. We must allow our Lord to place us where He desires. And when we come before God, remember that the order and schedule are God’s, not ours. And when we come, we should “take notes” – listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts and remember what we “heard.” The Spirit doesn’t speak of Himself, but He speaks for Jesus. And we should do all of these things at all times and in all places because we should be continually praying. Now consider this statement from Jesus:

 “But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.

Luke 14:10

We often see how God promotes when a young man begins teaching 5th and 6th grade Sunday School. Then, over time, he is asked to teach the college class and then the adult Sunday School class. During this time, he is taking online Christian college classes. Soon, he goes to seminary to learn theology and missions ministry. Then God calls him to be a full-time missionary to Moldova. His church has prayed, provided, and praised God’s promotions of this man. This is what Jesus taught in Luke 14:10.

Jesus, our Rock, is always mindful of us. We are never “uncovered.” God’s hand upon us and over us is always with us. He never doses off or gets distracted. Our God is reliable.

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Stadium Seating

Reserved Seating

If you popped out as a doer when you were born, then one of the most challenging things anyone can ask of you is to stop and sit down. 

Doers need to be busy; if we aren’t, then we get grumpy. As we age the need to “do” doesn’t change, but our bodies start letting us down. Our heart says “yes,” but our body can’t cash that check. It’s no wonder that many older adults are cantankerous.

Well, God loves everyone, including doers. But doers have to submit to the same process that God requires for all His children. Here’s what God expects: 

Ephesians 2:4-7 (ESV), But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 

Our Seating

Hmm. It seems that God has handled all the details, hired the staff, and prepared a place for each believer. Paraphrasing Jamieson-Fausset-Brown: “As believers, we already have reserved seats with Jesus in heaven. In our spirits, we are already seated.”

To be seated is to be in a resting position. New Christians don’t start off standing. Paul writes of us standing at the end of Ephesians. Also, new believers don’t start off walking. Paul urges all of us in Ephesians, chapter four, to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called.

Surprisingly, the first thing new believers do is sit down; to be at rest. To receive the peace that can only come from Jesus (John 14:27). Once we have Christ’s peace then we can walk in faith. And, with His peace in us, we can stand against the enemy of God when he comes against us.

Because of God’s rich mercy and great love, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior, every believer has a reserved seat in heaven. I must admit that I look forward to finding mine.

Photo by Vincent Botta on Unsplash

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