One day a beggar saw a proclamation posted on the palace gate. The king was giving a great dinner to honor his son. Anyone dressed in royal garments was invited. The beggar looked at the rags he was wearing and sighed. Surely only kings and their families had royal garments.
An idea crept into his mind. The audacity of it made him tremble. The beggar approached the guard at the gate saying, "Please, sire, may I speak to the king."
"Wait here," the guard replied.
In a few minutes, he returned. "His majesty will see you," he said, and led the beggar in.
"You wish to see me?" asked the king.
"Yes, your majesty. I would like to attend the banquet honoring your son but I have no royal robes. Please, sir, if I may be so bold, may I have one of your old garments so that I may attend the banquet?"
"You have been wise in asking me," the king replied. He called to his son requesting, "Take this man to your room and dress him in some of your clothes."
The prince did and soon the beggar was clothed in royal garments that he had never dared dream or hope for.
"You are eligible to attend my father's banquet tomorrow,"
said the prince. "But even more important, you will never need any other garments. These will last forever."
"Oh, thank you," cried the beggar dropping to his knees. As he started to leave, he looked back at his former clothes, a pile of dirty rags on the floor. He quickly gathered them up.
The banquet was greater than he had imagined, but he did not enjoy himself as he should. He had made a small bundle of his rags and it kept falling off his lap. As the food was passed around the beggar missed some of the feast's delicacies.
Time however proved the prince right. The clothes given him by the prince lasted forever.
As time passed people took note of the little bundle of filthy rags that he clung to rather then the royal robes he was wearing. They spoke of him as the old rag man.
One day as he lay dying, the king came to visit him. The beggar saw the sad look on the king's face when he looked at the small bundle of rags by the bed. He remembered the prince's words and he wept bitterly at his folly and confessed that not leaving behind his bundle of rags had cost him a lifetime of true royalty.
In compassion the king wept with him.
Each of us has been invited into God's royal family. To feast at God's table and all we have to do is shed our old rags and put on the "garments" of rightousness provided by God's Son, Jesus.
We must not hold onto our old rags. When we put our faith in Christ, we must leave behind the sin in our life and our old ways of living. Sin, the rags of unrighteousness, must be discarded if we are to experience the royal and abundant life in Christ. Jesus is the believer's robe of righteousness.
Are you holding onto sin that others may see as dirty old rags?
If so, it's time to put them it into life's dumpster and walk in the royal garments given you by the King's Son.