Today's encouragement comes from Isaiah 55:1a & 3a, where we read these words:
"Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. . . . Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live . . . "
God lays-out a great feast, and He invites all nations to it. To partake of the luscious fare set before sinners, all that is necessary is the "taking" of it. Mon-ey, effort, works—one of these may be used, to "buy," earn, or apprehend it.
The practical dimension in getting the goods of the banquet of the kingdom of heaven is simply to "hear," (as v. 3a says, above). The church proclaims the gospel of Christ's free grace; and the only ones that benefit from it are those who come with empty and hungry hearts, and who unashamedly gorge them-selves on the Lord's promises. Christianity teaches an entirely passive right-eousness through Jesus—which then enlivens the believer to all kinds of gracious deeds.
[Puritan quote of the day: "Justification admits of no degrees. No, not in heav-en—you are not more justified there than you are here. You are now as per-fectly justified as ever and as accepted of Christ as ever.” —Jeremiah Bur-roughs, in, "Gospel Remission"]