Thursday, January 31, 2013

The God Who Invites

God does not only save, forgive, heal, protect, prosper, provide, create, comfort, love, avenge, punish, etc. He also invites!

We read in Isaiah 1:18, "Come now..."

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said: "Come to me..." And we also read in Revelation 22:17:

"The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who who hears say, 'Come'..."

And we read in Revelation 19:9, "...Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb."

Why is it blessed to receive an invitation from God? Because if we come, as we read in Isaiah, "Come now, let us  reason together... though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; thought they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool" -- He could cleanse us from all our sins!

In Matthew, Jesus said: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." If we come to Him, we will also enjoy rest for our soul -- rest from anxieties, fears, guilt, or sorrow.

And in Revelation 22:17, we read:

"The Spirit and Bride say, 'Come.' ... let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price."

If we respond positively to His invitation, we could also experience complete satisfaction or contentment for free!

Truly, "Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!" (Luke 14:15.) In our time, Jesus is also the Bread (John 6:35) that could provide us the blessing of an abundant, eternal life.

Unfortunately, not everyone would come to Him (see John 3:20). Jesus also told this parable:

"A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.'  And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.' And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come'" (Luke 14:16-20).

Men have various excuses why they don't come to God.  It's our human tendency to refuse His invitation. That's why Jesus said, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him..." (John 6:44) and also in verse 65, " one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." In John 17, Jesus mentioned in His prayer about those persons whom the Father gave to Him (verses 2, 6, 9). 

They are the "sheep" in John 10 and Jesus said in verse 29, "My Father, who has given them to me,is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."

And at His return, Jesus, as King of kings, would tell them:

"Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34).


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