Thomasville Times Enterprise

Faith & values

June 14, 2014

Accept Jesus' invitation

— One of the first things I teach my dogs when I get a new one is to “come.” I  demand instant obedience  because there may come a time where their life is in danger. Of course, they all have a mind of their own and many times “rebel.” I have been fortunate that none of my pets disobeyed and it cost them their life.

Did you know there are approximately 500 times the word “come” is in the scriptures? Many of those are invitations to “come.”  Probably the most familiar to a believer was spoken by Jesus: “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I could write a whole article on that scripture alone, but my thoughts are taking me elsewhere today.

Why is it that we expect our dog to obey us when we train it to “come,” but take lightly the invitation from Jesus to come?  Eternal matters could be at stake, not just the life of our beloved pet.  Sometimes we can foresee the coming danger and therefore say the command with a strong, authoritative voice, letting the animal know we expect instant obedience.  Other times it is more of an invitation to come closer, to receive a treat, some affection or such. Our tone is more inviting than demanding. If they have been well trained, they know the difference.

Sometimes the Lord is inviting us to “come” partake of a time of fellowship and refreshing or nourishment. Isaiah 55:1 would be a good example of that. “Come, you who are thirsty, come to the water; and you who have no money, come buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” I believe that invitation is open to anyone at any time who is willing to come and partake of the living water, the wine of the Spirit, and the milk of His Word that He offers freely, without cost to us.

Sometimes its an invitation to join Him in ministering to others. Song of Solomon gives several such invitations, as well as Jesus, who invited those early apostles to come along side Him, learn of Him and then be able to share His life with others  (Mark 1:17).

Peter and the disciples were in a storm, afraid for their lives, when Jesus approached them, walking on the water. Peter actually initiated the invitation, but Jesus did invite him to “come” join Him, walking on the water. I believe Jesus invitation was the empowerment Peter needed to do what was impossible in the natural.

Jesus commanded evil spirits to come out of people and it was probably with the same kind of voice that I command my pet, when they are in danger. His voice carried the authority of all of heaven behind it and demons had to flee and people were set free.  He gave us that same authority.

Luke 9:23 was Jesus' invitation to come follow Him and be His disciple.  The requirements seemed high to many, but those who responded and walked along side Him, were later commissioned.  That little rag tag band of men and women have changed the course of history.  The same invitation is still open to all who will today.

“The Spirit and the Bride say Come” is the heart cry of every true believer.  It is the invitation for the Lord Jesus to return for His bride. Our hearts are yearning for that day.  He is now preparing a place for us and will soon respond to the call of the Holy Spirit and the Bride (Revelation 22:17, 20).

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

 

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