I have always loved parties. As a child, nothing excited me more than a little piece of paper that said, Come to my birthday party.
Nothing much has changed in that respect — I still love get-togethers. I have had more than my share of exciting birthday parties — and they all started with an invitation to friends to come.
All of these memories bring me to the word that hatched this devotional in my mind: the little word come. I find the word exciting because it usually leads to some kind of exciting social involvement with an individual or a group.
Jesus, while teaching about His purpose in coming to earth, said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV) Later on, while speaking to another group, He said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28 NIV)
When I first heard these particular Scriptures read by the preacher in the church that I attended at the time, they didn't seem to be meaningful, because in my mind, they didn't apply to my life.
One day, a friend spoke to me of my need of a Saviour and explained that this simple invitation to come to Jesus was for me. She went on to explain that "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16 NIV)
I simply couldn't understand how words spoken by a man over 2,000 years ago in an entirely different country and culture could apply to me. Anyhow, I was living a rather wild life at the time, and I was quite sure that a holy God wouldn't invite me into His family.
Then one morning, while visiting my friend's church, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, and suddenly, the invitation to come to Jesus made sense. I said, "Yes, I am coming, just as I am", and then I knelt down at a little bench at the front of the church, which they called a mercy seat. Jesus changed my life, and nothing was ever the same again.
Since then, I have heard His invitation at many times calling me to come and follow Him, and I have had the privilege of sharing His invitation to come to Him with many people as far away as Russia and South Korea.
I am now waiting with excited anticipation for the day when He will return for His church, and the shout, "Come up hither", is given.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 – Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (NIV)
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Many today find this teaching hard to believe, but God teaches it in His Word, so I believe it, and I am not going to miss this glorious, divine invitation!
Even so, "come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20b)
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, we have heard and responded to Your indescribably thrilling invitation to come and share in Your glorious kingdom. Help us to share Your invitation to receive You as Saviour with as many as the Holy Spirit leads us to. We ask that we may find many opportunities to do this as the time of Your return for Your church draws closer and closer. This we pray, in Your matchless name. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "At Even When The Sun Was Set" (Lyrics)