This past weekend we wrapped up a sermon series called Say Yes. This Sunday we will kick off a series that will closely follow that one called, No Matter What. Both series deal with one central theme through Jesus’s ministry and, really, the nature of God. God is all about invitation. Jesus is constantly inviting people into a new life with him. The entire Gospel is an invitation to follow Jesus that we might be reconciled with God.
How do you feel when you get invited to something? There is a bit of a sense of delight or flattery that comes with an invitation. Someone thought of YOU and wants you to be present with them. It can be as simple as going out to dinner with friends or attending a wedding. We love to be invited (that is, unless you’re an introvert and then you’re scrambling to find an excuse not to accept the invitation)! Not only that, but we also enjoy being the one doing the inviting. The caveat is that with the invitation there comes a vulnerability. The invitee could say no. There is the potential for someone to reject your invitation.
When we come to the end of the New Testament, we see a picture of Jesus’s heart for inviting. Revelation 22:12-20.
12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood…
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
I added some bold emphasis so that the invitation would stand out for us. Did you see that? Jesus invites us to receive his reward, he invites us to the tree of life, we’re invited to enter the eternal city, the Spirit and the Church offer invitations, those who are saved offer invitation, the thirsty are offered the free gift of the water of life! We, who are believers, also offer an invitation to Jesus asking him to return to take us home with him!
That’s a lot of invitation language. You’ll notice that the invitation doesn’t just come from Jesus to us. The Church also offers invitation to others to come and experience life with Jesus! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. We inherited the invitation nature from our Father. It’s in our DNA. We’ve been invited so we invite. All the while, we wait with eager expectation asking Jesus to come back soon!
Does that describe you? How is your faith journey marked by invitation? What is God inviting you to do which you’ve been resisting or rejecting? Who are you inviting to come and share in life with Jesus? How does the anticipation of Jesus’s second coming shape your faith?
At White Oak, we want the invitation nature of our Heavenly Father to permeate our culture. That’s why part of our vision is that each of us is equipped for the work God has invited us into. We make disciples who lead, serve, and grow in the Lord. Our vision also is that each of us is deployed on mission. That is, we make disciples who make disciples.
You and I have some invitations to respond to. We have some invitations to make. Let’s get going. Come Lord Jesus!
P.S. You are invited to attend SHAKEN Legacy on Saturday, May 20. To learn more, click here.
White Oak Christian Church