Monday, May 6, 2013

The Invitation ~ For Whoever

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; 
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! 
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 
Why spend money on what is not bread, 
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare."
Isaiah 55:1-2

A few years ago, I was planning a a surprise gathering for my husband for a birthday and as a send-off on his dream-come-true trip to tour the Holy Land in Israel. I had prayerfully planned the guest list many months before the event, and the invitations were mailed about a month before the date of the party. Our families and Jim's dearest friends were invited. These friendships spanned from a few years to 20 years. And Jim and his cousin, John, have been friends their whole lives...almost 45 years at the time.

About a week before the surprise party, the Lord put it on my heart to invite another couple. I had been building a friendship with the wife for several months, but Jim and the husband were just beginning a friendship. However, I saw a mutual respect and "connection" in this growing friendship and I knew in my heart that Jim would be blessed by having this couple at his surprise party. In Chuck Swindoll's book "Koinonia", he talks about how vibrant fellowship can bring forth new friendships. That was what God is doing at that time.

With the invitations having been mailed weeks prior, I called my girlfriend personally. I shared my heart honestly with her and told her that the invitation, albeit late, was meant to bless and honor them. I told her I knew Jim would be delighted if they were there. I did not want them to be insulted that they had not received a written invitation weeks before. Truly, I wanted to bless them and also bless Jim at his party by having them there.
My girlfriend's response blessed my heart. Her reply was, as I expected, enthusiastic, gracious and understanding. She was so thankful for the invitation regardless of the timing. She said, "You'll never know how much this invitation blessed me today!"

Tears of thankfulness to the Lord rolled down my cheeks. "Thank you, Lord. Thank you for putting this on my heart and that they were blessed just by the invitation."

Isn't that the way? Isn't is just a blessing to receive an invitation? It says, "You are loved. You are valued. You are included." 

A fact of life is that we are not all invited to everything, nor can we be, and we can't invite everyone to our gatherings either. It's just not possible. Grown-ups understand that, even though at times it can still hurt. And God's timing is always amazing as I have had opportunity to walk with each of our children through these painful "I was not invited to that party" lessons of life that give us the privilege of building godly character. 
There is one invitation that is extended to all of us to which we can all RSVP with an enthusiastic and committed "YES"! Our Host is the King of Kings. This invitation from our Savior to believe in Him and receive forgiveness of sin and eternal life is an open invitation, and everyone is on the guest list! That is so exciting! "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life..." John 3:36 
"Whoever". An open invitation. The most significant, meaningful, life-giving and important invitation you'll ever receive. You are loved. You are valued. You are included.

When you accept this invitation, ask for His forgiveness and receive Jesus into your heart, He washes away your sin and you receive eternal life immediately. What is eternal life? This is John 17:3"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." Knowing the only true God. Intimately knowing Him.

This sacred invitation has been delivered to us through God's son, Jesus. And when you accept this invitation, you receive an eternity in heaven!

"Now we know that if the earthly tent 
we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, 
an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands." 
2 Corinthians 5:7

God's Word is a treasure just filled with His truths about knowing Him, eternal life with Him, and an eternity in the kingdom of heaven. If you have happened upon this blog and desire to RSVP to His invitation to know Him, please click here for more information. And if you need a Bible, let me know ( As you open His treasure of Truth, you will find that His Word alone satisfies the hungry and thirsty. (Psalm 107:9)

My girlfriend and her husband replied "yes" to my invitation. They were enthusiastic. They were thankful. They were delighted to be there, and we were delighted to have them. And after the surprise party, my husband said to me "The guest list was perfect." 
God's guest list is perfect, too, and it includes YOU! You are invited. He beckons you to "Come". Without Jesus, we are all lame, blind and poor. Amazingly, He invites us to feast at His table forever! If you haven't already, we pray you will accept His invitation. His love is perfect. His will give you strength to walk, eyes to see and make your heart rich in His love.
"But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed." Luke 14:13

"And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king's table, and he was crippled in both feet."
2 Samuel 9:13

Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God." Revelation 19:9

1 comment:

Jill Beran said...

Great post Sharon! So thankful for God's perfect list and the personal invitation He sent to me nearly 13 years ago!

I've visited your blog in the past and remember seeing you at She Speaks and lately God's brought you to mind. Two weeks ago today a little 11 month old girl in our neighborhood passed away while napping at the babysitter. Little Gabby's great grandma's name is Sharon Sloan as well. Her and her husband spoke at the funeral and professed their faith, so I trust God is working in all of this. Praying Gabby's mom and dad will draw closer and receive the invitation God may be sending during this heartbreaking trial!

Would you join me in praying for the other Sharon Sloan and her family? The prayers are needed.

Thanks Sharon and blessings to you!!