Usually I am honored to receive an invitation and eager to respond. Of course, it depends somewhat on who is asking. Invitations mean that my presence is welcomed at a party, graduation, wedding, dinner, or some special event.
In the church where I grew up, we always had an invitation at the end of the service. Not many do that anymore. Our church still does, though. It’s not a high pressure, emotionally manipulative time. Just an opportunity to come and pray, either by yourself or with someone at the front. Or it can be a time to declare publicly a desire to be a follower of Jesus.
When it’s God who extends the invitation, shouldn’t we be quick to respond? Why would anyone hesitate to come to the One who offers life, love, peace, and joy that lasts forever? Well, people come up with lots of excuses. And a spiritual tug of war is not an easy place to be. Unless the Spirit of God draws us, no one would have the common sense or the courage to come to the Lord. But His invitation is extended.
In the Bible, we read words of invitation. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters…” (Isaiah 55:1 NIV). “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NKJ). That last verse was beautifully carved on a large wooden plaque at the front of our church in Fort Collins, Colorado. I can’t tell you how many times I came and meditated on those words as they refreshed my soul.
During my singing career, I sang many songs about coming to God. “Jesus, I Come,” “Coming Home,” “I Am Coming, Lord” (“I Hear Thy Welcome Voice”), and “I Will Arise and Go to Jesus.” You can listen to that last one by clicking on the link at the end of this blog.
The lyrics to “Jesus, I Come” talk about all kinds of conditions. “Out of my bondage, sorrow and night, Out of my shameful failure and loss, Out of unrest and arrogant pride, Out of earth’s sorrows, Out of my want, Out of despair…” Out of all of these conditions, we need to say with the hymn writer, “Jesus, I come to Thee.” Where else can we turn in these troubled times?
Click here to listen to “Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy” which is the 6th cut on my album “A Grandmother’s Legacy.”