Proverbs 3 10-3-22

Invitations, everyone likes to get them. But what do we do with Christ’s invitation to follow Him?

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

Invitations are fun to get. I like invitations because I have a choice of whether to go or not. Salvation is an invitation because Jesus asks us to join Him in a relationship with Him and we have the choice to accept or decline. Jesus gave a great illustration in the Parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14:16-24,
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

I like the fact that everything is ready. All a person has to do is come. When Christ died, He died once for all (Hebrews 7:27). His mercy now extends to everyone (Romans 11:32). But, it still comes down to a choice, “that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). What is the invitation? To walk with Jesus,

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Mark 10:20-22

We don’t know if the rich young ruler ever came to Jesus, but we know that the invitation was always there for him. We have the decision every day to follow Jesus. What makes it easier for us is that we have the Spirit in us to give us both the desire and the power to follow Him (Philippians 2:13).

Want a quick test to see where you are spiritually? Ask yourself this question:

How badly do I want to follow Jesus and become just like Him?

He’s calling us. Can you hear Him?

18 Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:18

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. Revelation 22:17

Abba, You are constantly talking to us in our spirits. You are continuously asking us to join You and to walk with You. May we take You up on it every time we recognize Your voice and understand the invitation. Make it plain, O Lord–I know You will! Amen.

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