I hope that many of the thoughts offered here cause you to hear God’s voice in new ways. I hope that the Scriptures we read together speak directly to you when you read them — you know, when you read something perfectly suited to whatever is going on in your life at the time and you think: It’s as though this were written just for me!
Scripture was written just for you. And for me. It is the voice of the Almighty Lord of the universe speaking to His children. Sometimes my mind stretches to its utmost, trying to absorb that reality — and it is still too big for me.
Scripture opens up in a new way when I read it with this in mind. The following guest post from Mary Jane Smith looks at one verse that is so familiar, we tend to forget what a tender, amazing invitation we’ve been given. I hope your heart and soul hear these words of Jesus. He offers this invitation every day.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NASB).
Over the years I have received invitations to many and varied events. Those for a black-tie gala to fund a charity I support were beautifully engraved. Most often, invitations have been specific to an occasion . . . birthdays, baby showers, weddings, or retirement parties. Still others have been spontaneous, with a phone call or note saying “Meet me at our favorite place for coffee” or “I just tried a new recipe, come over and we will sample it together.”
Some invitations are much easier to decline than others, aren’t they? Like the multi-colored flyers saying that you could be one of the “winners” of five lovely prize choices – all you have to do is be there and “scratch-off” the winning number. Right!
I love to receive invitations (for the most part), and it hurts my heart if I must decline one from a dear friend because of a conflict in my schedule. If that happens, I contact that friend immediately and let them know I am not available for that particular date. If possible, I make arrangements to get with them and debrief with them about their special happening (hopefully with photos involved, as well).
An invitation is actually a request to share in the life of the one who issues it. Of all the invitations ever given to mankind, the most loving and grace-filled is the one Jesus gave us in Matthew 11:28 (NASB). It should be given our full attention. Over the last two millennia, His invitation has been read or spoken aloud countless times.
I wonder how often this particular invitation is casually “tossed in the trash container” with no response provided? Or maybe it is “declined” immediately with an excuse that it is not a convenient time. It might be set aside to be pondered later—after one has had a chance to review all the options. How often do we accept this invitation?
Yet, God’s grace is infinite! The invitation Jesus provided is “open-ended” – it will stand until God removes His Spirit from this world. Is it not remarkable that His love is so encompassing that the invitation is given again and again? It repeatedly provides us the opportunity to accept His immeasurable gift.
Holy Father, Thank you for sending us your precious Son to be our Saviour. Also, thank you for the invitation Jesus gave us to lay all our burdens on Him so we might have complete rest in Him.