You’re Invited! How will you respond?

The envelope announced that I was part of a select group chosen specifically for the enclosed invitation. The sender surely knew how to appeal to pride! The print flourishes and gold trim made it look very official and important. Urgency was implied as the back of the envelope warned me that space was limited and the deadline for reply was fast approaching. Appearances were deceiving! It was just a solicitation to attend an investment presentation. They wanted my money.

God extends us an invitation that is important. He has elected to extend His favor to us, but awaits a response. Just as He once called Abraham, the ‘father of the faithful,’ who responded with obedience, He now calls us to be included ‘in Christ.’ We make a huge mistake if we take His call as a reason for pride, or somehow think that it confers an irrevocable status on us. Take a look at this passage.
“But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. … remember—those branches were broken off because they didn’t believe in Christ, and you are there because you do believe. So don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either. Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off.” (Romans 11:17-22, NLT)

The Scripture reminds us that God loved Israel, not because they were somehow desirable or special in themselves. He did so because of His mysterious grace, His sovereign purpose. Yet, in spite of His love for the children of Abraham, when they refused Him and lived in unbelief, they forfeited the blessings that He offered. Ah, disciple, this is both a warning and promise! He has now offered the blessing of acceptance and salvation to us, not because of our heritage, race, or beauty; but because of love. The Word blazes with His love. “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5, NIV) It is an amazing invitation that brings blessings beyond our ability to comprehend. But, if we refuse it with unbelief, the very promise becomes that by which we will be judged!

You opened the invitation, are you responding with faith?
You glimpsed His promise, are you pressing towards knowing Him, so that you may own it fully?

Take this word from the Word and let it inspire you to full faith. “Make sure you stay alert to these qualities of gentle kindness and ruthless severity that exist side by side in God—ruthless with the deadwood, gentle with the grafted shoot. But don’t presume on this gentleness. The moment you become deadwood, you’re out of there.” (Romans 11:22, The Message)

__________________

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name.
Your words are true,
Your mercy does not change.
All Your promises are precious,
Reviving our faith.
Every one of them
Will be fulfilled one day.

We will run,
We’ll run and not grow weary.
We will rise upon the eagle’s wings.
In the presence of the Lord,
Our spirits will soar,
‘Till we one day gaze upon our King.

But my foot had almost slipped,
O Lord, I’d almost lost my way,
‘Til I entered the house of the Lord
And heard Your sweet Spirit say,

Oh, all Your promises
Are “Yes” and “Amen” in Jesus.
Your promises are true.
All Your promises
Are “Yes” and “Amen” Lord Jesus,
We’ll keep running after You.

All Your Promises
Smith, Andrew
© 1995 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Music Services)

CCLI License No. 810055

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