A Time of Invitation
And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. -- Luke 10:9; King James Version
We often call them "deadlines". That's the time when invitations come to a close. Think about the party invitation that comes in the mail and clearly is marked "RSVP" Sure, those are initials for a French phrase (répondez s'il vous plaît, meaning "please reply"), but we know it means, "Y'all better call me if you want to come to this shin-dig!" Have you ever had to write a paper for school? Sure you have! A deadline is issued and you know that means that the invitation to complete the paper comes to a close when you pass the deadline. My phone was cut off one time...okay, more than once. A bill was mailed to my house. I was called. A note was left on my door. I didn't respond to the deadline and my phone was cut off. I wanted to go to school. There was a registration time. I missed it. I tried to get in anyway. Too late, I missed the proverbial boat.
We understand invitations. We know about deadlines. I have, and have seen others, become awfully upset when it comes to deadlines.
Deadlines only become frustrating when invitations aren't acted upon.
Just stop and think about that before you read any further...deadlines only become frustrating when invitations aren't acted upon.
As Jesus was instructing His followers He wanted them to be the "inviters". What a privilege! It was like Jesus was telling them to say, "Hey, y'all, drop everything you are doing; turn from the way you are going and come to Jesus' life party!" Sure, this was a special time when God also gave them powers of healing too, but I want to focus on the invitation.
Are you an "inviter"? I am! I am privileged and blessed to invite people to Christ all the time. There was an old rap song that went like this: "Stop whatcha doin' 'cause I'm about to ruin the image and the style that ya used to." Honestly, it was a horrible song. I was a lost little puppy when I listened to it, but it's another of those silly things the Lord has allowed me to redeem in my service to Him. I often think of those opening lines when I sense an opportunity to witness to someone. I begin to think, "Wow, I am getting ready to tell this person something that may radically change their lives!" REPENT: Stop what you are doing. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME NIGH UNTO YOU: Throw away your entire old life and pledge allegiance to the King! So, from that silly mess, I start hearing this tune in my head; my head starts to bob; it just comes out..."Stop whatcha doin'..."
What's that to do with being an "inviter"? I get excited! I want to share this awesome message! I want people to come to my eternal Jesus party!
You may think I am a nut. Okay, that's fine by me. I know this...the cross was (and still IS) a big invitation to the world. The deadline will come like a thief in the night.
I might be crazy. I might be a man of wacky methods. I might seem like a maniac running around inviting people to a bash. I might be a lot of things, but what I KNOW is that I am an inviter.
Like those people Jesus commissioned so long ago, we too have the message to preach: "Repent...the Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." They were ushering in a time of invitation that we are still walking in today. We cannot force people to respond. We can't even tell them a deadline. But, yes BUT, we can invite. We should invite. We must invite.
Don't be shy. Don't be afraid. Don't worry about the response. INVITE!