You Are Cordially Invited…
Written by Felicia McKnight
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
Invitations. The older I get the more I receive. Invitations to bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, housewarmings, graduations, birthday parties, holiday parties and more. The purpose of an invitation is to invite you to an event to celebrate a special occasion with friends and/or family. You typically receive the invitation because you have a relationship with the party host. With celebrations you typically arrive with a gift in hand. Most occasions have some form of entertainment involved along with food. Some allow you to walk away with a small gift or party favor thanking you for your attendance. With most special events you leave with a happy feeling for the person celebrated or just a wonderful feeling of having had a good time.
Today you are receiving a special invitation from Jesus! His invitation in Matthew 11:28-29 says, “Come to me.” The details of the invite are as follows:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
Have you ever had to force yourself to go to a party or special event? Either you were in a bad mood, not feeling sociable, or just did not feel like going, but you went anyway? When you left you were so glad you got out of the house because you ended up having a good time. That is what Jesus wants to accomplish with this invitation. The purpose of this invitation is for you to come to Jesus one way and leave feeling better than you came.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] (Matthew 11:28 AMP)
If you are tired, weary, burdened, worn out, burnt out, overburden, and need a refreshing of your soul then it is time for you to come to Jesus. Even if you don’t feel like it go to Him anyway. It’s time for you to check on the reply card, “Yes, Jesus, I will attend.”
As with most events you need directions. Allow me to be your google maps for today. How do you come to Jesus and leave different than you came?
1. Bring A Gift
2. Enjoy Your Time With Jesus
3. Walk away with a party favor.
BRING A GIFT
Coming to Jesus simply requires that you come to Him in a place of humility and surrender. Whatever is worrying you, whatever you are struggling with simply say how you feel to Him. That’s a form of prayer. In lieu of gifts Jesus wants your burdens and in exchange He will give you peaceful rest.
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” (Psalms 23:2-3 NKJV)
ENJOY YOUR TIME WITH JESUS
Jesus inviting you to come to Him indicates that He desires a relationship with you. He wants you to hang out with Him and to learn from Him. You learn more about Jesus by reading another gift we have been given, the Bible. As you spend time with God you cultivate your relationship with our Heavenly Father. You learn more about His ways and His character. You learn of His promises for the matters you lay before Him at the altar of prayer. You learn about our savior. You learn of a God who loves us unconditionally and who loved us so much that He put His only son on a cross to redeem our souls. The more you learn of Him the more you draw closer to Him. There is an amazing feeling after you have been in the presence of good company and great conversation. With Jesus you enjoy the company you are in and it is time well spent.
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalms 16:11 NKJV)
WALK AWAY WITH A PARTY FAVOR
After you accept the invitation, give God your burdens, and cultivate your relationship with Christ, then there is a blessing for you to keep. God will give you rest for your soul. God will give you peace and joy regardless of the circumstances you are in. I love how Tony Evans described this in his book “Kingdom Woman:”
“Real joy has nothing to do with how things are going. Joy is a question of your state of mind, regardless of how things are going. In fact, joy itself is called a fruit of the Spirit. Joy has to do with a God-given internal ability to cope well. It can produce peace in the midst of panic and calm in the midst of turmoil.”
Just as there are times you don’t always feel like attending a special event but after you attend you are glad you did is the same with accepting Jesus’s invite. It may be a struggle for you to come to Him and surrender, but once you do you will wonder what took you so long and you’ll be glad you did. Be Blessed and Encouraged!
Heavenly Father, thank you for the invitation to come to You and to abide in You. May every person who is tired, burdened, and overwhelmed find the strength to surrender every care and concern to you. Give them peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. Give them rest for their souls. In Jesus name. Amen.