The Invitation of Christ
These verses are very well known , but I still will be treating it in a different manner in which it is usually done. Jesus offered many invitations to the people of His day, but, unfortunately, very few responded the way they should have. You may say to me, “Look at the way He drew the crowds; look at the comfort He brought them; look at the many healings He performed among the people; look at the many other things He did. Look at the great crowds that followed Him like a shadow wherever He went!” Granted, this is quite true. It was in fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 61:1-2, and Jesus confirmed this when He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
The invitation in today’s reading is of another kind. Here is a personal invitation to the individual, whereas where the other was a collective one, for the people to come to him for comfort and healing. Although the dividing line is thin, the difference is there nevertheless. Jesus does not just want people following Him. This is just plain selfishness on the people’s part. Unfortunately it is happening today and will happen in the future. No! Jesus wants followers who will sit at His feet in adoration, in expectation, hungry for the Word, and even more importantly, hungry for His presence!
The disciple of old sat at the feet of his teacher and took in all that was taught him. The disciple was disciplined into learning and obeying and doing what was taught him, much the same as children are taught today in schools. When it comes to the children of God, somehow that principle is thrown overboard as if it applies to children only and not to adults. But did not Jesus tell us that we are to become like little children when it comes to our faith? Why should not that also apply to our sitting at Jesus’ feet?
This is precisely what Jesus is saying when He said in verse 29, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.”
“Come to me,” is Jesus’ call and invitation to you all today, NOW!
“COME”, This word is an invitation, so let us look at this word in a completely different light, and look at in an acrostic form. The word ACROSTIC simply means using the first letter of a word or words to remember some important facts. It is an important aid to studying. Those of you who are studying, or have studied music, will no doubt remember the acrostic means of remembering the notes of music as written on the music sheet. The notes in the Treble Cleff between the lines are F, A, C and E – together they spell face. The notes on the lines are E, G, B, D, and F. Now to remember these I was taught the acrostic form EAT GOOD BREAD DEAR FATHER.
Now let us take the first letter of the word “COME” which is ‘c’. Next to it write down the word conversation/conduct. Later in the message we will also take a look at the letters O, M and E.
1. ’C’ – CONVERSATION/CONDUCT
The King James is wrongly interpreted today when we see the word conversation in Philipians 1:27 where we read, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ.” The word conversation is not speech or the way you talk, although in essence it does mean that. It is rather the MANNER of your life, the way you conduct your life, the way you live. Jesus once said that what comes out of heart is a reflected in your speech. Is your speech giving you away?
When you receive Jesus into your life there should be evidence of it in your lifestyle. People MUST see and HEAR by your life, at home, in the office, ANYWHERE you go, that you are a child of God. Even in the modern day meaning of the word conversation, your speech, etc, should give you away as a Christian. How is YOUR conversation and your conduct?
2. ‘O’ – OBEDIENCE
When we come to the word obedience we will see that there are two styles of obedience. Firstly, we have the forced obedience. Let us look at a well known example: If you exceed the speed limit, then you must EXPECT to receive a speeding ticket. The laws of the land MUST be obeyed. The second type of obedience is rather a spontaneous obedience, resulting out of love for someone. NOT a carnal love, but a deep inner love that says, “I love you so much, I am willing to die for you.” When your family is threatened, then it is your duty, for the love of your family, to defend them, even with your life if necessary. Rom. 5:6-8 tells us, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless (ie, when we were still in Satan’s grip) Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrated his own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” John 3:16 shows God’s love in a better way, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Just how serious are you and I taking this wonderful love of God in our lives? God requires, and commands our obedience. Every Christian should obey God with all their heart. If not, then search your heart, because something is wrong somewhere. Remember, you come to God of your own free will, therefore your actions should be purely out of love for Jesus!
3. ‘M’ – MORTALITY
Why the word mortality? Simply because this, in plain English, means that a life can and will die at some time or other. This is not hard to explain. Witness all the graveyards and undertakers who make a living of the dead. The world is full of sickness, suicides, mass murders and even genocide. Every day thousands die all over the world. Jesus offers the opposite to mortality. He offers immortality if we come to Him. Soon, at a time destined by God, all those who have died in Christ will be resurrected unto everlasting life, in an immortal glorified body. Has your name been written in the Lambs book of Life?
4. ’E’ – ETERNITY
We have just spoken about everlasting life. What does it mean? It means that those in Christ will live to eternity, forever and ever, never to die again! This does not mean that the mortal body will not die. It will, but as I explained a moment ago, if you are in Christ, more specifically if you die in Christ, then firstly, your soul will be received by Jesus, and later, at the second resurrection, you will have your immortal body. Make sure that you have received Jesus as your personal Saviour, because there is such a tragedy as a backslidden state wherein you will definitely lose out and not receive everlasting life with Him.,
The spiritual is just as important and the physical. So few think about the spiritual, let alone do anything about it. Christ offers you eternity. Are you going to take this gift?
It is His gift to you. You have only two choices; acceptance or rejection. Which will yours be? Jesus says “COME, let me change your manner of life, be obedient to me. I will change your mortal body and give you eternal life.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Amen