This morning, before getting out of bed, I thanked God for this days fresh fill of His grace. I then proceeded to go make the coffee to get the fresh jump start on my adventurous day. As I sipped on the fresh brew, I flipped on my kindle and started to read. The statement I fixed my eyes, my head and my heart on was, "There is no believing without following". John 3:16 states, (come on, say it with me) "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." In this verse the most resounding words in my mind and heart are "whosoever believes". This is an open invitation. It is kind of like the Valpac that comes in the weekly mail. It doesn't discriminate and it is delivered to every house. We all know that there are some pretty nice deals in that envelope. But often the recipient of the envelope just throws it away without even looking into the deals. I myself like to look through to see where I can save. Inside this weeks Valpac, is a coupon for John 3:16, is an invitation. It's an all inclusive, paid in full, with luxurious accommodations, trip to Paradise. All I have to do is dial 1-800-YES-LORD. And press one for "yes" or two for "not now, I am really enjoying the trip I am on." But there is more to this phone call. Once I press #1 I get transferred to an agent of the Lord by the name of Luke. Luke reviews the invitation. He wants to be sure I have a very clear picture of what it meant when I pressed one for "yes". He explains that Jesus, the sender of the invite, wants to have a deep, passionate, and very real relationship with me. A relationship that will last an eternity. Now, Luke inquires, are you ready to accept this paid in full journey to Paradise? I respond with, "I have a question. Why is it that I got this invitation? Why would Jesus want someone like me sitting at His table. Why would He want a sinner, one of the biggest I know of, sitting at His feet just so He could gaze into my eyes. And, is He really okay with me following Him at the risk of ruining His own reputation?" "Hmmm, Luke responds, that is a very great question. Jesus' heart is overwhelmed with joy! You see from the beginning of time He has had His eyes on you. He was waiting for just the right moment to send that invitation. He loves you and is willing to wash away every horrible thing you have done." "Is it really that easy?" I ask. "Well, I am not going to tell you it is an easy journey. You are going to have to lay a lot of things down. You may even lose some friends and family members. But you will never be alone. The burdens may, at times, feel heavy and unbearable. But I can tell you first hand that you will never regret pressing one for "yes". Can I put you down for a reserved spot? " I nervously say, "yes". There is a brief pause and I hear a very calming voice. Jesus gets on the line and says, "follow me."
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9: 23