No doubt you have experienced a wide range of invitations in your life. I clearly remember the first time a boy asked me to dance in cotillion class. And it got better still, when I got invited to the senior ball.
I got invited to eat Thanksgiving dinner with the commanding general of NATO forces in Brussels. I got an invite to a “drive-by” event with the Queen of England (I curtseyed, she walked past).
You have had some special invitations too. Maybe it was the one where you said “I do.” Or maybe it was in response to the query, “would you like to see your baby?” Or maybe it was handwritten on some construction paper highlighting Dads’ Day at your child’s school.
But there has never been a greater invitation than the one mentioned this past Sunday. Although it is actually in the form of a command, it comes across as a kind of invitation. Jesus used it some 22 times in the New Testament. He said: “Come, follow me.”
He didn’t make His disciples respond. He didn’t force them into compliance. He simply offered an amazing opportunity that was, and is, uniquely disguised in a very challenging lifestyle. “Come, follow me” was His invitation to take up a nasty cross and imitate His surrender to a higher purpose.
Matthew and John repeat this invitation some seven times. Mark and Luke record it four times apiece. But my favorite setting is in John 10:27, where the scriptures say, “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me.”
The basis of our being able to appropriately respond to His incredible invitation is the gift of His voice. He is active as our leader. His call includes tons of instructions and guidance. His voice is recognizable and readily available in His Word. He speaks so we can follow.
The key to being a great follower is the ability to listen to directions. No coach wants to be ignored. No teacher appreciates distractions in their room. No preacher loves to see his audience flipping through their phones. And the Lord hates it when disregard His leading.
So, this week, let’s all pay very clear attention to His invitation and respond just like Peter and Andrew in Mark 1:18: “At once they left their nets and followed Him.”
It is time to get serious about His invitation. Let’s all RSVP today.
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.