A friend called to invite us to come for a visit. It was a very special invitation. You see, he did not live next door or down the street or in the same town … or even in the same state. He and his family lived half way across the country! My family and I were living in Dallas, Texas at the time and my friend and his family were living in Seattle, Washington.
His invitation gets even more special. It was not one of those, “Come see us sometime!” It was, “We are going to fly all of you to Seattle so you can spend a few days with us.” What?! I was flabbergasted! How can you say “No” to an invitation like that?! So we didn’t! It ended up being an all-expenses paid trip to Seattle for four or five days. And we didn’t just sit around their home on Mercer Island, although taking in the view from their home was very nice! My friend had taken time off work and they took us to see area sites. We went to Mount Rainier and hiked a short way up, we visited the Pike Place Fish Market where they throw the fish around (none of us was hit), and we took a ferry to the San Juan Islands. We even took a speed boat out on Lake Washington where we saw Bill Gates’ home under construction. On our flight from Seattle back to Dallas, the pilot dipped the wings of the jet at just the right moment so we could look straight down into the crater of Mount St. Helens.
Invitations are wonderful things! They open doors to others through which they may have never otherwise walked. Invitations convey interest and thoughtfulness. Invitations say, “You are wanted.”
One of my favorite passages of Scripture records an invitation from God Himself … to us! Listen to His “You are wanted” message: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live” (Isaiah 55:1-3).
Over and over God says, “Come!” In fact, He says it five times in these verses: come, come, come, come, come. The “You are wanted” message is hard to miss! And notice how God’s invitation is like my friend’s: all expenses are paid by Him! You need no money to come—there is no admission fee. God’s invitation is for anyone, for everyone; it is accessible to all.
What does God offer so freely? What we thirst for, what is good, what sustains us, what makes our souls live! God invites us to come to Him to receive what we really need and long for in our heart of our hearts.
Do you hear His invitation to you? Have you come to Him? Have you come to Him through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ? Have you welcomed His Son into your soul as the Bread of Life, have you turned to Jesus as the source of living water that He is? Have repented of spending money on what is not bread, repented of investing your efforts in what does not satisfy? Have you fled empty-handed to the Cross of Christ?
Let me change the tense of those verbs from the past tense to the present: do you come to God? Do you hear His invitation and take Him up on His offer? Do you say “yes” to the Bread of Life?
We find God’s invitation repeated at the very end of the Bible. “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelation 22:17).
God’s invitation is very inviting