The Great Invitation

Free Bible Study Materials for Christian Discipleship
 January 2018

Dear Fellow Disciple-Maker,

Another year is here and the spiritual needs of ordinary people remain the same. The good news is that Jesus continues to pursue us and invite us to come to Him. At the beginning of this new year, take time to listen to the words of Jesus recorded in the gospel of John: On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink" (John 7:37).

People are Thirsty

This invitation assumes that all people have souls that are thirsty. Furthermore, Jesus implies that He is the only one who can quench our deepest longings. What a gracious invitation this is. Regardless of our current condition or response during the previous year, the invitation is a free and genuine offer to all who will hear and respond.

Jesus is the Same Yesterday, Today and Forever.

He is always pleading for us to come to Him. His invitation is filled with compassion and pity. He stood and cried out and His cry is like the cry of a mother for her child. It isn't only the loudness of His voice, but also the tenderness of His tone. He wants us to come and let Him meet our every need.

Anyone May Come

Our Lord's words are an open invitation for any man, woman and child. It is not grounded in our goodness or personal grit. His invitation is given freely without regard to our merit, Bible knowledge, or years of dedicated Christian service. "Drinking" represents a reception for which no moral goodness or perfection is required. Anyone can come and drink because the sinfulness of the person coming is not the issue.

The Great Invitation

At the heart of his invitation is the promise that Jesus will provide what is needed to quench our soul's thirst. Only Jesus can do this. Let this be the year that you turn away from the empty and unfulfilling allurements of sin and come to Jesus. He is your only source of satisfaction and hope. Open your heart, listen for His voice and humbly accept His offer.

Forgiveness Come to Jesus for the Offer of Forgiveness.

Only Jesus can reconcile us to God and give us peace. Self-effort and trying harder to be a better person is futile and will always leave you with a sense of regret. Look to the cross of Jesus where He bore your sins and took them away. Because of the cross, our sins are now out of sight. In Christ, our sinful past no longer exists.

Freedom Come to Jesus for Inward Freedom.

Come to Jesus for freedom from guilt and from the judgment of God. Come to Jesus for freedom from the fear of the future and ultimately the fear of death.

Fulfillment Come to Jesus for Fulfillment.

Come to Jesus and find your true identity, sense of worth, and your unique part in the storyline of God.

Make 2018 the year you stop running away from God's grace. Turn around and simply come to Jesus just as you are. On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink" (John 7:37).

Happy New Year!

Author:Paul Schlieker

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