YOUR INVITATION TO LIVE
This posting is the first in a series of study sessions conducted during an ESA Men’s Camp held at Norval Conference Centre in Hall’s Gap among the magnificent Grampians mountain ranges, Victoria, Australia, over the weekend, 13 – 15 June, 2008.
My wife recently celebrated a major birthday. 100 invitations were sent out and 75 people were able to join our family to celebrate the achievement of her milestone. It was wonderful day spent with family and friends over lunch in the function centre at Narmbool, a farming property owned by Sovereign Hill and located between Ballarat and Geelong.
The central theme of the gospel, the good news, is invitational.
Across the course of this weekend I want you to LISTEN to God’s invitations. His invitations are personal. They are extended to you personally. He desires your company, and just like the invitations to my wife’s, a response, an action, an RSVP is required.
Let’s get the ball rolling by reading John 11 from The Message.
This passage is rich in characters who respond to the Jesus in different ways.
The disciples when Jesus announced, “Let’s go back to Judea.”
“Rabbi, you can’t do that. The Jews are out to kill you, and you’re going back?”
Thomas, the one called the Twin, following Jesus’ explanation, to his companions,
“Come along. We might as well die with Him.”
Martha when she went out to meet Jesus when she heard He was coming,
“Master, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now I know that whatever you ask God He will give it to you.”
Mary, who jumped up and ran out to Jesus when she heard from Martha that He was asking for her,
“Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
The obedient response among the crowd of mourners when Jesus instructed,
“Go ahead, take away the stone.”
The response of Lazarus to the invitation of Jesus,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The caring response of the crowd when Jesus told them,
“Unwrap him, and let him loose.”
A whole series of invitations, but it was the command of Jesus, an awe-inspiring declaration that He, Jesus, was the Messiah, the Promised One of God, “Lazarus, come out!” that presents us with an amazing INVITATION TO LIVE.
The subsequent command, “Unwrap him and let him loose,” presents us with an INVITATION TO GET INVOLVED.
Throughout the weekend we will explore other invitations of the Gospel.
- YOUR INVITATION TO LIVE SECURELY
- YOUR INVITATION TO LIVE ON THE GROWING EDGE
- YOUR INVITATION TO LIVE THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES
- YOUR INVITATION TO LIVE THROUGH DEPRESSION