Come – RSVP

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

AT one time or another most of us have gotten a formal invitation. The envelope is usually a special paper, the seal may be an embossed gold circle and the message is often in some type of fancy script. But no matter what the invitation is for it has the letters, RSVP (Répondez S’il Vous Plait), which is French for, “Respond if you please.”. To make it even easier, your friends will even enclose an envelope for you to send it in. All of these details, mean that they really – really want to see you at the event! AN RSVP is exactly what Jesus had in mind when He called out to His listeners that day, “Come!” But the invitation of Jesus is like no other.

When Jesus says, “Come!” He is not just inviting us to a dinner, a wedding, or a party where we are expected to show up and then go home afterwards. When Jesus says “Come!” His call is for us to come and stay. As in the Twenty-Third Psalm, we have an invitation to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The RSVP of Jesus also means we have a choice. We do not have to respond. God is not in the kidnapping business. We once lived in the inner city in a fairly tough neighborhood. Often there were young children who used our yard to play in because there was nowhere else for them to go and with their parent’s permission, we took many of them to church. One day an older brother of one of them got in trouble with the police. When young Matt was brought into court, the judge decided that part of his sentence would be to go to attend church for a few months and he chose ours. Now that might sound great, but it never worked out. It was not Matt’s free choice to come to church. Just like Matt, some people only go to church because they feel, sentenced, either for family or cultural reasons to attend. Though their bodies may sit in the pew every week, their hearts are somewhere else. They haven’t filled out the RSVP card and mailed it back in themselves. When Jesus says come, He waits to hear our heart’s response.

Last of all, when Jesus says, “Come!” He adds, “and learn of me.” Coming isn’t just about living at the same house that Jesus lives in, it means learning to live there the same way that Jesus does. We come and learn by walking close enough to Jesus to learn, not about Him, but to learn His heart. Little by little as we listen to His words, watch His actions and obey His commands, He reaches down deep inside our souls, and by the greatest miracle of all He changes us and gives us rest. What a could possibly keep us from opening the envelope, filling out the RSVP and slipping it into the mail? How will you answer Him today?

A Borrowed Manger – A borrowed Donkey – A borrowed tomb

Yesterday we had our Palm Sunday meeting at Watermark Assisted Living. This week has been a busy yet blessed week. We had the opportunity to attend a disability ministry training session with the Joni and Friends Ministry on Wednesday. It was amazing to see how similar their special needs outreach is to our Long-Term Care ministry. This Sunday, we looked at the fact the Jesus came into the world in a borrowed manger. Then He entered Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey and was buried in a borrowed tomb. Jesus never made any provision for the things of this world because it was not His home. He came from His home in Heaven and returned there, but all He did, all He gave and all He suffered was for us, so that we could have a home with Him in Heaven! Only Jesus can make the way for us to go where He went. That borrowed manger has long ago turned to saw dust, the borrowed donkey no longer is in his pasture and the borrowed tomb is empty! Our lives are only on loan from God. One day we must return them and meet Him face to face. He rode on the humble borrowed donkey so that we would not be afraid to receive Him as our King, our Lord and our Savior!

On Palm Sunday -How Will You Receive Jesus?

This week is Palm Sunday, and though we cannot be certain that we are celebrating on an exact date, or even as some question whether we should have a special holiday; it is a good time to reflect. On what we refer to as Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, so that we would not be afraid to receive Him as King. But, no matter how He came, not everyone was ready to accept Jesus. How are you going to receive Him today?

The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.” John 12:12-15 NLT
  1. Some received Him with joy and gratitude and followed Him to the cross

Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. John 19:25-27

Jesus gave these people a special job to do

2) Some Received Him With Joy – but they ran to hide in fear

Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled. Matthew 26:55-56 NLT

Jesus came looking for these people and said, “Do not be afraid!” – And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Luke 24:36 NLT

3) Some Did Not Receive Him at All and they nailed Him to a cross

 When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent. Luke 23:47 NLT

Jesus prayed for those people – Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. Lk 23:34

But no matter which of these people you are today, we are really not so different. 

We all need to receive Him for ourselves and believe that He is the Son of God
We all need the cross of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins  
We all need the resurrection morning that will give us eternal life!

How Will You Receive Jesus Christ Today?