The Invitations of God
"All whom the Father gives Me — will come to Me; and whoever comes to Me — I will never cast out." (John 6:37)
How broad is the door of welcome! Before the prodigal son, the ungrateful returning wanderer, could stammer forth through penitential tears the confession of his sins — the arms of his father's mercy were around him! The prodigal son thought of no more than the servant's place; the father had in readiness the best robe and the fattened calf!
God has the first word in the overtures of mercy. He refuses none — He welcomes all — the poor — the wretched — the blind — the naked — the burdened — the heavy laden — the hardened sinner — the aged sinner — the daring sinner — the dying sinner — ALL are invited to come! "Come now, let us reason together! says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet — they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson — they shall be like wool!" (Isaiah 1:18)
The most parched tongue that laps the streams from the smitten Rock — has everlasting life! "When we forgive — it costs us an effort; when God forgives — it is His delight." From the battlements of Heaven He is calling after us: "Turn, turn! Why will you die?" He seems to wonder if sinners have pleasure in their own death. He declares, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live!"
Reader! have you yet closed with the Gospel's free invitation? Have you gone to Him, just as you are — with all the raggedness of nature's garments — standing in your own nothingness — feeling that you are insolvent — that, you have "nothing to pay," already a bankrupt, and the debt always increasing? Have you taken hold of that blessed assurance, "He is able to save to the uttermost"? Are you resting your eternal all on Him who has done all and suffered all, for you; leaving you, "without money and without price," a free, full, unconditional offer of a great salvation?
Do not say that your sins are too many — the crimson dye too deep. It is because you are a great sinner, and have great sins — that you need a great Savior! "Of whom I am the chief," is a golden postscript to "the faithful saying — that Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Do not dishonor God by casting doubts on His willingness or ability. If your sins are heinous, you will be all the more an amazing monument of grace! You may be the weakest and unworthiest of vessels; but, remember, there was a niche in the Temple for both the great and for the small — for the cups, as well as for the pitchers. Even the smallest vessel glorifies Christ.
Arise then, call upon the Lord! We cannot say, with the king of Nineveh, "Who can tell? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from His fierce anger so that we will not perish!" (Jonah 3:8-9). He is turning now — declaring, on His own immutable Word, that "whoever comes to Me — I will never cast out." "Though you have lived among the pots — you shall be as the wings of a dove, covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold!" Close, without delay, with these precious invitations, that so, looking up to a reconciled God and Father in Heaven, you may even this night say, "I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me live in safety!" (Psalm 4:8).
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