The words of Isaiah 55 remind us of God’s invitation to abundant life. Jesus issues this invitation to all – regardless of race, gender, creed or colour – everyone is welcome. Jesus calls people to come to Him – everyone who is weary, thirsty or hungry – only He can satisfy and give us true life in all its fullness and the promise of eternal life. I attended Encounter at my friend’s church last night. Their mission statement is simple -to help people find Jesus and follow Him. An invitation to church or a special service can be one way to help someone you know discover Jesus as Saviour for themselves. It is providing an opportunity for someone to meet and see Jesus – perhaps for the first ever time. Christmas is just around the corner and we have the opportunity to invite people to a variety of events. Jesus told a parable about people who were invited to a wedding feast but refused to come – they made lots of different excuses. People will always have the choice whether to accept the invitation or not – that is up to them, but we should not give up or be discouraged from issuing the invite because it gets refused – Jesus isn’t. He told the disciples to shake the dust from their feet and move on when their message was not welcomed at places. Perhaps we need to shake off some past disappointments and defeatist mind sets and start sending out those invitations. I know I do. There will come a time when it will be too late to issue the invites but we can encourage others to “seek Him while He can be found”. Isaiah 55 v 6. Who can you invite today to find Jesus?
I preached on Joseph a number of years ago and as part of that preach the Lord gave me 3 words for the church. The Lord has reminded me of those words now and so they may encourage you. The first was that the wealth of the Egyptians and the treasures of darkness would be released to the church for God’s plans to be accomplished for His glory and to advance His kingdom. Those who had need of resources to fulfil the vision that God had given them had to ask in faith for these resources to be released to them. The resources would be released but not from the traditional church giving etc. but would come from external sources – “the wealth of the Egyptians” and “treasures of darkness”. It did not matter that people may not have all of God’s purposes revealed to them but as they walked out the purposes of God and His plans then more and more would be revealed. It just needed that first step of faith. If you need resources to fulfil the vision that God has given you then ask God to give you the wealth of the Egyptians and the hidden riches of the secret places so that you can be a blessing to others. – Isaiah 45 v3. v 14 “Thus says the Lord – the labour of Egypt and merchandise of Cush; and of the Sabeans, men of stature, they shall come over to you and they shall be yours.”
The second word was that some would suffer for the sake of the vision and calling which the Lord had put on their life but that God would never forsake them. He would be with them in every situation and would reward them when they stand before His throne. If you are going through a difficult situation then hold on to God in faith and run the race until the end. The Lord will reward your faithfulness and will never let you down. He is with you in all the suffering and pain to uphold you.
The third word was that some would leave and go to foreign people and foreign places and that was part of God’s purpose and plan. He was calling them out. If you feel the call of God to go out to foreign places then follow that vision with confidence that it is God who has put the desire in your heart.