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The Divine Invitation

The Divine Invitation

Read Matthew 11:25-30.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden”

It is one thing to ask to get an audience with a powerful leader, it is quite another to receive a direct invitation. Prayer begins a recognition on our part that we have a need for God to act on our behalf in order to meet a need that we ourselves cannot satisfy. However, even as we recognize our need for God’s response, what guarantee do we have that he will respond to meet our need?

This is what leads up to the divine invitation. When we honestly evaluate our lives and our inescapable struggle with sin, we are left with the undeniable conclusion that we are in desperate straits and can do nothing about it. Our quest to obtain freedom from our sin and guilt fails and leaves us spiritually exhausted as we attempt to carry this impossible load. In the face of our plight, heaven does not remain silent, for Christ gives us an invitation to come to him for help. Because all authority has been given to him (vs 27), his invitation gives us the assurance that he possesses both the authority and ability to act on our behalf. If we accept his invitation, he promises to renew our inward strength. He gives “rest for your souls”. The word rest does not refer to the cessation of work but rather to his refreshing enablement so that we now have the strength to continue. In the weariness of a broken world, Christ promises to give us the spiritual refreshment that invigorates us to live and serve him, which is “easy and light” in comparison.

This is what leads up to the divine invitation. When we honestly evaluate our lives and our inescapable struggle with sin, we are left with the undeniable conclusion that we are in desperate straits and can do nothing about it. Our quest to obtain freedom from our sin and guilt fails and leaves us spiritually exhausted as we attempt to carry this impossible load. In the face of our plight heaven does not remain silent, for Christ gives us an invitation to come to him for help. Because all authority has been given to him (vs 27), his invitation gives us the assurance that he possesses both the authority and ability to act on our behalf. If we accept his invitation, he promises to renew our inward strength. He gives “rest for your souls”. The word rest does not refer to the cessation of work but rather to his refreshing enablement so that we now have the strength to continue. In the weariness of a broken world, Christ promises to give us the spiritual refreshment that invigorates us to live and serve him, which is “easy and light” in comparison.

But the real wonder of his statement is not found in his statement that he will give us rest, but in the invitation to “come to me.” It is not our request, but his divine invitation that guarantees that he will listen and respond to us. The invitation is the assurance that we have access to his presence. Prayer is not our attempt to gain access to God, but God’s invitation and guarantee of his response to us. Are you feeling the weight of sin and its effects upon a fallen world; then today accept the divine invitation to come and he will replace your burden with his divine grace, where serving him is a delight, not wearisome. As Bernhard stated, “What can be lighter than a burden which unburdens us and a yoke which bears it bearer?” Prayer is our response to the divine invitation guaranteeing an audience with the God of the Universe.

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