The Greatest Invitation

We love to receive invitations. There is something very special about being wanted and chosen to be included in an event. It means that someone values you and would like the pleasure of your company for a period of time, maybe a few hours, a day, or more.

But there is one invitation that surpasses any other, and that is the invitation of Jesus to you to spend, not just a few hours of days, but all of your life and into eternity in a wonderful relationship with Him.

On my office wall is a picture which always stirs my heart. It is called ‘Jesus, the Light of the World’ by William Holman Hunt. It depicts Jesus holding a lantern, standing outside a wooden door, knocking.

The Light of the World- William Holman Hunt

The door is surrounded by brambles and weeds and has a neglected feel about it. Indeed, one might wonder if there is anyone living there at all. Yet Jesus is patiently standing, waiting and knocking. How long has He been there? How long will He wait and what will be the outcome?

Revelation 3: 20 says, ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and eat with him and he with me. ‘ (NIV)

As a child I used to accompany my mum when she collected money for a charity known as the Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. This involved delivering envelopes to households in the local area and then calling to collect them a few days later, hopefully containing donations. It fascinated me to observe the varying responses from the different people. Some would answer but be abrupt in their response, even rude, while others would not answer at all, leaving us standing uncertainly for several minutes before turning away. The most pleasant responses were when the door was opened wide and we were greeted with a warm smile and an envelope containing a prepared donation. The person would wish us well and we would go on or way feeling blessed and encouraged.

Let us return to the picture. As I look at Jesus knocking on the door I wonder who is on the other side and how they will choose to respond. Will they ignore His knock altogether, will they take a long time to answer, coming to the door slowly and reluctantly, maybe with fear and suspicion? Will they be rude and abusive, ending with an outright rejection, or will their response be one of warmth, welcome and joyful acceptance?

Jesus promised that to those who open the door of their hearts and receive Him as Lord and Saviour there will be abundant life, both now and for eternity. He said, ‘I will come in and eat with him and he with me.‘ This is the beginning of a close personal relationship between Jesus and the person accepting Him, which will grow as they get to know Him. This is His amazing invitation to us.

Jesus offers us: Forgiveness and promise of eternal life, unconditional love, peace, hope, security, truth, purpose, help and strength with difficulties. Why would anyone decline this offer? It truly is the greatest invitation of all.

As I contemplated this I asked the Lord, ‘how do you feel when people don’t respond to your knocking?’  I sensed that His reply was, ‘I feel the  pain and disappointment that you would feel if one of your children had left home and did not contact you or show any interest in relating to you. Think how you feel when you prepare their room and they do not come back, when you are disappointed again and again with no calls or messages, when you watch and wait but they do not come, or worse, if they were to say they wanted no more to do with you. That is how I feel. But I keep waiting and knocking, in the hope that one day they will respond and welcome me in. ‘

As the Lord said this I felt an ache in my heart, giving me a just a small  sense of how His heart aches. He longs to come in and have fellowship with each of us, changing our lives with His unconditional love. In these days of fear and uncertainty with so many unsettling and frightening events happening in the world, there is no safer place to be than in a close relationship with Jesus.

How will you respond to Jesus’ knock? I encourage you with all my heart to take that step; accept His invitation to you by opening the door of your heart and inviting Him in. He will not force His way in; there is a handle only on the inside of the door.

You will never regret it. Jesus is the Light of the World, the Son of God. He loves you and died to save you.

Do not delay; accept His great invitation today.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.  (John 3:16)

If you choose to ask Jesus in, here is a simple prayer to help you take this life-changing step:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I believe that you are the Son of God and that you died to save me. Please come into my life today and forgive me for all the wrong I have done. I want to start afresh and live my life in close relationship with you. Thank you Jesus.