Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Loving God Who Bids Us to Come

When someone asks you to come over their house or to come and spend time with them, do they want you around? Of course!

But do you naturally think of God as someone who is interested in you? Do you think he wants you around? Or do you feel like He is actually not interested in you? Maybe you even feel like He is pushing you away? Let’s see what God says in His Word about this.

He is the loving God who bids us to “Come”

  • The LORD said to Moses, "Come up the mountain to me, and while you are here, I will give you two stone tablets which contain all the laws that I have written for the instruction of the people." (Exo 24:12)
  • Get ready tomorrow morning, and come up Mount Sinai to meet me there at the top. (Exo 34:2)
  • Suddenly the LORD said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, "I want the three of you to come out to the Tent of my presence." They went, (Num 12:4)
  • "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. (Isa 1:18)
  • "Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. "Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. "Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David. (Isa 55:1-3)
  • Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. (Joh 7:37)
  • "Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. (Hos 6:1)
  • "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (Mat 11:28)
  • Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (Mat 14:28-29)
  • He *said to the man with the withered hand, "Get up and come forward!" (Mar 3:3)
  • But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (Mar 10:14)
  • Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Mar 10:21)
  • "And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. (Luk 14:23)
  • The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. And Jesus turned and saw them following, and *said to them, "What do you seek?" They said to Him, "Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?" He *said to them, "Come, and you will see." So they came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. (Joh 1:37-39)
  • The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He *found Philip. And Jesus *said to him, "Follow Me." (Joh 1:43)
  • He *said to her, "Go, call your husband and come here." (Joh 4:16)
  • When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." (Joh 11:43)
  • Jesus *said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples ventured to question Him, "Who are You?" knowing that it was the Lord. (Joh 21:12)
  • Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (Jam 4:8)
  • "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments." Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil. (Joe 2:12-13)
  • When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house." (Luk 19:5)

He Bids Us Come to Worship
  • "Three times a year all of your men must come to worship me, the LORD, the God of Israel. (Exo 34:23)
  • Out of the territory of all your tribes the LORD will choose the one place where the people are to come into his presence and worship him. (Deu 12:5)
  • "All the men of your nation are to come to worship the LORD three times a year at the one place of worship: at Passover, Harvest Festival, and the Festival of Shelters. Each man is to bring a gift (Deu 16:16)
  • Let us come before him with thanksgiving and sing joyful songs of praise. (Psa 95:2)
  • Come, let us bow down and worship him; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! (Psa 95:6)
  • Praise the LORD's glorious name; bring an offering and come into his Temple. (Psa 96:8)
  • Worship the LORD with joy; come before him with happy songs! (Psa 100:2)
  • Come, praise the LORD, all his servants, all who serve in his Temple at night. (Psa 134:1)
  • “But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge that I may tell of all your works.” PS 73:28

To Come to Him, Deny Yourself
  • When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (Mar 8:34)
  • "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. (Luk 14:26)

Not Everyone Will Come

  • "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (Joh 3:20)
  • "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. (Joh 6:44)

He Is Personally Knocking On Your Door, Pursuing you

  • 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20)
  • Fling wide the gates, open the ancient doors, and the great king will come in. (Psa 24:7)

Putting it All Together

He is the loving God who bids us to “Come”. He bids us come to worship. To come to Him, you need to deny yourself. It's true that not everyone will come. Some will refuse. But each one has to make the decision for himself or herself.

He is personally knocking on your door, pursuing you. God lovingly bids you to come to Him, but He is gentle and will never force you to come. He’s bidding you today to come drink of the living waters, so that you will never thirst again. He bids you to come and die that you might truly live. He created you for a personal relationship with Himself. 

Will you make the choice to open the door and let him in? Will you come and deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus? If you do, you will not regret your decision.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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