Friday, January 26, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Invitation for You

A devotional by Gail Kittleson

What a lovely word—come. This single syllable in the English language welcomes us, invites us to enter, to spend time with someone, to share another’s company. It also invites us to follow. 

In December, many of us have sung a favorite Christmas carol, “Oh come let us adore Him...” and I’ve been researching Biblical references with the word come

Psalm 100:4 (KJV) calls us to “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting...” 

Come and worship—this familiar call beckons us from our fears and daily trials, from our wanderings on life’s rugged byways. It provides an opportunity to lose ourselves in something bigger than us, something worthy, something that puts our sufferings into perspective. 

And then there’s Jesus’ call to follow him. He called men and women to do that throughout his ministry, and that following required a choice...many choices. As someone once said, “Lordship involves one big yes and a lot of little “Uh-huhs.”

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." ~Mark 8:34 (KJV)

Yes, this initial coming requires a choice. In choosing to come, we leave something behind at the same time. Sometimes this means—or at least feels like—sacrifice. But doesn’t every decision we make in life require choosing between alternatives? Why should this be any different? 

Jesus also issues another clear call to us. “Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28, KJV).

What a wonderful promise. But this call may actually lead to more focused activity. With our need for inner rest being met by Him, we enjoy more energy to attend to our vocation, our ministry to this hurting world. 

But even in this call, we are given a choice. When our children are young enough, we force them to rest, but our heavenly parent isn’t pushy or forceful. He makes his wishes known, offers us his gifts, and waits for us to respond. 

Who wouldn’t accept an offer of rest? Human beings, that’s who! Unfortunately, our desire to please people, or to maintain control gets in the way come unto him. Sometimes, it seems preferable to work ourselves into a lather rather than rest in our Savior’s love. 

It takes a lot of trying, trying, trying before we finally get the message of working together with God. It’s like pedaling a bicycle built for two—that’s why it’s sometimes called the tandem bike. It only makes sense to put the partner with the greatest power in the front. 

May we often lift up this prayer: “Please teach us Lord, to come when you call.”

Author bio: 
When Gail Kittleson's not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit of her 1940’s novels, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors. 

She also facilitates writing and creativity workshops, both in Iowa and Arizona, where she and her husband spend part of the winter in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim. 

Favorites: spending time with grandchildren, walking, reading, meeting new people, and hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters.  

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