Lead me on into tomorrow

Posted by Pete Short on 09/01/2016 15:22


I don’t want to get there
At the end of it all
Looking behind me to see there was so much more
Take this pocketful of faith
It is all I have today
I’m giving it all

The bible is an invitation.
Two thousand years ago Jesus called His disciples by saying ‘follow me’ and it was up to them to either accept or reject the invite[1]. The same goes for us today, we can say yes to Jesus and follow Him, or we can do our own thing and turn the other way.

I’m assuming (rightly or wrongly) that you are reading this because you have already accepted that invitation – if you haven’t then check out www.the4points.com to see your very own invite. If you have already accepted the invitation to follow Jesus then I’d like to compare it to an invitation to a party.

My daughter is 3 years old and goes to nursery. That means that every weekend almost without exception, it is someone’s birthday – she receives a lot of party invitations, she goes to a lot of parties, and she (almost) always enjoys herself. Let’s imagine that we are three years old and have just been to the best party of all time, jelly and ice cream, party games, bouncy castle, cake, the whole works. Before we could fully enjoy all that the party had to offer, there were a few things that needed to happen:

1.) We must be personally invited. Uninvited guests are rarely welcomed at parties. The party thrower first extends an invite to us saying that it would be lovely if we can share the party with them. Kids send out written invites … we are invited by name.

2.) We have to accept the invite, and usually tell the party thrower that we will be there… an RSVP.

3.) We have to physically turn up at the party. It’s no good saying that we will be there and then not bothering to turn up.

4.) When we arrive we have decisions to make, we can sit at the edge of the room. Watching others eat jelly and playing games. We can wonder what it might taste like, or imagining how fun the games might be. We might even get a whole load of enjoyment from watching other people eat and play… or we can get stuck in and have a great time. In order to get the best out of the invitation we have to opt in. Don’t forget, this is the best party of all time and we don’t want to miss out.

It would be horrible to get home at the end of the party and only then to realise that there was so much more on offer, we settled for being on the sidelines when we had a personal invite to participate.

Our Christian lives are so very similar. Jesus has already done all the hard work, the food is prepared, the party games are organised, the jelly is set. The party is ready to be enjoyed:

1.) The bible our invitation to the party… Jesus says ‘follow me’.

2.) If we want to go to the party, we have to accept the invite from Jesus, and tell Him that we’ve accepted it!

3.) We have to physically turn up at the party/church/housegroup.

4.) When we arrive we have a decision to make, we can sit on the outside looking in. watching others serving, praying, worshiping with all their might. We can wonder what that might feel like, or imaging how exciting it might be live in 100% surrender. We might even get a whole load of enjoyment from watching other people do that. BUT – that is not what we are called to do. When the disciples were called, they had a choice, to leave their old lives behind and follow Jesus, or to turn their backs on Him and carry on as normal. Jesus says ‘I came so that they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of’[2]. We must surrender all or not at all.

If we arrive and the party and choose not to jump in with both feet then I’m scared that we will miss out on the abundant and awesome things that God has in store for us. The risk is that we live our lives without experiencing all that is on offer.
I’ve had enough of saying ‘I’ll jump in later’, or ‘I’m already having enough fun’. (bad grammar alert)… God doesn’t call us to have ‘enough fun’, he calls us to have ‘all the fun’! Abundance means to experience more than we can carry.

We don’t all know exactly what it is that God has called us to do, and its therefore way too easy to decide to wait for a clear direction from God before jumping in.
Please don’t wait!
I really believe that God acts most often and most profoundly though people (and churches) that have decided to surrender all to Him.

At the top of a new year I hope that we willingly accept the invitation to the party. It would be horrible to get to the end of our lives before we realise that there was so much more on offer. Are you going to settle for being on the sidelines, or will you accept all that your personal invite entitles you to?

I don’t want to get there
At the end of it all
Looking behind me to see there was so much more
Take this pocketful of faith
It is all I have today
I’m giving it all

Song for the week:
Pocketful of faith – Tim Hughes

Everything and nothing less – Chris McClarney

[1] – Mark 1:16 NIV
[2] – John 10:10 Msg

If any of this has grabbed your interest and you want to chat about it, then you can reach me on Twitter @peterjshort. I’d love to hear from you.



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