“God Wants You!”
“Now hear this! All hands hit the deck!” My father’s voice boomed up through the floorboards, from his ham radio shack in the basement directly under my bedroom.
Dad’s early wakeup call for breakfast kiboshed my plan to catch up on sleep after hours of traveling home from college the day before. My initial irritation was short-lived though. Even at half-awake I knew Dad’s heart.
For as long back as I could remember he loved us children and was eager to spend time with us. The depth he was willing to go to be with us was underlined when I was in the 6th grade.
A surprise blizzard blew in, immediately after getting home from school, making travel dangerous and difficult. Mom couldn’t get home, so she stayed with a coworker. I began cooking supper, hoping our electricity would stay on. Then, as the wind whistled around the corners of our house, I heard a strange stomping on the back porch.
I switched on the porch light to discover my father, shaking off the snow that had accumulated on his work clothes. He had walked home to be with us kids, after driving as far as he could on our snow-drifted-shut country road.
Growing up as Dad’s daughter made it easy to believe God was a good, good Father. At an Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship camp during college I developed a sturdy habit of morning devotions. For over 60 years I’ve been meeting the Lord in the morning. To be honest, sometimes I did it more out of habit–like flossing my teeth–rather than delight.
Recently though, my pleasure in pursuing God has increased. The reason? Realizing anew how much God delights in my company–EVERY moment, EVERY day! How eager He is to be with me. He’s delighted to listen as long as I want to talk. He’s eager to speak personally to me through His Word, making truth practical–especially if I chew well before swallowing.
Be assured the Devil will hurl daggers of doubts–”God isn’t glad to be with you. He just tolerates you. He only opens the door because He has to…” Don’t depend on your fickle feelings to believe God wants to be with you.
The number one reason Jesus chose his disciples wasn’t because He needed church workers. “Then he chose twelve of them to be his apostles, so that they could be with him. He also wanted to send them out to preach.” (Mark 3:14, CEV)
The Lord’s invitation to friendship extended beyond the “in'' people. He included despised tax collectors–whether up in trees or on sidewalks. Prostitutes and other undesireables were drawn into his presence. Noisy children with runny noses were welcomed. His best friends? Country bumpkins and smelly fisherman, plus a betraying thief.
Jesus couldn’t have been clearer in his desire for our fellowship than when He invited ALL people to come to him “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Believing is the single stipulation for salvation spoken to everyone everywhere–“whoever”: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
There’s no “limited seating” at the marriage supper of the Lamb. God, like the master of the feast in Luke 14:21-23, wants a full house. He clearly commands us to invite everyone and anyone to attend….
“...'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.'Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.’”