3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: God's pursuit of us, life change, invitation


Matt 4: 18-22 (p677) April 21, 2013


I have been invited to do some really cool things in my life…Melvin Richardson’s son Joe invited me to fly with him in a P51 Mustang…”Yes I took him up on the invitation…and yes, It was as fun as it sounds!!! (Show Picture)

I was invited this last year to have the introductory prayer at the Nicole’s Place Banquet where Josh McDowell was speaking…He’s one of my favorite authors…and I felt honored and excited to be part of that evening...I got to meet Josh McDowell, spend some time talking with him and he gave me a signed copy of his new book…His life’s testimony….”Undaunted”

I’ve been invited to parties…revivals…funerals…weddings…all sorts of events…some have been fun…some have been dull…some have been, a mixture…

But for me it’s always about the person who invites me…or at least that makes a big difference to me. (And anyone who says it doesn’t…is a big fat “not talking the truth-er”)

When the invitation comes from someone I know, love and trust I almost immediately start planning on how I can say yes…last year my roommate in college Burt (before I upgraded to a much better roommate name Kari) called and asked if I could come and speak at their homecoming celebration in Morgantown, IN…I was saying yes before I’d even checked the calendar, because I wanted to be with him…I wanted to accept this invitation because I love the one who invited me.

That’s the essence of Christianity…and many are prone to miss it if they think they are the ones doing the inviting instead of Jesus…When we describe being a follower of Christ in terms of “Inviting Jesus into our lives” or praying that “Jesus be our personal Lord and Savior” it seems like we’re almost doing Him a favor…like we’re inviting Him to our party.

But the reality of the gospel is that we do not become God’s children because of any initiative in us! And Jesus does not come to our salvation party. Instead, before we were ever born, God was working to adopt us...while we were dead in our sin; God was planning to resurrect us to new life. And the only way we become part of the eternal celebration party is through His love…a love entirely beyond anything we can imagine…Christianity does not begin with our pursuit of Christ, but with Christ’s pursuit of us…Christianity does not start with an invitation we offer to Jesus, but with an invitation Jesus offers to us


Peter, Andrew….James and John were the four originals to receive Jesus invitation ….”Follow Me”.

“Come follow me and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Like we said last week Jesus invites these 4 men to leave behind their professions, possessions, dreams, ambitions, family and friends, safety and security.

“If anyone is going to follow me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross…! Jesus would say this to the disciples repeatedly….

The world says, “Promote, Pleasure and Comfort yourself” Jesus says, “Deny yourself…Slay yourself”…

What kind of invitation is that? Hey, come follow me, and die!!!”

And they did…Stephen Curtis Chapman wrote


We will abandon it all for the sake of the call

No other reason at all but the sake of the call

Wholly devoted to live and to die for the sake of the call

Nobody stood and applauded them

So they knew from the start

This road would not lead to fame

All they really knew for sure

Was Jesus had called to them

He said “come follow Me” and they came

With reckless abandon, they came

Empty nets lying there at the water’s edge

Told a story that few could believe

And none could explain

How some crazy fishermen agreed to go where Jesus lead

With no thought to what they would gain

For Jesus had called them by name

And they answered.

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call

No other reason at all but the sake of the call

Wholly devoted to live and to die for the sake of the call

The sake of the call

Drawn like the rivers are drawn to the sea

There’s no turning back, for the water cannot help but flow

Once we hear the Savior’s call, we’ll follow wherever He leads

Because of the love He has shown

And because He has called us to go

We will answer…

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call

No other reason at all but the sake of the call

Wholly devoted to live and to die

Not for the sake of a creed or a cause

Not for a dream or a promise

Simply because it is Jesus who called

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