It is an honor to be invited to a special occasion. Of course, not all people think of it as an honor, but almost always, the idea of being invited to a special occasion means that the person who gave the invitation thought it worthy to invite friends. Not all friends can be invited. Usually, only the special and the closest kin and friends are given the invitation to attend special events. While sending invitation or receiving one becomes a normal aspect of our life, we could not deny the fact that being invited is actually an act of honor for friendship, love, and respect.
Being an introvert, I don’t usually attend gatherings or parties, if not required. I mean, I can go and attend, but this is not one activity that I particularly enjoy. I do make adjustments to this behavior because I need to and it is the right thing to do. But, yes, because I am an introvert by nature, socializing is not my thing. So, whenever I am invited to a special event such as birthday, christening, or party, I feel honored really, but I always think twice if I will go or not.
The choice to accept the invitation or reject it depends entirely to the person who is being invited. In the human level and social structure, we can have valid reasons to not accept a certain invitation, but when the invitation comes from God, the context becomes different. Yet, the choice to accept or reject remains the same.
God does send an invitation. Ever since God created man, He gives invitation to us to share a life of peace and abundance with Him. When He created Adam, God invited him and, thus all mankind, to subdue and have dominion over all other creatures (Genesis 1:26-30). Then, God invited Adam and Eve to eat any fruit they could behold in the Garden of Eden except for the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). When Adam and Eve fell and sinned against God, God sent countless invitations to His people through His prophets to return back to Him in every phase of history. When Jesus Christ came, carried our sins and took it way through His death on the cross, God gave another invitation to mankind — to come and believe in His Son Jesus Christ that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life (John 3:16).
The invitation from God is always there. Prophets, preachers, and teachers are messengers of God’s invitation. They have come and go but His invitation remains and is always present through His Word. People who hear God’s invitation are left with a choice to accept or to reject.
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ He who hears, let him say, ‘Come!’ He who is thirsty, let him come. He who desires, let him take the water of life freely.”– Revelation 22:17 (WEB)
Be worthy of God’s invitation. Jesus told about the Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14) which actually talks about God’s invitation to the Jews to enter His Kingdom and the rejection of the Jews of God’s invitation. The king (GOD) in the parable asked his servants (prophets) to go to those He had invited (Jews) to come and attend the wedding feast but they refused. When no one came after the first invitation, the king sent his servants again to the same people, this time telling them more clearly in detail what lavish meal the king had prepared for them. Still, they refused the invitation and, instead, paid no attention to the invitation; others went to their farm, others went about their business, and others treated the servants shamefully and killed them. So, the king asked his servants to go out to the highways and invite anyone to the wedding feast as many as they could.
”Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited weren’t worthy. Go therefore to the intersections of the highways, and as many as you may find, invite to the wedding feast.’ Those servants went out into the highways and gathered together as many as they found, both bad and good. The wedding was filled with guests.”– Matthew 22:8-10 (WEB)
Because the Jews rejected God’s invitation and killed His prophets, God sent His invitations to anyone else who is willing to hear and accept His invitation. God’s chosen people were not worthy of the invitation.
When we reject God’s invitation, whether by not minding God’s message or by being too preoccupied with our own work and business, we do not become worthy of the invitation of God. God’s invitation is too valuable to be unheeded and rejected. His invitation is for us to have life and a joyful, abundant life.
God’s invitation is open to all and to anyone, whether good or bad. He does not classify people or group them according to status and appearance. He invites anyone and everyone. It is up to the person to accept His invitation or not.
The story, though, does not stop there. When the king came to check on the guests, he saw one who did not wear the wedding clothing and he asked his servants to to bind the man and throw him out in the outer darkness where there is weeping and grinding of teeth (Matthew 22:11-14). There are people who accept God’s invitation and who gather together with God’s people yet they have not worn the “wedding clothing”. They are not truly part of the guests in the feast God have prepared for people who follow Him genuinely. People who truly accepted God’s invitation change their clothing into the clothing that befits the ocassion. When we are invited into the Kingdom of God we have two things required to do:
1. Accept the invitation of God.
2. Repent and live a new life of obedience to God.
If you have already accepted God’s invitation, keep living in obedience to Him. Be worthy of God’s invitation. Sinning is not a practice of people who accepted God’s invitation to His kingdom. If you have not yet responded to the invitation of God for you, I pray that you will say yes to God, say yes to Jesus Christ, and enjoy His presence and the bountiful life He has prepared for you.
“For many are called, but few chosen.”– Matthew 22:14 (WEB)
The grace of God be with you and fills you with strength and joy as you walk in obedience to His will.