Sermon Reflections from The Bible is An Invitation | Damon Hopkins | May 21, 2023
Damon was filled with renewed joy this Sunday as he shared from God’s Word and his life challenges. He pointed out worldly sayings that do not hold up when compared to God’s standards. For example, “God helps those who help themselves,” was one he gave us to analyze. If we could help ourselves he pointed out, we would not need God. We cannot truly help ourselves; our dependence needs to be upon Him. Damon went on to speak of God’s creation, his glory and how He meets our needs in His time. We just need to trust in Him and walk each day knowing He has us covered. Damon’s health issues were a glorious example of how God meets our needs and does it in a complete way, beyond our imagining.
Pastor Alex had titled this sermon The Bible is an Invitation. He started the series with the Bible is a Love Letter from God and last week pointed us to the Bible as our Guide. As I was reflecting on God’s love letter and His guidance, I see The Bible as an invitation in written form inviting us to a life of faith in Him. This was the life Damon was describing from His experiences. The Bible points us to the good life God has in store for us. John 17:3 speaks of eternity, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. “ God wants us to know Him and to experience eternal life. 2 Peter 1:3-4 tells us that God has given us what we need to live for Him, “ His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” His Word, an invitation in written form, provides power, promises and protection from evil. That is SOME invitation to a life filled with hope and promise.
Another aspect of an invitation is that, it is not a command. When we are invited to a party, the host is asking us to come but we can turn them down. God’s invitation to eternal life is just that – an invitation. It is not a command but refusing to accept His invitation brings consequences. You will not be invited to the eternal party in heaven and do not have the benefits of God’s love and care while here on earth. God loves us, John 3:16, and wants us to come to his eternal party. “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Refusing His invitation means you turn down salvation through Jesus, John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
You are choosing to live under the curse of death, Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” and make your own way.
Damon pointed us to many of the benefits given in God’s Word for accepting God’s invitation. James 1:17 “ Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” God is our Father and gives good gifts to His children. He also does not change His mind about things or change His character. He is immutable, unchanging. Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” We also have a home in heaven to look forward to that has been prepared for us by Jesus. John 14:1-3 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” God has also promised us every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” 2 Peter 1:3-4 told us that we have God’s precious promises to live by and lean upon.
Damon also quoted Jeremiah 29:11-12 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” God has plans for our lives if we join with Him and accept His invitation. His plans are to prosper and grow us, for our good and His glory. We just need to turn to Him in faith and call upon Him. He promises to listen to us, comfort and guide us. I’m sure Damon would be quick to agree with Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.” When we accept God’s invitation to life, eternity with Him, hope and blessings, we need to accept in faith TRUSTING God to know the way that is best for us. Then we need to walk in FAITH believing all He has promised!
Take Hebrews 11:6 into your heart and determine to seek and please God. “ And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” God will reward, just as He promises.
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