As a child I was not very popular. There were kids who lived behind us that taunted me all the time. There were kids on our street that were not very nice to me. At home I was compared relentlessly to my siblings. Some of my siblings told me on a regular basis that they hated me. To say that I didn’t feel included, wanted, or important would be an understatement.
I went to a small Catholic school where there were only 14 of us in our class. It would be here that I would feel some sort of inclusion. I can remember vividly a time when one of the girls in my class was having a sleepover party. I had never been to one before and I felt so much joy when I was invited to attend! That simple invitation said that I was liked and that I was wanted.
Isn’t that all most of us want? To feel included? To feel wanted? To feel loved?
Chapter 3: An Invitation
Our chapter today is probably the shortest chapter in our book. It doesn’t need to be long as most invitations are short and to the point. This invitation is as well. It simply asks if we are ready to come along on the journey to rediscover Jesus.
While the chapter is short there are still a couple of words that really stick out to me. The first is joy. I remember how joyful I felt by a simple invitation to a sleepover. But the joy that we can come to have by knowing Jesus is so much more! Even if we have known Jesus our whole lives, He calls us to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Him. And in that relationship is a joy that we simply can’t comprehend until we experience it.
The next words that stuck out to me are crisis, dysfunction, and chaos. These words are in direct opposition to what we know joy to be. I look at my life and I can see that when Jesus is not at the center of my life that crisis, dysfunction, and chaos can easily take over. But when Jesus is firmly at the center of my life the problems I face are not quite as overwhelming. Sure I will still have problems but I can meet them with confidence knowing that even in the midst of the chaos, Jesus will help me find joy.
Point to Ponder: It’s time to stop everything, pause a little, and consider God’s invitation.
Let’s be honest, it’s hard to take time out of our busy lives to simply pause and be with God, isn’t it? I know for me the busyness of life sometimes just takes over. It can be easy to forget to take the time to sit quietly with God. But it is imperative that we do so. We are special to God and He invites us personally to know Him through His Son. What an honor to receive that invitation!
Verse to Live: “I came so that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
God loved us so much that He literally came here to be with us. If He didn’t want to know us personally He wouldn’t have come. He wants us to choose to follow Him and to accept His invitation. He sends it out knowing that some of us won’t take the time to even consider it. For those of us who do accept the invitation, He knows that we will be able to live a life of abundant joy.
Question to Consider: What area of your life will benefit most from accepting God’s invitation to rediscover Jesus?
In the past two years my family has faced challenges that I never would have imagined we would be up against. There have been people who have come into our lives who have tried to pull our family apart and away from Christ. I think by rediscovering Jesus right now my hope is that I will be strengthened and through my strength my family, particularly those who have been most affected by this, will likewise be strengthened and drawn back to faith.
Your Turn: Why do you feel God is calling you to rediscover Jesus at this time? Will you accept His invitation? What do you hope will come from your acceptance?
Prayer: Jesus thank you for all the times you have invited me to rediscover you and your message. Help me not to squander this opportunity.
Strengthen me, Lord, and help me to live abundantly in you. I know that it is in you that I will find joy. In a world of chaos and dysfunction I long for the peace that comes from accepting your personal invitation to know and love you