"COME" . . .
“On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, ‘Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!’ ” John 7:37
“Come in! We’ve been waiting for you, and we’re so glad you are here! Now relax and refresh yourselves!” Your heart is warmed by the gracious greeting of some of your best friends whom you’ve not seen in years. How special it is to be loved by them!
“Come here! NOW!” a mother yells at her child who has run into the middle of the road. The child is unaware of the dangers, but not the mom. Knowing what could happen, she is fearful for her child’s life.
A mother and father run to their child’s bedside as he screams in the middle of the night. “It’s okay. We are right here! We will always be here and will never abandon you. Just call, and we will come!”
“I give you my promise,” the father says to his disobedient child. “No matter what you do, I will always love you and be here for you; but know that I must discipline you now for your future welfare, so you will know good from evil and the truth from lies. So come to me…”
When I think of the word come in relation to our Lord, many ideas of His care and love invade my mind, as I'm sure they do yours. For me, examples are an open, loving invitation to dwell in His presence; a command given demanding obedience to Him for life-giving safety; a promise that He will never abandon us; and His coming to fulfill the most important promise of His Father—the provision of a Savior who will close the enormous gap separating us from a forever-life with Him.
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ Let anyone who hears this say, ‘Come. Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.” Revelation 22:17
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “ Matthew 7:7-8
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’ ” Matthew 11:28-30
Come in, finding welcome and rest! How can there be a better invitation than shown in these verses? Our souls and spirits cry out with thirst for God to fill us with life, and Jesus invites us to come. When we knock on His door, He will joyously open it to us, inviting us in, for He knows we are most often weary with the challenges we’ve faced on this side of heaven. In Christ, we find burdens relieved and refreshment for our souls and spirits. What a joy to know Jesus is calling us to come!
“Stop! Get out of the street,” a mother yells. In the same way, Jesus warns us, “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.” Matthew 7:15
“For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.” Matthew 24:24
Jesus is shouting for us to pay attention to the times and to what is happening in our world and culture. Let us listen and get out of the street into the safety of His arms! Satan is waging war by trying to conquer those who would come to Christ, but when we listen well to Jesus’ words with open hearts and listening ears, we are saved by Him who is stronger than any spiritual menace: “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”
I John 4:4
Abandonment—one of the greatest fears of children and adults alike. In Christ, however, we never need fear. When He invites us to come to Him, He does so with a promise of never abandoning us: “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am.” John 14:3
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.” John 14:17-18
Feel that presence within? The presence of the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control? What a great promise given and fulfilled when we believe Jesus as Savior, having God within to lead, guide, and give us wisdom in how to lead our lives!
With all His heart, God wants us to come to Him! Because of this, He made mankind a promise: “Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed, more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.’ Then he said to the woman, ‘I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.’ And to the man he said, ‘Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.’ ” Exodus 3: 14-18
Yes, Adam and Eve rebelled, and God had to discipline them severely for choosing Satan's lies over His own truth because their act of treason--their sin--caused eternal separation from Him. Yet, God loved mankind too much to let that separation remain, so He made a promise to Eve--that one day from her offspring a Savior, the Messiah, would come. God fulfills every promise, and in the proper timing His Son Jesus was born. Though totally innocent, Christ took all mankind's sin--past, present, and future--upon Himself when He voluntarily died in our place upon the cross. With His death, burial, and resurrection, eternal death was conquered and the separation between God and man ended for believers: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 God, faithful promise keeper, gave us Jesus, and that is why for those who believe in Him, hope lives!
COME! How is God calling you to come? Let each of us pray, asking Him to show us areas in our lives where we need to come to Him. Within us, we all have a God-shaped vacuum that only He can fill. Know that He longs to do this, giving us living water so we will never thirst again. Oh, hear His voice and COME!
John 10:9 “ Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through Me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.”
James 7:8 “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”
Luke 9:11 “But the crowds were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, He began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing.”
Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for Your invitation to come to You in my every need. I know I can place confident hope in You because You are a faithful promise keeper. When, upon occasion, I forget to focus on You and seek to come to You, thank You that You will not abandon me but pursue me until my last living breath. Indeed, You are faithful to call, and You are faithful to open your door and heart to me when I knock. May I always be thankful for who You are, Majestic God, and for Your love for me. May I praise You all my days.
DISCLAIMER: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?!
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other "teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
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Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.