Take up Jesus’ invitation, you’ll be glad you did

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 27, 2011

The greatest honor of my Christian life was granted to me 37 years ago when I was called into the gospel ministry.

My father, Aubrey Calhoun, was a great influence on my life. He loved God deeply and was a life-long student of the Bible. When I announced my call to the family, my dad was overjoyed, but not surprised. Seems he and his Lord had already talked this over, and they were both waiting on me to get onboard. Dad was quick to let me know, since God had called me to preach His Word, I needed to know the word that I was to preach. Three months later, I was a Bible college student.

All of my adult life I have had the privilege of declaring the good news of God’s salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a great joy as well as a tremendous responsibility. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church of Thessalonica, spoke of this responsibility that God had placed on him as well as the love he felt for those he served. In Thessalonians, chapter 2:4-8, it reads, “But even as we have been approved of God to be intrusted with the gospel, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God who proveth our hearts. For neither at any time were we found using words of flattery, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness, God is witness; nor seeking glory of men, neither from you nor from others, when we might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle in the midst of you, as when a nurse cherisheth her own children: even so, being affectionately desirous of you, we were well pleased to impart unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were become very dear to us.”

There is a long list of precious people who are very dear to me. Some of these people I have wept with in times of sorrow and loss. Others, I have rejoiced with in times of celebration. I have shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with many and have seen the light of grace shine in their eyes. These people are precious people to me – people that Jesus freely gave His life to save.

What a joy I have to declare to you the invitation that Jesus offers today. He first made this invitation in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Countless millions have responded to this invitation and have found the rest Jesus promised. Those of us who have responded and answered Jesus’ invitation can assure you, His invitation is for all. If you come to Him, He will welcome you.

Joel Calhoun is the pastor of West Highland Assembly of God and member of the Covington Baptist Association.