So...last weekend I went to Koinonia Conference Grounds for my 2nd annual Women's Retreat with BVG. The theme for the retreat was "Rest"...and ladies, may I just add that I needed rest more than anything else! It was so AMAZING! Such a great time of relaxation, rest, rejuvination, worship and fellowship with some of the sweetest sisters in the body! God spoke to me in so many wonderful ways (lots of laughter and lots of tears)....I am awed again and again how He speaks to me and helps me to understand Him and His ways.
I'd like to recap the weekend's sessions. I hope that it blesses you as much as it did me!
Theme Verse: Matthew 11:28
Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your weary souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Session 1- "Come to me"
Invitations: God is extending us an invitation to come to him.
What invitations have I received in my lifetime?
- marriage proposal
- wedding invitations
- baby shower invitations
- birthday invitations
- invitation to enter into relationship with my Heavenly Father
The first question to ask is "Who is inviting me?"
Colossians 1:15: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."
Hebrews 1:3: "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
Jesus is everything we can see and everything we cannot see. We should not take his invitation lightly, because it is kingly!
Luke 19:1-9: This is the story of Zaccheus (read it...it's great!)
- The invitation Zacch received was totally unexpected. He came to see Jesus thinking that he was only going to be an observer.
- The invitation Zacch received was personal. When Jesus reached the spot where Zacch had climbed up to see him, he looked up and called our brother by name. John 10:14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-". This verse states that Jesus knows us personally...by name. He enters our most personal places. He wants to transform us. Jesus tells Zacch that he wants to "stay" in his house today. The meaning of the word "stay" in this passage means "to lodge, take up residence." Jesus was not just coming for a quick visit. He had serious business to work through with Zacchaeus.
- The invitation that Zacch received demands a response. Zacch comes down at once and comes gladly. In verse 8 we find that Zacch was repentant. This was a heart response to Jesus extending an invitation to him. His repentant heart followed by action to remedy what he had done wrong was extreme. By law he was only supposed to return 20% more of the goods lost. If he had been guilty of theft of an animal he would have been required to return 4 or 5 times the amount of the value of the animal. We can see from the text that Zaccheaus considered his sin theft as he returned 4 times the amount that he had taken from the people.
So....the question is: How am I responding to Jesus' invitation to me?
- With joy?
- With repentance?
- With action?
Side note on Zaccheaus: His name means "Righteous One". Before his encounter with Jesus he had been marginalized. After his encounter with the Savior, he has been restored spiritually.
Final thought: Respond to the invitation that Christ is extending to me!
John 7:37 "Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds 'Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!'.
So, girlfriends....what invitation is Jesus extending to you???? Are you thirsty? Do you need restoration?....If so, run to Jesus, he is extending an invitation to you that you cannot miss out on! He says to come to him and he will give you rest....so get your running shoes on and get going!