Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dear Friend: An Invitation

I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I serve with my whole heart because He paid a debt I owed that I could never repay no matter how I try. I serve with joy and gladness, for the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations. (Psalms 100:5)

I wish I had the time to tell you how God has given me so much to be thankful for in my Lord Jesus Christ. I have tried, but hearing, ye have not heard. (Matthew 13:13) Maybe it's because you have not experienced my God the way I have, and you find it hard to relate. Or maybe you feel as if you are not good enough to approach the light of His Glory. I can only speculate as to what your reasons are, for I have invited you to join me in the praise and worship of my Lord, and to join me in His Kingdom work as He has instructed me to do , when He said, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: And Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:19-20). Yet you linger, and refuse to quickly honor the invitation.

Friend, you don't have to be on good terms with yourself or God to approach the throne. For God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

As a servant of God, I am not perfect or sinless. I am, however, forgiven. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13) And because I am saved, I am a new creature. My old life is passed away, and I have a new life. (2 Corinthians 5:17) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created unto Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

You see, I can never do enough to repay God for sacrificing His only son for me. I can only believe He did it because He loves me, just as I am. Even so, faith, if it has not works, is dead. (James 2:17) Therefore, I cannot, in good conscience, after the price my Lord paid for me, continue in my sins. I could not change who I am. But my God can. When I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior, I gave Him permission to mold and shape me as He would have me be. This is because once I realized the total price of my sins, I was convicted to serve with all my spirit, constantly striving to cleanse myself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 6:1) Even striving to perfect myself, I am constantly reminded that no matter what I do, I will never be righteous enough, For there is none righteous, no, not one. (Romans 3:10)

I have said all this to teach you, friend, that if you are waiting until you are "perfect enough", it will not happen. You need not linger or have excuses not to accept my invitation any longer. God is calling you to join Him in His kingdom work. Do you really want to disappoint Him after what He's already done for you?

Jesus never condemned the sinner, though he begged them to repent. Therefore, neither do I condemn you. (John 8:11) To do so would be blasphemy, for I am not perfect either, and am unworthy to cast stones at your character. (John 8:7) What I say to you, I say out of love, as Christ has commanded us to love one another as He first loved us. (John 3:35) Having said that, It is my duty to inform you that the Kingdom of God is at hand. (Matthew 10:7) It is because of that that I would be derelict in my duty if I failed to write this letter to you.

You see, once again, I am pleading with you to come and worship the Lord with me. I don't understand why it is so hard for you to accept my invitation. Can't you hear Jesus saying through me, "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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30) What relief you will have when you realize that you have eternal life, rather than condemnation! For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Friend, I beg you to linger no more! You have been invited to eat the bread of life at my Lord's supper table! when I think of you, I remember a parable Jesus told once of a man who fixed a great supper. He invited certain people. These people who were invited all had some excuse for not wanting to show up. It doesn't matter what their excuse was. So, he told his servant to go out onto the streets and gather the lower classes of people to eat in their place. (Luke 14:16-24) I believe he did this because He knew they would appreciate his efforts more. (Luke 14:14) How is it that you cannot appreciate what my Lord has to offer you? If you won't come, God will invite someone else in your stead.

I have prayed for you, my friend. I have pleaded with you; and, now, I am writing this letter as a last attempt before I go on my way to invite others, as the servant of the Lord has been instructed to do. Please do not make excuses, for God will not accept any excuses on the day of judgment. Jesus has instructed that we should always be prepared, because you may not be alive tomorrow to repent, and if you are, what if He returns for His servants? Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day, nor the hour wherein the son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:13) And, if He does, do you really want to take the chance of hearing Him say "I know you not"? (Matthew 25:12)

But if you still refuse the invitation, it is my duty to leave you alone and to shake the dust of my feet on the way. (Matthew 10:14)

My Lord is a gracious God. He has patience with you for now, but I beg you, my friend, not to test my Lord's patience for long. he has been known to curse those who continue in their sins. (Deuteronomy 28:15-68) Maybe you are already experiencing some of them. I hope not; but, if you are, repent, and God will turn those curses into blessings.

Jesus taught a parable about a prodigal son, who defied his father, spent his inheritance, and wound up slopping pigs for a living. Finally, he determined to be his father's servant, if only his father would take him back into his home after what he'd done. When his father saw him coming, he welcomed his son home, rejoicing with a great feast and restoring his place in the home. God will do that for you if you let Him. (Luke 15:11-32)

Please accept my final invitation to join me in the praise and worship of my Lord at 1st Biker's Church in Texarkana, Texas. We are located at 12th and Walnut. If you don't want to go to that church, then find one you are comfortable with, but we will accept you with open arms if you do.

With Agape Love for You,

Your Servant in Christ,

Shonda M. Ponder

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