Creating a Culture of Invitation

Monday – Job 31.16-23. In what is said to be one of the earliest of biblical writings, Job experiences deep suffering and searches for an answer. As part of Job’s defense in response to the accusations that he must have sinned for all this pain and loss to come to him, Job asserts that the pattern of his life has been one of hospitality. He was a generous person, sharing his resources with those in need. Job, declared by God to be a righteous man, lived with his “arms wide open.” His priority was to glorify God and to lift up others. Pray for the freedom and faith to live “invitationally.”

Tuesday – Job 31.29-40. Job is doing some deep reflection about his life, examining his heart and his behavior diligently. It is interesting to note that even though he was a man of great riches and blessings, he opened his life to strangers, people on a journey. In a figurative as well as literal sense, many who live around us are on a life journey. They work with us, or live near us. They are looking for a “home.” God, Himself is our “home.” The prayer focus for us today is that God may make us aware of those in our sphere of influence with whom we can share life’s journey, and the hope they can have in Jesus Christ.

Wednesday – Isaiah 58.1-8. Maybe you have heard the saying, “When all is said and done, more is said than done.” That’s often the way it is in our lives. It’s pretty common to talk about desiring to live more like Jesus.  Pray for an honest assessment of your life, asking for freshness of vision about the way you actually live your life. Ask God to speak to you about your priorities, desiring to be able to hear God’s voice in a new way. Pray for a deeper hunger for that which is good and right, a longing for a life that mirrors the way Jesus would live your life if he were in your life situation.

Thursday – John 4.39-42. This is an interesting scene. Jesus accepts the invitation of the Samaritans to remain with them. It was they who invited him. They had heard what the woman who had encountered Jesus at the well said about him, but they came to see for themselves. They were eager to know if Jesus was the Messiah. And Jesus responded to  their request. Great things happened because they extended Jesus an invitation to be with them. Pray for an awareness of those around you who may be more eager and ready to encounter the grace and truth of Jesus than you might think.

Friday – Acts 10.27-36. This event could be easily called, in sports parlance, a “game changer.” The Holy Spirit challenged Peter’s beliefs concerning Gentiles’ “eligibility” for the gospel. God did this through the vision in which Peter was told to enjoy some “unclean” animals for lunch. By allowing God to change his thinking on the matter, Peter responded obediently to the Holy Spirit and was instrumental in flinging open the doors of invitation into a life with God for this Roman officer and his family. This was a very bold move for Peter. Living with our arms wide open, being invitational for Jesus’ sake in all relationships, is a “game changer” way to live. Pray for an opportunity to experience that today.

Saturday – Romans 12.1-2, 9-16. The first two verses in this passage are likely very familiar to us. In surrender to Christ, we find that our way of thinking and living begins to be transformed. The second passage illuminates the impact of such transformation.  We desire to sincerely love others; we do what is good toward others. We are given grace to not have to be #1 in every relationship. We can be joyful, prayerful for others, and patient with the trials that come in and through relationships. We can become generous and transformed from miserly, self-centered people to those who can practice hospitality, living a life of invitation for Jesus’ sake in the life of others. Are you ready to be renewed and transformed by God, praying to receive grace for living this type of life?