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The Royal Invitation

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The worshippers sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

The believer’s heart declares, “That’s my King!”

One of my favorite Christmases was my first Christmas as a believer. I was 26 years old and had been a Christian for just a few months. I remember sitting in church on those December Sunday mornings singing the Christmas hymns that I had sung all my life. Yet something was gloriously different that year. God had mercifully given me a new heart… and new ears to hear the songs like never before. When we sang words like “Glory to the newborn King,” I knew I was singing about my King.  

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Growing up I heard the gospel preached numerous times. Dad made certain of that. I remember lying in bed on Sunday mornings hoping that Dad would let my brother Tom and me sleep in, but that didn’t happen. I’m so thankful that God gave me a father who was concerned for my soul. 

Through my teen years and into my early twenties, I was haunted by the fact that I had never received Christ as my Savior. I only knew facts about Jesus, but He wasn’t my Savior… not yet. 

During those years, I feared dying without Christ. I knew the consequences of that. And I was jealous of those Christians God had placed around me. I wanted what they had.  

It was so kind of God not to allow me to be at peace in my lost condition. 

In my mid-twenties, my world became unraveled, and during that season, God drew me to Himself. He responded to my cries; He rescued me there in my bedroom in Winona, Mississippi. I understood that there was no good in me. I was a sinner. I felt that. And I realized that my only hope was to place my faith in Jesus Christ. 

But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12).

I think of the people who have attended church for years, yet they remain in that same darkness where I lived for years—far from the Light. They attend church each Sunday, and they bring with them a nagging emptiness inside. They are kind people who present themselves as Christians, but they know deep down inside that they serve a king called “self.”

Perhaps that describes you. If it does, please be encouraged that God has given you eyes to see your situation as it truly is. Consider it a kindness from God that you have been brought to feel the emptiness that comes from not knowing Jesus as your Savior. 

Edward Payson lived in the late 1700s and early 1800s here in America. He was known worldwide. Like many pastors, he longed to see those who were empty filled with the joy of knowing Jesus Christ as their Savior. As he concluded a Christmas sermon, he delivered this passionate plea. Listen to it as if he is speaking directly to you.  

“Trembling sinner…permit me to take you by the hand and lead you to Jesus. Why do you linger, why do you hang back? 

It is to Christ, it is to Jesus, it is to the Babe of Bethlehem, to a man like yourselves, to the meek and lowly Savior of sinners, that I would bring you. Here are no terrors, no flaming sword, no burning throne to appall you. 

Come, then, to His feet, to His arms, to His heart which overflows with compassion for your perishing souls. 

Come and contemplate the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and receive of His fullness grace for grace.”

Consider this invitation from Jesus:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

What is your response to such an invitation? Are you willing to humble yourself before King Jesus, to place your crown to the side, and to live under His kind rule? Will you place your faith in Christ today?

[B]ecause, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).

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