by Shannon Caughey
Different types of invitations evoke different types of responses. When you and your team are invited to come participate in a premier event or tournament, you respond with excitement. When the leader of your conference invites you to come to a coaches meeting about new administrative procedures, you probably respond with apathy. When your athletic director invites you to come to his or her office after a particularly tough season, you might respond with some trepidation.
There’s another, far more significant invitation we each receive: Come to God. Psalm 100 articulates this invitation and the responses it evokes. As we’ve worked through Psalm 100 in the last several devotions, we’ve seen that we come to God with joy (v. 1), with worship (v. 2), with confidence (v. 3), and with gratitude (v. 4). The final verse of the psalm (v. 5) captures why we respond in these ways to the invitation to come to God: “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
We don’t come to God out of a sense of duty or so we can check the “spiritual activity” box on our To Do list. Our motivation is not fear, thinking we need to appease God so he’s not upset with us. We come to God because he loves us. We experience God’s love in his goodness, which is his generous favor and kindness to us though we don’t deserve it. We encounter God’s love through his faithfulness: he is always true to his character and promises. We can count on God’s love because “his love endures forever.” God sets his loving faithfulness and goodness on “all generations.”
None of us, no matter who we are or what we’ve done, ever have to wonder if God’s love for us is real. Jesus Christ, who comes as God in the flesh, is the definitive proof of God’s love. Romans 5:8 tells us, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” When we respond in faith to Jesus and what he accomplished through his death and resurrection, we have this assurance: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Maybe the holiday season has been great for you, or perhaps it’s been discouraging. As you look ahead to the new year, it could be with excitement or with apprehension. You might be experiencing a season of coaching in which things are going well or it seems like rock bottom. Whatever your circumstances and however you’re feeling, hear this invitation: Come to God.
Psalm 100 directs us to come to God with joy, worship, confidence, and gratitude. And this psalm applies to every situation—wonderful, difficult, or somewhere in between. Why? “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Come to God because he loves you. Come to God because he is faithful and good.
For reflection: Praise God for his love, his goodness, and his faithfulness. Ask him to help you respond to his invitation to come to him day by day, knowing that you are always loved by him.