Does anyone actually like Junk mail?
Or what about the internet equivalent; spammy emails? I signed up for a clothing loyalty card once. The next thing I knew, I had five other companies spamming me with their advertising. Some of which was completely irrelevant to me.
This kind of marketing reminds me of a parable Jesus shared about seed; just like seed, junk mail is randomly broadcast across a large area.
- Seeds eaten by birds = mail goes straight in the bin
- Some start off well then wither = initial interest sparked, but not maintained
- Others strangled by weeds = hidden among other mail
- A few land in deep soil = a random pairing of product and interested consumer
This kind of advertising is not personal.
And when we find our name at the top of a message from God, we know it’s personally written and specifically relevant to us; His unique, cherished, children. It’s the kind of message that is written by hand, on heavy paper, in flowing ink. It has an old-school stamp on the front and a red wax seal on the back.
That’s exactly what we are; a hand-written, personal invitation. We carry a weighty message, flowing with the Holy Spirit, sealed with the Father’s love.
Now the really cool thing is, not only is our message living and personal, it’s also interesting. Because our God has a habit of throwing in a jolly good plot twist as well.
- Jeremiah and Timothy were young men called to influence communities governed by older men.
- Moses, after living in isolation from his people and culture for 80 years, was called to speak for God and lead His people.
- Peter, an uneducated fisherman from Galilee, became an Apostle to the Jews; a people steeped in learning, tradition, and ritual.
- Paul, from birth, trained to be a leader of those steeped in learning, tradition and ritual, became the Apostle to the Gentiles.
- Abraham and Sarah, way beyond their youth, were used to birth a nation.
- An untrained shepherd boy took on the champion of a nation and became king.
- A baby, born in a manger to a teenage mum, was sent to save the world.
It is a great reminder that God’s wisdom is foolishness to the world.
Would you have made these matches?
Faithful not successful
We are all gifted. But we are all gifted differently. Each of us is equipped with our own unique Spiritual gift set, life-skills, abilities, and life experiences; good, bad, and ugly.
However, regardless of God’s wisdom, and our skills, not all people will receive the message. We’re not delivering junk, but God’s word will be treated like the seed in Jesus parable.
As posties, we are not responsible for what people do with the mail. That’s God’s job. Our job is to deliver it.
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:1-2
The first part of being a personal invitation is being available and malleable. We’re not to try to second guess God, or alter the plan. That didn’t work out too well for Sarah (you can read about it here), or a multitude of others for that matter. Our job is to follow His plan as faithful soldiers … or posties as the case may be.
Second, is not worry about the who, where, when, why or how. All we need to do is focus on God. If every day we are offering ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, He’ll take care of the rest. The key is to continually walk through transformation rather than fall into conformation.
And third? Even though it’s hard, praise God for everything; good, bad, and ugly. Because even though He may not have planned it, or willed the horridness, he allows it. And we have a guarantee that He will use it, not only for our good, but as part of His personal invitation to others.
In short, to be a personal invitation we need to:
- Get up close and personal with God
- Get relational with our neighbour
- Be the genuine, unique, amazing we were created to be.
So, whether we’re a postcard or a biography, we carry God’s Impartial Invitation. With the Father’s seal, the Spirit’s equipping, and our Lord’s strength, we deliver His personal invitation.
- How is God challenging you to be available, teachable and useful?
- Do you see a plot twist in your life?
- How has your past helped others?